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Saturday, October 2, 2010

History of Internazionale Milano

Early years (1908–1952)

First Inter side to win the scudetto, in 1909–10.
The club was founded on 9 March 1908 as Football Club Internazionale Milano, following a "schism" from the Milan Cricket and Football Club (43 members). A group of Italians and Swiss (Giorgio Muggiani, a painter who also designed the club's logo, Bossard, Lana, Bertoloni, De Olma, Enrico Hintermann, Arturo Hintermann, Carlo Hintermann, Pietro Dell'Oro, Hugo and Hans Rietmann, Voelkel, Maner, Wipf, and Carlo Ardussi) were unhappy about the domination of Italians in the AC Milan team, and broke away from them, leading to the creation of Internazionale. From the beginning, the club was open to foreign players and thus lived up to its founding name.
The club won its very first Scudetto (championship) in 1910 and its second in 1920. The captain and coach of the first Scudetto was Virgilio Fossati, who fell in World War I. In 1922 Inter were in Group B of the Serie A and came in last place after picking up only 11 points in the season.
The last place team of each group was to be automatically relegated. The second last place teams were placed in a pre-relegation 'salvation' tournament. Inter and La Gazzetta dello Sport editor (Colombo) petitioned the FIGC to allow Inter to participate in Serie A the following year as a year in Serie B would have been financially detrimental. The FIGC saved Inter some weeks prior to the season starting by allowing them to remain in Serie A in 1923. In 1928, during the Fascist era, the club was forced to merge with the Milanese Unione Sportiva and was renamed Ambrosiana SS Milano. They wore white shirts around this time with a red cross emblazoned on it. This shirt design was inspired by the flag and coat of arms of the city of Milan, which in turn is derived from the flag of the patron saint of Milan, St. Ambrose and dates back to the 4th century AD. The new upcoming President Oreste Simonotti decided to change name to AS Ambrosiana in 1929. However, supporters continued to call the team "Inter", and in 1931, new president Pozzani caved to shareholder pressure and changed the name to AS Ambrosiana-Inter.
Their first Coppa Italia (Italian Cup) was won in 1938–39, led by Giuseppe Meazza, after whom the San Siro stadium is officially named, and a fifth league championship followed in 1940, despite an injury to Meazza. After the end of World War II the club re-emerged under a name close to their original one, Internazionale FC Milano, which they have kept ever since.


