GK: Walter Zenga
‘Spiderman’ was one of the greatest goalkeepers of his generation. Zenga was born in Milan and was an avid Inter fan. He played for the Nerazzurri for 23 years and in that time he won Serie A, the UEFA Cup twice and the Italian Super Cup. His dramatic, showman-like style, is why he so fondly remembered. His agility and incredible leap, meant that he would deny some of the world’s best strikers, entertaining the crowd in the process.
RB: Javier Zanetti
‘Il Capitano’. Javier Zanetti is Mr Inter. He brought back the professionalism of the Grande Inter era and embodied what it meant to be a servant of the club. Nobody had the stamina of ‘The Tractor’ and he will always be remembered as being the captain of the great Treble-winning team of 2010. Zanetti holds the record for the most appearances for a foreign player in Serie A with 615, for most appearances for Inter at 858 and has won 16 major honours for the Nerazzurri. He was also versatile, playing left-back, right-back and in midfield. They have retired his number four shirt and he became vice-president.
CB: Giuseppe Bergomi
If you ever interview ‘Lo Zio’, it is instantly obvious why he is a leader of men. A calm and charismatic gentleman, Bergomi is a one-club man playing over 500 league games for the Nerazzurri. The defender they called ‘Uncle’ due to his incredible moustache at a young age when winning the 1982 World Cup, went on to win three UEFA Cups as well as a Serie A title, a Coppa Italia and a Supercoppa Italiana.
CB: Armando Picchi
Captain of the Grande Inter team under Helenio Herrera. You could stop it there and he is already a legend. Picchi was a versatile defender, but developed into one of the great Libero figures, and the sweeper position was certainly defined by him in the 1960s. He is regarded as one of the greatest defenders Italy has ever produced and won three Serie A titles, two European Cups and two Intercontinental Cups. He died tragically from a tumour at 36.
LB: Giacinto Facchetti
Nobody did more to define what it means to be an Inter player than Giacinto Facchetti. The left-back played under Helenio Herrera in the “Grande Inter” team, winning four Serie A titles, two European Cups, one Coppa Italia and two Intercontinental Cups. He wore the black and blue 634 times, scored 75 goals, he was a one-club man. In 2006, Inter took the decision to retire his famous number three jersey.
RW: Luis Suarez
Known as one of Spain’s greatest ever players, he was also the world’s most expensive when he followed Helenio Herrera to Inter from Barcelona. In the nine years that followed, Suarez would play 328 times for the Nerazzurri, scoring 55 goals. An elegant winger nicknamed ‘The Architect’, he was also a deep-lying playmaker and was another very adaptable player. He amassed seven major honours in Milan.
CM: Lothar Matthaus
Lothar Matthaus won the FIFA World Player of the Year award while at Inter and at the same time, Diego Maradona said he was the hardest opponent he ever played against. His 40 goals in 115 Serie appearances came at a time when Inter were reborn under Giovanni Trapattoni. He won Serie A in 1989, the UEFA Cup in 1991 and the Supercoppa Italiana in 1989. It was only a shame that Lothar did not stop longer in Milan.
CM: Sandro Mazzola
Being the son of Torino’s Valentino Mazzola, who was tragically lost in the Superga disaster, was never going to be easy. However, Mazzola became a great in his own right. In 17 years at Inter (another one-club man), he amassed 117 Serie A goals in 417 games. The attacking midfielder won the same honours as Corso and Facchetti (above) in the same Grande Inter team. He also had an infamous rivalry with Milan’s Gianni Rivera.
LW: Mario Corso
When your nickname is ‘God’s Left Foot’, it is easy to see why Corso is classed as one of the greatest to ever play in his position. One more member of the Grande Inter side, his technique for free kicks and crosses was key to that side. He debuted at Inter when he was 16 and amassed 413 appearances winning the same amount of honours as Facchetti. Sometimes criticised for not running enough, Corso instead was an intelligent player who preferred to move the ball.
‘Il Fenomeno’ broke the world transfer record for the second time when he joined Inter from Barcelona. His time was blighted by injury, but in his 98 games, he scored 62 goals and left Serie A defences trembling. One of the greatest strikers ever to play the game, it is perhaps strange that he only picked up the UEFA Cup for Inter in 1998, although in the process he did have one of the games of his life in the final.
CF: Giuseppe Meazza
When Inter and Milan name the stadium after you, you know you have made an impact. Meazza played for Inter from 1927-1940 (and again in 1946-47) and in this time he became known by many as the greatest Italian sportsman of all time. His 242 league goals in 365 games was some tally and he won three Scudetti and one Coppa Italia in the process. His off the field antics often brought him as much publicity as his on-field ability, but that did not stop him becoming one of the best ever.
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