Carlo Ancelotti claimed AC Milan had restored the credibility of Italian football after watching his side ruthlessly crush Liverpool's dream of a second Champions League title in three years.
Filippo Inzaghi's double strike ensured club football's most coveted trophy headed back to Milan for the seventh time, after a triumphant finale to a season which started with the club being docked eight points for their involvement in Italy's match-fixing scandal.
Only a successful appeal against an initial, heavier, penalty enabled Milan to enter the Champions League at all and they were forced to begin their campaign in the final qualifying round.
And in the depths of winter, as local rivals Internazionale ran away with the league, even Ancelotti's future at the club appeared to be in doubt.
"It is the greatest victory we have had," the Milan coach said. "Few believed we could do it, but we have actually done something extraordinary that very few people, perhaps nobody, expected.
"People talk about utopia but sometimes it helps to be a bit utopian. Italian football suffered a lot because of the scandal and especially Milan.
"This is an important victory for Italian football, we got back some our credibility."
Ancelotti went on to claim that he never took seriously the mid-season rumours that he could be on his way out of the club he also served with distinction as a player.