Following the war, Internazionale won their sixth championship in 1953 and the seventh in 1954. Following these titles, Inter were to embark upon the best years of their history, affectionately known as the era of La Grande Inter (The Great Inter). During this period with Helenio Herrera as head coach, the club won three league championships in 1963, 1965 and 1966. The most famous moments during this decade also include Inter's two back-to-back European Cup wins. In 1964, Inter won the first of those tournaments, playing against the famous Spanish club Real Madrid. The next season, playing in their home stadium, the San Siro, they defeated two-time former champions Benfica.In 1966–67 season Internazionale got to the European Cup final again but lost 2–1 to Celtic in Lisbon.
Following the golden era of the 1960s, Inter managed to win their 11th league title in 1971 and their twelfth in 1980. Inter were defeated for the second time in five years in the final of the European Cup, going down 2–0 to Johan Cruyff's Ajax in 1972. During the 1970s and the 1980s, Inter also added two Coppa Italias to their tally in 1977–78 and 1981–82.
Led by the German duo of Andreas Brehme and Lothar Matthäus, and Argentine Ramón Díaz, Inter captured the 1989 Serie A championship under coach Giovanni Trapattoni. Fellow German Jürgen Klinsmann and the Italian Supercup were added the following season but to little avail as Inter did not manage to defend their title.
HARD TIMES (1990-2004)
The 1990s were a period of disappointment for the club. While their great rivals Milan and Juventus were achieving success both domestically and in Europe, Inter were left behind, with some mediocre positions in the standings, their worst finishes being in 1993–94 when they were just one point from relegation. Nevertheless, they achieved some European success in that decade with three UEFA Cup victories in 1991, 1994, and 1998.
With Massimo Moratti's takeover from Ernesto Pellegrini in 1995, Inter were promised more success with many high profile signings such as Ronaldo, Christian Vieri, and Hernán Crespo, with Inter twice breaking the world record transfer fee in this period. €19.5 million for Ronaldo from Barcelona in 1997 and €31 million for Christian Vieri from Lazio in 1999. However, the 1990s remained a decade of disappointment and is the only decade in Inter's history in which they failed to win a single Serie A championship. For Inter fans, it was difficult to identify who in particular might be to blame for these troubled times and this led to some icy relations between president, managers, and even some individual players.
Inter chairman Massimo Moratti later became a target for the fans, especially when he sacked much-loved coach Luigi Simoni after only a few games into the 1998–99 season, after having just received the Italian Manager of the Year award for 1998 the day before, Moratti decided to end his contract. In the 1998–99 season Inter failed to qualify for any European competition for the first time in almost 10 years, finishing in a poor eighth place.
In the 1999–00 season, Massimo Moratti made some major changes, once again with some high-profile signings. A major coup for Inter was the appointment of former Juventus manager Marcello Lippi. Inter were seen by the majority of the fans and press to have finally put together a winning formula. Other signings included Angelo Peruzzi and French legend Laurent Blanc together with other former Juventus players Christian Vieri and Vladimir Jugović. Inter were also seen to have an advantage in this season as they had no European "distraction". Once again they failed to win the elusive Scudetto. However, they did manage to come close to their first domestic success since 1989 when they reached the Coppa Italia final only to be defeated by Lazio allowing them to win the Scudetto and domestic cup double.
The following season, more disaster struck. Inter impressed in the Supercoppa Italia match against Lazio and took the lead through new signing Robbie Keane – however, they lost 4–3. Overall, though, they were looking good for the season that was about to start. What followed was another embarrassment as they were eliminated in the preliminary round of the Champions League by Swedish club Helsingborg. Alvaro Recoba was given the opportunity to draw the sides level with a last-minute penalty, yet he missed, saved by the goalkeeper Sven Andersson, and Inter found themselves back at square one as Marcello Lippi, the manager at the time, was sacked after only a single game of the new season following Inter's first ever Serie A defeat to Reggina. Throughout this period, Inter suffered mockery from their neighbours Milan; Milan were having a period of success both domestically and in Europe. They also seemed to be suffering from a series of non-ending defeats at the hands of their city rivals, including an unfortunate 6–0 defeat in the 2000–01 season—their worst "home" result in history. Marco Tardelli, chosen to replace Lippi, failed to improve results, and is remembered by Inter fans as the manager that lost this match. Other members of the Inter squad during this period that suffered were the likes of Christian Vieri and Fabio Cannavaro, both of whom had their restaurants in Milan vandalised after defeats against Milan. Although the signing of Ivan Cordoba from San Lorenzo, which was an squad improvement for the next years.
Inter fans' protests throughout this period ranged from vandalism to banners being unfurled in the stadium to protest against certain players. In some cases fans arranged for the Curva Nord, a section of the stadium to be empty for entire matches. Inter were in this period often deemed to be one of the favourites for the championship. This led to a popular Milan chant against Inter — "Luglio Agosto" (July and August); this was because during the summer months according to the press Inter had won the championship before it had even begun, only for them not to realise their promise.
In 2002, not only did Inter manage to make it to the UEFA cup semi-finals, they were also only 45 minutes away from capturing the Scudetto, when they needed to maintain a one-goal advantage over Lazio at Rome's Stadio Olimpico in the final match of the season, and Inter were top of the Serie A table at kick-off. However, a defeat would see Juventus, who were second, or even Roma, in third place, take the title from them, should these sides win. As a result, some Lazio fans were actually openly supporting Inter during this match, as an Inter victory would prevent their bitter rivals Roma from winning the championship. Inter were 2–1 up after only 24 minutes. Lazio equalised during first half injury time and then scored two more goals in the second half to clinch victory that eventually saw Juventus win the championship after their 2–0 victory away to Udinese. The date of this match – 5 May 2002 – still haunts Inter.
2002–03 saw Inter take a respectable second place and also managed to make it to the 2003 Champions League semi-finals against Milan. Although they drew on aggregate 1–1 with Milan, Inter lost on the away goals rule, even though both matches were played in the same stadium. It was another disappointment but they were finally on the right track.
However, once again Massimo Moratti's impatience got the better of him, Hernán Crespo was sold after just one season, and Hector Cuper was fired after only a few games. Alberto Zaccheroni stepped in, a life-long Inter fan but also the man who had been in charge of Lazio's 4–2 win over Inter in 2002; the fans were sceptical. Zaccheroni brought nothing new to the side, apart from two fantastic wins over Juventus 3–1 in Turin and 3–2 at the San Siro and the season was again nothing special. They were eliminated from the UEFA Champions League in the first round after finishing third in the group. Furthermore, they only just managed to qualify for the Champions League by finishing in fourth place, only a point ahead of Parma. Inter's only saving grace in 2003–04 was the arrival of Dejan Stanković and Adriano in January 2004, both solid players that filled the gap left by the departures of Hernán Crespo and Clarence Seedorf.

