September 16, 2009
Inter Milan History

inter-milan-historyThe Early Years

Inter Milan was founded in March of 1908, by a group of men who were tired that A.C. Milan was dominated by Italian players. These visionaries wanted to create a team in which international players and Italian players could play wearing the same jerseys. Thus, the team was given the name, Internazionale Football Club Milano. The many men who found the club, Giorgio Muggiani, Bossard, Lana, Bertoloni, De Olma, Enrico Hintermann, Arturo Hintermann, Carlo Hintermann, Pietro Dell’Oro, Hugo and Hans Rietmann, Voelkel, Maner, Wipf, and Carlo Ardussi many of whom were A.C. Milan players, created a rivalry between the two teams that is visible in Serie A today.

Muggiani was a painter who also designed the club’s logo, with its original colors gold, black and blue.

With its variety of foreign players Inter was a success and won its first Scudetto in 1910 only two years after its debut. Virgillio Fossati led the squad to their first Scudetto, but unfortunately he was killed in World War I. During the First World War, the Facist regime began to gain new heights in Italy under the leader Benito Mussolini. The new regimes rough and strict tactics influenced Inter and they were forced to merge with Milanese Unione Sportive and upcoming President Oreste Simonotti officially changed the club’s name to A.S. Ambrosiana. During this time the dedicated fans still chanted “Inter” for their team, even though the club wore white shirts with red crosses on the front to represent Milan’s flag. In 1930 Inter did not let the chaos of war stop them from winning their third Scudetto but it was recorded under the name, A.S. Ambrosiana. But in 1931, president Pozzani, with much pressure from fans and shareholders alike, changed the name to AS Ambrosiania Inter.

With powerhouse Giuseppe Meazza on the squad, Inter won their fourth Scudetto in 1938 ad its fifth in 1940. In the 1938-39 season the club took their first Coppa Italia win. Meazza, who the San Siro stadium is named after, wore the blue and black stripes for 13 years and to this day still holds the record of 288 goals in 361 appearances. As World War II came to a close so did the name Ambrosiana, the club went back to a closer version of their original name, Internazionale FC Milano. In 1953 and 1954 they won back to back Scudettos, and the era known as La Grande Inter began.

La Grande Inter

Coach Helenio Herrara, an Argentinean trainer led Inter through what was their golden age establishing Inter as a world renowned European powerhouse. Herrara was known as “Il Mago,” the magician, who is often regarded as the revolutionary of the Catenaccio style. This style was a defensive based soccer strategy that added a sweeper to the back line. He was quite a strict coach, concerned with the game as well as fitness, dieting and tactics. Inter took the Serie A championships in 1963, 1965, and 1966. They were also able to take the UEFA Euro Cup trophy two years in a row in 1964 and 1965, as well as the Intercontinental Cup. Defeating Real Madrid to win the first cup, and Benfica, a two time champion, for the UEFA Euro Cup was an amazing accomplishment for the squad. With players such as Giacinto Facchetti, Sandro Mazzola and Luis Suarez Inter was home to some of the greatest players of all time. The team was able to stay undefeated at home for three years, between 1964-1967. When they did not win they came close as runners up in 1964 against Bologna for the Scudetto and 1967 Euro Cup against the Celtics. They were the absolutely unstoppable in the 1960’s.

Trapattoni Years

As the 1970’s began, Inter continued doing well winning the 1971 and 1980 Scudetto. Soon Inter was led by a new coach, Giovanni Trapattoni, who also led the team to great victories. By 1989 Inter had won their 13th Serie A Scudetto. There success was much due to their defensive leader Guiseppe Bergomi who played with Inter for two decades holding the appearance record of 519, Argentine Ramon Diaz and German players, Brehme, Kinsmann and Mathhheus. The team also won the Italian Super Cup in 1989, continuing Inter’s reign as a dangerous competitor. No one expected what came next, a period known as the “Dark Age” or the “Inter Drought.”

