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Saturday June 6 2020
Inter all-time greatest XI

Treble-winners, legends and record-holders, Richard Hall picks the best all-time XI to have worn the Nerazzurri jersey through history.

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.

CF: Ronaldo

‘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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Have your say...
Matthaus didn't play that long with Inter, but he may very well be the greatest midfielder ever to play. I suppose Cambiasso and then Maicon (in that order) would be the ones to first challenge for a spot, with Matthaus and Corso first in line for potential replacement.

Also, Suarez is not a winger.

Again, the Inter fan who said the writer is not an Inter fan, is ignorant because 2010 is what he saw.

Inter won it twice in the 60's.

And lastly, to repeat, Zenga is a legend, and Cesar better.
on the 10th June, 2020 at 3:05pm
A few things.

Anyone who picks Samuel is not an Inter fan. Samuel was always a tad overrated, but especially so at Inter. And the year they won, Lucio was 3x the player. That's not a real discussion.

At his peak, Julio Cesar is maybe one of the three best keepers I've watched live. He had six great seasons (even the one after the treble was still great).

Maicon maybe for Corso, but I can't recall Corso enough to make a definitive decision.
on the 10th June, 2020 at 2:42pm
While a great side no doubt, I have to make a case for Cambiasso. 10 years, 5 league titles, and a UCL as part of a treble. A great midfielder, who was defensively incredible while also being a deep lying playmaker due to his passing range. I understand why more of the treble winners aren't here. Although I love them, a lot of them were there for a short time (Motta, Lucio, Pandev, Eto, Sniejder, etc.). Samuel was incredible but injury prone, and Maicon couldn't make it. Shoutout to Stankovic.
on the 7th June, 2020 at 12:02pm
This is not great at all. How can you only have 1 treble winner in there? You're clearly not an Inter fan:
This is a much better team. Zenga was great but never really won anything and Cesar was a much better all round keeper (Zenga was suspect on corners, set pieces and pens).
Cesar
Zanetti
Bergomi
Samuel
Maicon
Matthaus
Cambiasso
Mazzola
Suarez
Vieri
Meazza
on the 7th June, 2020 at 12:17am
boninsegna is a obvious miss the guy was excellent in his day altobelli as well.

ronaldo is obvious he is one of the best players of all time i never seen a player with so much ability at such a young age.

it says a lot that none of inter 2006-2010 team is there par zanetti.
on the 6th June, 2020 at 6:32pm
Hahaha urban sombrero, the defender of haters hahahaha
on the 6th June, 2020 at 6:19pm
@Anonymous... Beside Serie A there are other competitions like coppa and European competitions too, like Champions league. Does it ring a bell?! Zanetti played 615 games in Seria A and the rest in other competitions!!!
on the 6th June, 2020 at 5:46pm
@Anonymous, 3.32pm: I believe that the 858 figure refers to the total number of appearances made by Javier Zanetti for Inter in all competitions (i.e. including Coppa Italia and European games), whereas the 615 figure refers to Serie A appearancs only.
on the 6th June, 2020 at 5:37pm
@ Anon- Obviously European games, coppa Italia games etc.
on the 6th June, 2020 at 4:56pm
‘ Zanetti holds the record for the most appearances for a foreign player in Serie A with 615, for most appearances for Inter at 858’

That means Zanetti played 240 games in Serie B with Inter. When was that? Am I missing something?
on the 6th June, 2020 at 3:32pm
Ah Milan Fan - the No 1 sign of a fallen/ing empire is to hark back to so called glory days a la Trump - Make Milan Great Again.
on the 6th June, 2020 at 12:17pm
Did any of the 11 ever play in Seria B?
on the 6th June, 2020 at 12:07pm
Where's Carini? Didn't they swap Fabio Cannavaro for him? I'd include him if he was that good!
on the 6th June, 2020 at 11:50am
Respectable team, but, compare this to Milan's all time greats ...
on the 6th June, 2020 at 11:27am
Ronaldo over Vieri???
Ronaldo had a better career overall (slightly) but I believe Vieri had the better inter career
on the 6th June, 2020 at 10:11am
when you see the name above and realize inter has lots legendary italian players even thou they name as "internazionale". its not overstatement to say picchi, faschetti, meazza, and corso as one of the greatest italian football talents ever to produce. they were master on their position.
on the 6th June, 2020 at 6:12am

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