On 15 June 2005, Internazionale won the Coppa Italia, defeating Roma in the two-legged final 3–0 on aggregate (1–0 win in Milan and 2–0 win in Rome) and followed that up on 20 August 2005 by winning the Supercoppa Italiana after an extra-time 1–0 victory against original 2004–05 Serie A champions Juventus (before being stripped of this title). This Super Cup win was Inter's first since 1989, coincidentally the same year since Inter last won the Scudetto before 2006. On 11 May 2006, Inter retained their Coppa Italia trophy by once again, defeating Roma with a 4–1 aggregate victory (A 1–1 scoreline in Rome and a 3–1 win at the San Siro).
Inter were awarded the 2005–06 Serie A championship as they were the highest placed side in the season's final league table after points were stripped from Juventus and Milan — both sides being involved in the match fixing scandal that year. On 14 July 2006, the Italian Federal Appeal Commission found Serie A clubs Juventus, Lazio, Fiorentina, Reggina, and Milan guilty of match-fixing and punished the five clubs involved. As a result, with the relegation of Juventus to Serie B (for the first time in their history) and the 8-point deduction for city rivals Milan, Inter became favorites to retain their Serie A title for the upcoming 2006–07 Serie A season.
During the season, Inter went on a record-breaking run of 17 consecutive victories in Serie A, starting on 25 September 2006 with a 4–1 home win over Livorno and ending on 28 February 2007 after a 1–1 draw at home to Udinese. The 5–2 away win at Catania on 25 February 2007 broke the original record of 15 matches held by both Bayern Munich and Real Madrid from the "Big 5" (the top flight leagues in England, Italy, Spain, France, and Germany). The run lasted for almost five months and is among the best in European league football, with just Benfica (29 wins), Celtic (25 wins) and PSV (22 wins) bettering it. Inter's form dipped a little as they recorded 0–0 and 2–2 draws against relegation-battlers Reggina and slumping to Palermo (respectively), the latter game featuring a second-half comeback after Palermo went up 2–0 at halftime. They could not keep their invincible form up near the end of the season as well, as they lost their first game of the domestic season to Roma at the San Siro 3–1, thanks to two late Roma goals. Inter had enjoyed an unbeaten Serie A run for just under a year.
On 22 April 2007, Inter were crowned Serie A champions for the second consecutive season after defeating Siena 2–1 at Stadio Artemio Franchi. Italian World Cup winning defender Marco Materazzi scored both goals in the 18th and 60th minute, with the latter being a penalty. Inter started the 2007–08 season with the goal of winning both Serie A and UEFA Champions League. The team started well in the league, topping the table from the first round of matches, and also managed to qualify for the Champions League knockout stage; however, a late collapse leading to a 2–0 defeat with 10 men away to Liverpool on 19 February in the Champions League threw into question manager Roberto Mancini's future at Inter, and domestic form took a sharp turn of fortune with the team failing to win in the three following Serie A games (drawing with Sampdoria and major league opponents Roma, before losing away to Napoli, their first domestic defeat of the season). After being eliminated by Liverpool in the Champions League, Mancini then announced his intention to leave his job, only to change his mind the following day.
An improvement in results then gave Inter the chance to wrap up their Scudetto race twice, but a defeat to city rivals Milan and a home draw against Siena catapulted Roma to within just one point of Inter going into the final round of the Championship. Inter then managed to win at Parma thanks to two goals by Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimović, who was still recovering from a knee injury and came off the bench to score for his team.
Following this win, the club decided to sack Mancini on 29 May, citing his declarations following the Champions League defeat to Liverpool as the reason. On 2 June, Inter announced on their official website that they had appointed former FC Porto and Chelsea boss José Mourinho as new head coach, with Giuseppe Baresi as his assistant. This made Mourinho the only foreign coach in Italy in the 2008–09 season kick-off. Mourinho made only three additions to the squad during the summer transfer window of 2008 in the form of Mancini, Sulley Muntari, and Ricardo Quaresma. Under Mourinho's first season as Inter head coach, the Nerazzurri won an Italian Super Cup and a fourth consecutive title, being, however, also eliminated from the Champions League in the first knockout round for a third consecutive time, losing to Manchester United. In winning the league title for the fourth consecutive time, Inter joined Torino and Juventus as the only teams to do this and the first to accomplish this feat in the last 60 years.


