Few clubs can claim to have the depth of talent that the Italians have had in history. Read on to learn more about the best Inter Milan players of all time.
Founded on March 9, 1908, the Football ClubInternazionale Milano
, commonly known asInter Milan
or just Inter, is a professional football club in Milan, Italy. Inter is the only Italian team that has never been relegated since its inception.
Inter Milan has won many awards and is the ninth proudest team in Europe with 39 trophies. Inter also became the first Italian team to win the treble, winningSerie A
, the Coppa Italia and the Champions League.
In the following article, we will briefly review the Inter Milan club. Then we will present a list of the greatest Inter Milan players of all time, and share the personal and professional backgrounds of each of these best Internazionale players ever.
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Before we get into the list of best Inter Milan footballers of all time in our opinion, we will have a brief look at the honors of Inter Milan Club.
Inter Milan is one of the greatest most-decorated Italian clubs. The 112-year-old club, which is nicknamed "I Nerazzurri" meaning "The Black and Blues", holds the rare record of being the only club to have never been relegated in Italian league tournaments.
They have claimed 18 Serie A titles, meaning they share the second place with their eternal rival, AC Milan, in the list of the clubs that has won the most Serie A titles, given that Juventus has won twice as many.
Nerazzurri has won 3 European championships; 2 consecutive UEFA Cup winners' cup in 1964 and 1965, and one Champions League in 2010. Moreover, Inter has won 7 Italian Cups, 5 Italian Super Cups, 1 FIFA Clubs World Cup, 3 UEFA Cups as well as 2 Intercontinental cups.
Furthermore, they are the only Italian clubs, and one of the 7 clubs in the world that has won the Treble, a glory they reached under Jose Mourinho's management by winning the Serie A title, Copa Italia and the Champions league trophy in 2010.
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Throughout the club's history, many legendary players have worn the black and blue shirt, and played the most pivotal role in achieving the mentioned successes, the players who are not to be forgotten by the fans.
Full name: Júlio César Soares de Espíndola
Date of birth: 3 September 1979 (age 42)
Place of birth: Duque de Caxias, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Height: 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)
Senior career: Flamengo, Chievo, Internazionale, Queens Park Rangers, Toronto FC (loan), Benfica, Flamengo
Julio Cesar is considered as one of the best Brazilian goalkeepers ever, and one of the greatest Inter Milan players of all time. He is a goalkeeper to remember for the Nerazzurri fans as he was the keeper of the historic team that won the Treble in 2010, and is regarded as one of the
best Inter Milan players of all time
He joined Inter Milan in 2005 and stayed there for 7 years. Cesar has made 300 appearances for the" Bisciones" through which he made 128 clean sheets. He helped the club win 5 consecutive Serie A titles-which was a record at the time- 4 Italian Super Cups, 3 Italian Cups and the Champions league title in 2010.
Moreover, he was named the Serie A goalkeeper of the year twice in 2009 and 2010, as well as being award the UEFA goalkeeper of the season in 2010. Furthermore, he was voted the best player of the season by ESPN Brazil in 2009, and received the award of the "best Brazilian footballer playing outside the country" by Premio futebol no mundo (Football in the world award) in the very same season.
Regarded to be one of the best Inter Milan footballers of all time, he has had a bright career with Brazilian national team as well, where he has made 87 appearances for Selecao, playing in 3 World Cups. He has claimed the Copa America in 2004 and 2 FIFA Confederations cups in 2009 and 2013, and won the Golden Glove award in the latter as the best Goalkeeper of the tournament.
Moreover, he is one of the only three Brazilian goalkeepers to have been included in the Ballon d'Or award list, where he placed 21st in 2009. He also holds the bright record of having the most minutes without conceding a goal for Brazil with 581 minutes.
Furthermore, Cesar is the goalkeeper who has kept the most clean-sheets in a single Serie A season for Inter Milan by keeping 17 clean-sheets in the 2009-10 season, which is a joint record with their current GK Samir Handanovic.
He is deservedly one of the all-time greatest Inter Milan players due to his contributions and performances which led Inter to have one the club's golden eras with him standing in the goal.
