By Dan King
Fiorentina were the only team to beat Peter Beardsley's Development Squad in this year's Torneo di Viareggio in Tuscany, and they made it all the way to the final on Monday afternoon.
But La Viola were beaten 2-0 by Inter Milan at the Stadio Armando Picchi in Livorno in the showpiece decider.
United were drawn in the same group as Fiorentina, who have won the tournament more times than any other team in its 63 year history, and lost 3-1 in their first game of the prestigious youth competition - although in truth, they were unfortunate not to emerge with at least a draw.
A 2-2 draw with Club Nacional of Paraguay and a 1-1 tie with Lecce meant Newcastle were knocked out in the group stages while Fiorentina qualified. Only each group winner and the two best runners-up from each side of the competition went through, and United's conquerors went from strength to strength.
They beat Reggina 2-1 in the last 16, then edged out Parma 5-4 on penalties after a 0-0 quarter final draw.
And Varese were beaten 2-1 in the semi-finals to set up the meeting with Inter, who gained maximum points in their group before overcoming Prato, Genoa and Atalanta on penalties.
Inter took the lead after just four minutes through the highly-rated Simone Dell'Angelo, and the same player scored the second goal from the spot midway through the second half.