2010 UEFA Champions League Final starting lineup
Inter enjoyed more luck in the 2009–10 Champions League, managing to progress to the quarter-finals by eliminating Mourinho's former team Chelsea in a 3–1 aggregate win; this was the first time in three years that the Nerazzurri had passed the first knockout round. Inter then progressed to the semi-finals of the tournament by beating CSKA Moscow 2–0 on aggregate, winning both legs. Inter managed to achieve a 3–1 win over incumbent champions Barcelona in the first leg of the semi-final. In the second leg, a resolute Inter lost 1–0 but progressed 3–2 on aggregate to their fifth European Cup/Champions League Final, with Bayern Munich as opponents. They won the match 2–0 thanks to two goals from Diego Milito, and were crowned champions of Europe. Inter also won the 2009–2010 Serie A title by two points over Roma, and the 2010 Coppa Italia by defeating the same side 1–0 in the final.
By winning the Scudetto, the Coppa Italia and the prestigious Champions League in a single season, Internazionale completed The Treble, becoming the first ever Italian team to achieve the feat. However, their attempt to defend these honours will be without José Mourinho, as he agreed a deal to take charge of Spanish club Real Madrid on 28 May 2010.
On 21 August 2010, Inter defeated Roma 3–1 and won the 2010 Supercoppa Italiana, the fourth trophy of the year.

Other historical information

Internazionale have never been relegated from the Italian top flight in their entire history, which dates back all the way to 1908; a fact Nerazzurri fans hold in high regard. By comparison, Milan have been relegated twice. As of 2006, following Juventus' relegation to Serie B for the 2006–07 season following the Calciopoli scandal, Inter is the only Italian club that holds this honour, and its century in the top flight is one of the longest unbroken runs of any club in the world.
The current president and owner of Internazionale is Massimo Moratti. His father Angelo was the president of Inter during the club's golden era of the 1960s.