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Full name: Giuseppe Bergomi
Date of birth: 22 December 1963 (age 58)
Place of birth: Milan, Italy
Height: 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position(s): Defender
Senior career: Internazionale
Giuseppe Bergomi, born 22 December 1963, is an Italian former professional footballer who spent his entire career at Inter Milan.
Bergomi is regarded as one of the best Inter Milan players of all time, one of the best Italian defenders ever, and one of the legends of the Nerazzurri since he is a one-club player who spent his entire career in the black and blue shirt.
The brilliant defender is the second-most capped player in the history of the club by making 756 appearances during 20 years. Bergomi helped his club secure 3 UEFA Cups, 1 Italian Cup, 1 Italian Super Cup and 2 Scudettos (Serie A titles). Furthermore, he has made 81 appearances for Italian national team, including taking part in 4 World Cups and winning the title in 1982, and placing 3rd in the 1990 tournament as the captain.
He also participated in EURO 98, where Italy reached semi-finals and he was named in the team of the tournament. Bergomi was a tenacious speedy athletic player who was capable of playing in every position in the back line, even though he was mainly a right back.
Moreover, he was a powerful player with excellent man-marking and anticipating abilities, as well as hard-tackles that made him be among the hardest player in football history.
The popular defender is indubitably one of the
best internazionale players ever
that earned himself a great amount of respect of his teammates, coaches, opponents and the fans due to his fairness, professionalism and stunning leadership abilities.
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Full name: Esteban Matías Cambiasso Deleau
Date of birth: 18 August 1980 (age 41)
Place of birth: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Height: 1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)
Position(s): Defensive midfielder
Senior career: Real Madrid B, Independiente, River Plate, Real Madrid, Internazionale, Leicester City, Olympiacos
Esteban Matías Cambiasso Deleau, born 18 August 1980, nicknamed "Cuchu", is an Argentine former professional footballer who played as a midfielder.
Esteban Cambiasso is widely known to be one of the
best footballers in history of Inter Milan
. The Argentinean midfielder spent 10 years in Italy playing for Nerazzurri, and helped them claim 15 major titles during the time.
He has played in 431 matches for Inter, scored 51 goals and provided 34 assists. He was a key player in winning 5 Serie a titles in-a-row from 2006 to 2010, and played a vital role in winning the Treble in 2010.
In addition, Cambiasso has achieved a total of 4 Italian Cups, 4 Italian Super Cups, 1 FIFA Clubs World Cup and 1 Champions League with the" Biscione ". Although his career is primarily remembered for his spell with Inter, he has played forReal Madrid
in his career, as well as claiming some titles with the mentioned clubs.
Furthermore, Cambiasso has won 2 UNDER-20 South American Cups, and 1 U-20 World Cup with Argentina in 1997. He has also played in 51 matches forArgentina
. Cambiasso was endowed with great vision, outstanding control on the ball, amazing stamina and passing range.
Regarded as one of the best Inter Milan players of all time, the tactically intelligent midfielder was the heartbeat of the team on the pitch, and was one of the most influential players of his time.
Full name: Wesley Sneijder
Date of birth: 9 June 1984 (age 37)
Place of birth: Utrecht, Netherlands
Height: 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
Position(s): Attacking midfielder
Senior career: Ajax, Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Galatasaray, Nice, Al-Gharafa
Wesley Sneijder, born 9 June 1984 is a Dutch retired professional footballer. The midfielder is regarded as one of the best midfielders in the world at his time, one of the best ever Dutch players and one of the
best players in Inter Milan history
Sneijder represented the club 116 times during 3 and a half years, and played one of the most important roles in winning 1 Serie A title, 1 Champions League, 2 Italian Cups, 1 Italian Super cup and 1 FIFA Clubs World cup.
The elegant versatile midfielder has scored 22 goals and has provided 35 assists for his teammates during his spell at Milan. He was one of the most vital players in the 2010 Treble, by providing decisive assists and scoring some very determining goals.