The Dark Age

Inter flew through the 1990’s with a few major tournament wins, but their Scudetto drought dwindled into the new millennium, lasting 17 years.

Inter was highly successful in the UEFA Champions League, taking the championship in 1991, 1994 and 1998. Perhaps the tournament wins were overshadowed by over a decade of no victory in Serie A. Perhaps what made it more difficult was that Inter rivals, AC Milan and Juventus were victorious in Serie A and European Competitions. The 1990’s served as the first decade where Inter did not win a Scudetto.

1994 proved to be a dangerous season for Inter as they were only one point away from being dropped down to Serie B, securing their place today as the only team to have not been relegated from Serie A. After this near fall, Massimo Moratti took ownership of the club as chairman and in hopes to revamp the club’s successes invested millions and millions into the club. With his investments in players like Hernan Crespo, Brazilian phenomenon Ronaldo, and Christian Vieri the glory days almost returned in 1998. But Juventus took the scudetto after a season of sea saw victories and a controversial win, leaving Inter to look to the next season.

In 1998-99 Inter, for the first time in almost ten years, did not qualify to play in the UEFA Cup. This was a huge shock, and Inter fans reacted angrily. In 1999-00 Moratti who had been given the manager of the year award in 1998, added Marcelo Lippi, former Juventus manger to his team. That year, they were able to push into the Italian Cup finals against Lazio, but were unable to score a victory, and Lazio took the trophy and the Scudetto. With new players such as Angelo Peruzzi and Robbie Keane, the 2000-01 season looked like it could be the return of the Golden Age. But it was not. Inter lost in the First Round of the Champions League, and lost to Reggina for the first time in Serie A. Lippi was fired as manager and lost 6-0 against rivals AC Milan in the Derby match. It as an embarrassing and frustrating season for the club. Marco Tardelli, who replaced Lippi, was scrutinized and remembered for leading Inter into a horrifying loss to AC Milan in the Derby. The Inter fans, were not happy and revolted vandalizing property, turning against certain players and leaving huge chunks of the home stadium empty in future games.

In 2002 it looked like Inter would win the Scudetto. On May 5, 2002 Inter fans were left frustrated and in awe. In order for Inter to take the Scudetto they would have had to win an away match against Lazio. Winning 2-0 in the first half, Inter fell apart during the second half, and Lazio took the game 4-2. It was a saddening event for Inter, and Juventus, higher in points, took the Scudetto out of Inter’s hands.

In the 2002-03 Inter were gaining a better reputation as they made it to the UEFA Champions League Semi Finals, to face none other than AC Milan. The match was a good one with a tie 1-1, but due to the away goals rule, Inter was unable to advance. Moretti, acted quick and once again altered a team that looked like it could have been on its way to victory, he sold Crespo after one season and fired Hector Cuper as coach. He brought in Alberto Zaccheroni, a former Lazio coach. Nothing seemed to change, Inter were eliminated from the UEFA Champions League in the first round. Inter was bound to come together soon, and eventually after 17 years of drought they were resurrected.

Comeback Time

In June of 2005 Inter Milan won the Italian Cup against Roma and then in August they also won the Italian Super Cup in an overtime 1-0 victory against Juventus. Inter Milan was back on the map. In 2006 as a result of the Calciopoli case that stripped Juventus of its title, Inter was given the Scudetto. Juventus, was not only stripped of its title but relegated to Serie B. It was a moment of excitement for the Inter Milan club, but many wished the Scudetto win, could have been awarded due to performance on the field. With Coach Mancini leading the team, Inter was back, with 17 consecutive league wins and their 15th Scudetto win. The deduction of points for AC Milan and relegation of Juventus opened up a space for Inter to progress and hold its position. In 2008, Inter celebrated its 100 years of history, the team also wore the white jerseys with red crosses as they had worn in the early part of the 20th century to honor its history.

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