One of the founders of Inter, a painter named Giorgio Muggiani, was responsible for the design of the first Inter logo in 1908. The first design incorporated the letters 'FCIM' in the center of a series of circles that formed the badge of the club. The basic elements of the design have remained constant even as finer details have been modified over the years. In 1998, the club came out with a brand-new iteration of the club crest, sticking to the original design while adding minor aesthetic updates.


Ambrosiana Inter Kit
Since its founding in 1908, Inter have worn black and blue stripes. It is rumored that black was chosen to represent night and blue was chosen to represent the sky. Aside from a short period during the World War II, Inter continued to wear the black and blue stripes, earning them the nickname Nerazzurri. For a period of time, however, Inter was forced to abandon their black and blue uniforms. In 1928, Inter's name and philosophy made the ruling Fascist Party uneasy. As a result, during the same year the 20-year-old club was merged with Unione Sportiva Milanese. The new club was named Ambrosiana SS Milano The after the patron saint of Milan.flag of Milan (the red cross on white background) replaced the traditional black and blue. After World War II when the Fascists had fallen from power the club reverted to their original name and colors. In 2008, Inter celebrated their centenary with a red cross on their away shirt. Reminiscent of the flag of their city, the pattern continues to be used on their third kit to this day.


Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Position Player
1 Brazil GK Júlio César
2 Colombia DF Iván Córdoba (vice-captain)
4 Argentina DF Javier Zanetti (captain)
5 Serbia MF Dejan Stanković
6 Brazil DF Lúcio
8 Brazil MF Thiago Motta
9 Cameroon FW Samuel Eto'o
10 Netherlands MF Wesley Sneijder
11 Ghana MF Sulley Muntari
12 Italy GK Luca Castellazzi
13 Brazil DF Maicon
17 Kenya MF McDonald Mariga
18 Honduras FW David Suazo
19 Argentina MF Esteban Cambiasso

Position Player
20 Nigeria MF Joel Chukwuma Obi
21 Italy GK Paolo Orlandoni
22 Argentina FW Diego Milito
23 Italy DF Marco Materazzi
24 Colombia DF Nelson Rivas
25 Argentina DF Wálter Samuel
26 Romania DF Cristian Chivu
27 Republic of Macedonia FW Goran Pandev
29 Brazil MF Philippe Coutinho
30 Brazil MF Mancini
39 Italy DF Davide Santon
40 Nigeria MF Nwankwo Obiorah
88 France FW Jonathan Biabiany

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Position Player

Italy GK Enrico Alfonso (at Modena, co-owned with Chievo)

Slovenia GK Vid Belec (at Crotone)

Italy DF Luca Caldirola (at Vitesse)

Italy DF Giulio Donati (at Lecce)

Italy MF Alberto Gerbo (at Triestina)

Italy MF Luca Siligardi (at Bologna)

Position Player

Italy MF Gianluca Litteri (at Salernitana)

Italy MF Samuele Beretta (at Pavia)

Italy FW Riccardo Bocalon (at Portogruaro)

Italy FW Mattia Destro (at Genoa)

Italy FW Aiman Napoli (at Crotone)

Nigeria FW Victor Obinna (at West Ham)


Non-playing staff

Position Staff
Head coach Spain Rafael Benitez
Technical consultant Italy Amedeo Carboni
Assistant coach Argentina Mauricio Pellegrino
Fitness coach Spain Francisco De Miguel
Goalkeeper coach Spain Xavi Valero
Technical assistant Italy Giuseppe Baresi
Technical assistant Italy Daniele Bernazzani
Chief of medical staff Italy Franco Combi
Doctor Italy Giorgio Panico
Rehabilitation coach Italy Stefano Rapetti
Italy Marco Dellacasa
Italy Massimo Dellacasa
Italy Luigi Sessolo
Rehabilitation staff Italy Andrea Galli
Rehabilitation staff Italy Alberto Galbiati
Technical Director Italy Marco Branca
First-Team Executive Italy Gabriele Oriali

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