5 Greatest Inter Milan Players of All Time

Dan TalintyreSenior Analyst IIAugust 1, 2013

5 Greatest Inter Milan Players of All Time

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    Few clubs in world history have the history and legacy of Internazionale; even fewer can claim to have the depth of talent that the Italians have had over time.

    So many world-class players have come through Inter Milan from their first Serie A title in 1910 all the way through to the present age, and thus picking any amount of "great players" is not an easy feat. When that list is cut down to just five, however, it becomes near impossible, and there's bound to be plenty of disagreement as to who should (and shouldn't) have made the following list.

    I've included some honorable mentions—those who didn't make the list but definitely deserve recognition—as well as the five greatest Inter Milan players of all time.

    Read on to see which legends of the game make the list.

Honorable Mentions

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    Sandro Mazzola

    One of the best attacking midfielders of the 1960s and 70s—winning four Italian, two European and two continental titles in his time at Inter Milan. He also finished second at the 1970 World Cup and was voted as the second-best European Player of the Year in 1971.

     

    Mario Corso

    Chalking up over 500 appearances at the San Siro, Mario Corso remains one of the club's best ever wingers, with his crossing ability achievement almost legendary status at the club. Like Mazzorla, Corso also won four Italian, two European and two continental titles at Inter.

     

    Lothar Matthaus

    Having appeared in five different World Cups, there's little doubting Matthaus' claim as one of the best footballers of all time—and that was the same in his time at Inter Milan in the early 1990s.

    He led Inter to a Scudetto, an Italian Super Cup and a UEFA Cup title and has picked up several illustrious awards from FIFA in both 1989 and 1991 as a result of his achievements.

     

    Giuseppe Bergomi

    Hard to leave off any list of great Inter Milan players, having made more appearances (758) for Inter than almost any other player (excluding Javier Zanetti).

    He spent his entire career at the San Siro—chalking up a league title and three UEFA Cups—and made appearances in four different World Cups as well.

5. Luis Suarez

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    Without any disrespect to the current Liverpool forward, the "original" Luis Suarez is the far superior player—and certainly one of the greatest Inter Milan players of all time.

    Suarez's move from Barcelona to Inter was the most expensive transfer in world football at the time, and for good reason. He was the reigning European Player of the Year—something that he could certainly live up to in his deep-lying midfield role throughout the 1960s.

    Widely regarded as one of Spain's best ever players, Suarez achieved great success at Inter—winning three Scudetti, consecutive European Cups and two intercontinental cups as well.

4. Ronaldo

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    Despite only spending six years at Inter Milan due to a number of injuries, Ronaldo still justified himself as one of the greatest players in the history of the Italian powerhouse. Yes, despite only playing 99 matches—which seems like nothing compared to others—he truly is one of the club's best.

    In his debut season at the San Siro, Ronaldo netted 25 goals, which is more than any other player had done in his first Serie A season. He only won the won title with Inter (the UEFA Cup in 1998) but picked up a plethora of individual achievements following that stellar season—some of which are listed below.

    • UEFA Most Valuable Player (1998)
    • Serie A Footballer of the Year (1998)
    • UEFA Best Forward (1998)
    • UEFA Club Footballer of the Year (1997-98)
    • Third place in Ballon d'Or (1998)
    • Second place FIFA World Player of the Year (1998)

    Ronaldo was also named the Serie A Player of the Decade in his time at Inter Milan, won the Ballon d'Or three times and is rightly listed as one of world football's greatest players of all time.

3. Javier Zanetti

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    Captaining the club across three different decades, current Inter Milan player Javier Zanetti is one of the greatest to have ever donned the Internazionale jersey.

    Having played in over 800 games for Inter, Zanetti holds the record for appearances for the club and continues to lead by example every week. He isn't a flamboyant or outgoing defender; he simply gets the job done (in whatever capacity that might be) and lets his football do the talking—an example that more footballers in the game today would be wise to take heed of.

    Under Zanetti's leadership, Inter have won a staggering 16 trophies including five straight Scudetti, four Coppa Italia titles, four Supercoppa Italiana, the UEFA Champions League, the Club World Cup and the 1998 UEFA Cup, where he scored in the final.

    Zanetti is one of the club's greatest ever, without doubt.

2. Giacinto Facchetti

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    Into the top two now, and there can be no disputing the presence of Giacinto Facchetti on this list. Facchetti was one of the greatest defenders ever to play football and revolutionized the way in which defenders attacked—scoring a staggering 75 goals in 629 club appearances as a left-back.

    Facchetti won four Scudetti, two European titles, one Coppa Italia and two continental trophies as well. He was sent off just once in his illustrious career (for sarcastically applauding an official) and was a legend for the Italian national team as well—culminating in victory at the 1968 European Championships.

    Until his passing in 2006, Facchetti remained heavily involved with Internazionale and will no doubt remain one of the club's greatest servants as a result.

1. Giuseppe Meazza

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    However, there is simply no greater player in the history of Inter Milan than Giuseppe Meazza. When the stadium itself is named after him, it's kind of hard to dispute that fact.

    Originally rejected by AC Milan, Meazza would quickly go on to become one of Inter's most prolific strikers in history, with many of his goalscoring records still standing today. He is the highest goalscorer in the club's history with 288 goals and also holds the record for most goals scored in a debut season with 31.

    Most of Meazza's success came on the international stage—where he won several World Cups—but he still led Inter Milan to much domestic success as well. He was part of an Inter team that won the Mitropa Cup, the Coppa Italia and three Serie A titles throughout the late 1920s and 30s.

    Meazza is a FIFA Hall of Champions Inductee and, without doubt, the greatest Inter Milan player in history.

     

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