Moreover, Snejder had played forAjax
and Real Madrid before joining the Biscione. With Ajax, he managed to win 2 Eredivisie titles, 2 Dutch Cups and 1 Dutch Super Cup. Furthermore, he claimed 1 La Liga title and 1 Spanish Super cup with the Whites.
He went on to play forGalatasaray
and Al-Gharafa before his retirement in 2018.Sneijder is the most capped player in the history of Dutch national team by playing in 134 matches. He has played in 3 World Cups, including reaching the final match of the 2010 World Cup where they lost to Spain.
Sneider won the Bronze boot as the third top scorer of the tournament, and the Silver Ball as the second best player of the World Cup. Regarded as one of the best Inter Milan players of all time, Sneijder was a very creative midfielder with absolutely brilliant vision and powerful shots from long ranges.
He was also a free-kick adept that has scored many outstanding goals from different spots behind the penalty area. Sneijder's performance in the Italian team has been satisfying enough for the fans to mention him in the list of the greatest Inter Mila players of all time.
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Full name: Javier Adelmar Zanetti
Date of birth: 10 August 1973 (age 48)
Place of birth: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Height: 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position(s): Full back, defensive Midfielder
Current team: Inter Milan (vice-president)
Senior career: Talleres, Banfield, Inter Milan
Javier Zanetti is without a doubt one of the most iconic players in the history of the Nerazzurri, and deservedly one of the
best Inter Milan players of all time
. Zanetti is the most capped player in the history of the club with 858 appearances.
The Argentinean defender joined the club in 1995 and never looked back until his retirement in 2014 with the Black and Blues shirt. The eternal symbol of the club has captained them from 2001 for 13 years.
Zanetti is the foreign player who has made the most appearances in Serie A, and is the fourth most capped player of the tournament with 615 appearances. Furthermore, Zanetti won 5 Serie A titles, 4 Italian Cups, 4 Italian Super Cups, 1 FIFA Clubs World Cup, 1 UEFA Cup and 1 Champions League trophy.
Except for the UEFA Cup in 1998, he lifted all the other 15 trophies as the Captain of the team. Being one of the all-time greatest Inter Mila players, the club also retired his number (4) so as to pay a tribute to his services for the club, after he hung his boots.
Moreover, he is the second-most capped player in the history of Argentinean national team by playing in 143 games. He has won the 1995 Panamerican games with Argentina and has been runner-ups in 2 Copa Americas and 2 Confederations cups.
Zanetti had a fantastic stamina, which stemmed from his healthy diet that also helped him prolong his career. He was a physically strong and fast player with outstanding anticipating and winning the ball back abilities.
The elegant player was also a perfect leader on the pitch with admirable determination and inspiration for other players. He is unquestionably one of the best players in Inter Milan history.
Full name: Alessandro Mazzola
Date of birth: 8 November 1942 (age 79)
Place of birth: Turin, Italy
Height: 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position(s): Forward / attacking midfielder
Senior career: 1960–1977: Internazionale
Alessandro "Sandro" Mazzola is an Italian former professional footballer, who played as a forward or attacking midfielder for Internazionale and theItaly national team
. He currently works as a football analyst and commentator on the Italian national television station RAI.
Mazzola is another one-club player who has spent his entire career with Inter Milan, and is considered as one of the best Italian players of all time, and one of the best Internazionale players ever.
Mazzola is the fourth-most Inter Milan capped player with making 565 appearances during 17 seasons, and is the fourth-top scorer in the history of the club with 161 goals. He helped the club secure 4 Serie A titles, 2 Intercontinental cups and 2 European champion Clubs' cups.
Mazzola finished the 1964-65 Serie A season as the top scorer with 17 goals, and also was the top scorer of the 1963-64 European champion club's cup tournament, alongside Inter winning both titles.
Moreover, the legendary forward has made 70 appearances for Italian national team, and won the 1968 European championship with Azzurri, as well as being named in the team of the tournament. He has also taken part in 3 World Cups and reached the final in 1970.
However, Italy lost the match to Brazil. Mazzola was a versatile player that could play in almost every position in the front line due to his speed and athleticism. He had astounding skills with the ball and could create chances due to his vision and intelligence.
Furthermore, he had an excellent eye for goal as he was a natural goal scorer. He is worthily one of the best Inter Milan players of all time, not only for his performances and achievements for the club, but also for his scarce commitment and loyalty.
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Full name: Giacinto Facchetti
Date of birth: 18 July 1942
Place of birth: Treviglio, Italy
Date of death: 4 September 2006 (aged 64)
Place of death: Milan, Italy
Height: 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
Playing position(s): Left-back
Senior career: Inter Milan
Facchetti is regarded as one of the greatest Italian defenders ever, and one of the
best Inter Milan footballers of all time
. The legendary defender spent his entire 18-year professional career playing for the Biscione.
He was one of the most pivotal players in one of the golden eras of Inter Milan under Helenio Herrera's. He helped the club win 4 Serie A trophies, 2 European champion clubs' cups, 1 Italian cup and 2 Intercontinental Cups.
Moreover, Fachetti is Inter's third-most capped player with playing in 634 matches. He has also scored 76 goals, which is a bright record for a defender. Regarded as one of the best footballers in history of Inter Milan, he had also a luminous career with Italian national team, where he represented them on 94 occasions including 3 World Cups and 1 European championship.
He captained the team in winning the EURO 68 for the first time in their history. 2 Years later, Italy reached the final match of the World Cup where they lost toBrazil
, but his astonishing performances were satisfying enough to be named in the teams of the both tournaments.
In addition to his defensive skills, such as admirable man-marking and aerial abilities, he was one of the most incursive defenders of all time due to his speed, technique on the ball, stamina and intelligence that helped him in providing assists, scoring or initiating attacks from the back line.
He is deservedly known to be one of the all-time greatest Inter Milan players, and a genuine idol for the fans.
Full name: Lothar Herbert Matthäus
Date of birth: 21 March 1961 (age 60)
Place of birth: Erlangen, West Germany
Height: 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position(s): Midfielder, sweeper
Senior career: Borussia Mönchengladbach, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Bayern Munich, MetroStars, 1. FC Herzogenaurach
Matthaus is widely known as one of the best German players of all time, one of the best midfielders ever and one of the best footballers in history of Inter Milan.
Although Matthaus achieved most his career titles withBayern Munich
, he is also regarded as one of the Inter Milan legends since he played from for them from 1988 to 1992. In 154 appearances he managed to score 53 goals and provide 8 assists for Nerazzurri, helping them secure 1 Serie A title, 1 Italian Super Cup and 1 UEFA Cup.
Besides, Matthaus is the most German capped player with 150 appearances. He captained West Germany in the 1990 World Cup where he lifted the trophy, was awarded the silver ball of the tournament, and won the Ballon d'Or in the very same year.
One year later, he won the first ever FIFA World Player of the Year Award as the Inter Milan Player, and to this day is the only German to have won it. Moreover, he holds the joint record of playing in 5 different World Cup tournaments alongside the Mexican legendary defender, Rafael Marquez.
He also holds the record of having the most appearances in World Cup matches (25). Moreover, won the 1980 European championship with German national team, and has played in 3 other EUROs.
Furthermore, he has been named the German player of the year twice in 1990 and 1999, with the latter being at the age of 38. Regarded as one of the best Inter Milan players of all time, he was renowned for his powerful shots, passing range, vision and perfect tackling ability.
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Date of birth: 23 August 1910
Place of birth: Milan, Italy
Date of death: 21 August 1979 (aged 68)
Place of death: Lissone, Italy
Height: 1.69 m (5 ft 6 1⁄2 in)
Playing position(s): Striker
Senior career: Internazionale, Milan, Juventus,Varese, Atalanta
Meazza might be the most prominent player in the list of the
greatest Inter Milan players of all time
, since he is the club's all-time top scorer with 284 goals, and the club's shared Stadium withAC Milan
, was named after him in 1980 in his honor.
The genius spent most of his career in Internazionale for 13 years, and helped them win 3 Serie A titles and 1 Copa Italia in the 30s. Meazza is one of the 3 Italian players who have won 2 World Cups.
He won 2 consecutive world cup trophies in 1934 and 1938, with winning the Golden Ball of the 1934 WC, and lifting the trophy as the captain in 1938. Moreover he has won the Serie A top-scorer award three times, and is the fourth Serie A all-time top scorer with 216 goals.
Furthermore, he is Italian national team's second high scorer with 33 goals in 52 appearances, behind only Luigi Riva with 35 goals. Although he played for the club's two biggest rivals,Juventus
and AC Milan, he is still regarded as one of the unrepeatable legends of the clubs and Italian football.
His intoxicating dribbling skills and vision, has made him one of the most elegant and creative players the world has ever seen, and he was the first Italian player that came into prominence worldwide.
Moreover, he was an expert in taking free-kicks and acrobatic plays. He is unquestionably one of the best Internazionale players ever.
Full name: Luis Suárez Miramontes
Date of birth: 2 May 1935 (age 86)
Place of birth: A Coruña, Galicia, Spain
Height: 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position(s): Inside right / Attacking midfielder
Senior career: Deportivo La Coruña, España Industrial, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Sampdoria
Luis Suárez Miramontes, born 2 May 1935, is a Spanish former footballer and manager. He played as a midfielder for Deportivo de La Coruña, España Industrial, FC Barcelona, Inter Milan,Sampdoria
and theSpain national team
Suarez is considered as one of the greatest Spanish players ever, one of the greatest forwards of all time and one of the best Inter Milan footballers of all time. Suarez became the world's most expensive player at the time when Barcelona sold him for 142,000 Euros to Inter Milan In 1961.
He spent nine years playing for the black and blues, played in 328 games and scored 54 goals. Suarez helped the club secure 3 Serie A titles, 2 Intercontinental cups and 2 European champion clubs' cups.
He is the only Spanish-born player to have ever won the Ballon d'Or, by receiving the award in 1960. He was a pivotal player in the Helenio Herrera's "Grande Inter" due to his excellent playmaking abilities, vision, passing range and explosive shots.
Regarded as one of the
best Inter Milan players of all time
, moreover, he won the 1964 European championship with Spain, which was their first ever major trophy. He is widely known as one of the best players in Inter Milan history due to his achievements and elegant performances on the pitch that led to those achievements.
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Full name: Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima
Date of birth: 18 September 1976 (age 44)
Place of birth: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Height: 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position(s): Striker
Senior career: Cruzeiro, PSV, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Milan, Corinthians
Ronaldo is widely regarded as not only one of the best footballers in history of Inter Milan, but he is also one of the best players in the history of the sport. Ronaldo joined Inter fromBarcelona
in 1997, and stayed there for 5 years.
He won the UEFA Cup with Internazionale in 1998. Ronaldo was named the Italy's player of the year in the same year. Moreover, he has won 2 Ballon d'Ors and 3 FIFA Best men's player award. He won both the Ballon d'Or and the FIFA Best player award in 1997 whilst playing for Inter Milan.
However, he won the Copa America in 1997 with Brazil and was named the player of the tournament. Furthermore, the genius has won 2 FIFA World Cups, including the 2002 WC where he was the top scorer of the tournament and also awarded the Golden Ball as the best player of the tournament, and 2 Copa America trophies with Brazilian national team.
He has scored 62 goals in 98 appearances for Brazil and is the third Brazilian team's top scorer. He would have achieved much more successes in his career had he had not suffered from a series of knee injuries.
He is known to be one of the most talented players of all time and is in the legends of every club he has ever played for, including Barcelona, Real Madrid, Cruezeieo, AC Milan,PSV
. Thus, he is an undeniable player in the history of AC Milan and is indubitably one of the most notable and
all-time greatest Inter Milan players
After a few years of downsides, Inter Milan seems promising this season with a mixture of young talented players and some experienced ones, the fans are very hopeful that they can win the Escudetto this season after 11 years, and that demonstrates that they are back and ready to reach their pinnacle again, with many potential players that wish to enter the list of the greatest Inter Milan players of all time.