Prior to their trophy dry spell of ten years (and counting) Inter had won a total of 18 trophies in 20 years, including five Serie A titles, four Coppa Italia and a Champions League. You can’t achieve something like that without an array of world-class players at your disposal and that’s exactly what Inter have had.
That doesn’t mean that there aren’t any post-2010 signings on here (there are a couple), but it does mean that this squad list mainly consists of players to have played for the club during and before their Champions League victory in 2010.
The construction of this ultimate 25-man squad has one restriction: players must have played for the club after the beginning of 1990. With this in mind, here is what Inter’s dream squad might look like.
Júlio César – Number one for seven years, Júlio César was one of the best goalkeepers in the world during his time at Inter. The Brazilian was a crucial part of the Nerazzurri side that won the treble in 2009/10, where he kept an impressive 25 clean sheets in 54 appearances.
Samir Handanovi? – César’s replacement following his departure for Queens Park Rangers in 2012 (really), Handanovi? has been the only consistently reliable player for Inter over the last eight years and earned the captain’s armband in 2019.
Walter Zenga – The undisputed first choice between the sticks for over a decade, Zenga’s time at the San Siro wasn’t exactly trophy-laden, but he was a dependable shot-stopper, conceding just 426 goals in 473 appearances.
? | MAICON
Maicon immediately won a place on Inter’s right flank, but how did he win a place in your hearts? ??
Today’s @Inter_TV programme is dedicated to ‘The Colossus’: tell us a lasting memory you have of him ? pic.twitter.com/g4JN2Ocv9h
— Inter (@Inter_en) April 28, 2020
Maicon – A strong and pacy attacking right-back, Maicon was with the club throughout their golden era, winning four Scudetto, a Champions League and two Coppa Italia.
Giuseppe Bergomi – A one-club man during a time where this was more commonplace, Bergomi made over 750 appearances for Inter over the course of two decades, and is considered to be one of the best Italian defenders to ever grace the game due to his exploits for the club.
Walter Samuel – One of football’s tough men, Walter Samuel’s strength and aggression, as well as his intelligence, made him on the best defenders in the world and indispensable for Inter whenever he wasn’t on the injury table, being key for I Nerazzurri as they won the treble in 2009/10.
Iván Córdoba – One of the fastest defenders to ever play the game, Córdoba was a stalwart of Inter for over a decade, making over 450 appearances for the Nerazzurri and collecting a staggering 15 trophies in the process.
Marco Materazzi – Perhaps more famous to a certain generation for being on the receiving end of a Zinedine Zidane head-butt, people tend to forget how much of a good defender Materazzi was. He was an aggressive, tough-tackling centre-back with a penchant for goalscoring, as demonstrated by the fact he scored ten goals during the 2006/07 season, an impressive feat for a defender.
Lúcio – Though he was better known for the five years he spent at Bayern Munich, Lúcio proved himself a quality defender for Inter just as his European career was winding down, forming a formidable partnership with Samuel.
Andreas Brehme – An attacking full-back with a knack for set-pieces and crosses, Brehme earned the rare distinction (for a left-back) of winning Serie A’s Footballer of the Year in 1989, and was also nominated for the Ballon d’Or in 1990. He spent four seasons with Inter, making over 150 appearances.
Christian Chivu – Better known for his tackling and man-marking skills as opposed to his pace, Chivu was a reliable left-back for Inter for six years, and started in their Champions League final win over Bayern Munich.
“Some guys play with their heads. That’s OK. You’ve got to be smart to be number one. But more importantly, you’ve got to play with your heart, with every fibre of your body.”
?? Vince Lombardi ?
All the very best to Esteban #Cambiasso. 39 today! ?????#InterForever pic.twitter.com/YoOVWzu7eN
— Inter (@Inter_en) August 18, 2019
Esteban Cambiasso – Before achieving cult-hero status with Leicester City, Cambiasso enjoyed a trophy-laden decade at Inter. Noted for his tactical intelligence, passing and tackling, Cambiasso’s ability, as well as his versatility, made him a crucial player for I Nerazzurri, as demonstrated by the fact he made over 400 appearances for the club.
Thiago Motta – Although he could never really hold a regular spot for Inter’s starting XI during the two and a half years he spent at the club, he was still an important player for I Nerazzurri, playing a key role in them reaching the Champions League final in 2010, of which he was unfortunately suspended for.
Javier Zanetti – The symbol of Inter for nearly twenty years, Zanetti’s 858 appearances for I Nerazzurri is an amazing feat that is unlikely to ever be beaten. A hard-working and versatile player who was referred to by Ryan Giggs as his “toughest opponent”, he was also known for his excellent discipline and leadership skills, which saw him serve as Inter’s captain for 13 years.
Nicola Berti – Possessing the ability to contribute defensively as well as offensively, Berti was a regular, dependable player for Inter for nearly a decade, making over 300 appearances before departing for Tottenham Hotspur in 1998.
Lothar Matthäus – Perhaps one of the best midfielders of all time, Germany’s most-capped player spent four years at Inter between 1988 and 1992, demonstrating his goalscoring ability with 53 goals in 153 appearances. He also won a Ballon d’Or during his time at San Siro.
Marcelo Brozovi? – A relatively recent signing by the standards of this squad list, Brozovi? transferred to Inter while they were struggling, and has subsequently played a key role in their renaissance under Luciano Spalletti and Antonio Conte.
Wesley Sneijder has announced that he’s retiring from professional football ?
An absolute LEGEND who won the treble with Inter & arguably should’ve won the Ballon D’or in 2010. The perfect #10 ?? pic.twitter.com/eCkwv6YvGE
— Italian Football TV (@IFTVofficial) August 12, 2019
Wesley Sneijder – One of the best players in the world during his time at Inter, Sneijder was perhaps the standout player in Inter’s treble-winning 2009/10 season, making 15 assists and scoring eight goals in 41 games. His vision and long-range scoring led to the press nicknaming him “The Sniper”.
Dejan Stankovi? – A creative player, Stankovi? transferred from Lazio to Inter in 2004 due to the former’s financial problems and spent the rest of his career at the San Siro. The Serbian made over 300 appearances for I Nerazzurri, winning 15 trophies.
Roberto Baggio – Despite being an incredibly talented player who was ranked among some of the best in the world, Baggio’s spell at Inter is seen by many to be one of his most unsuccessful, but this doesn’t mean he didn’t make a noteworthy contribution, playing a crucial part in I Nerazzurri qualifying for the Champions League in 2000.
Ronaldo – An Inter legend, the Brazilian spent five injury-hit years at San Siro, but made an unforgettable impact at the club, most notably scoring 34 goals in 47 appearances during his first season at the club, helping them to UEFA Cup glory.
Christian Vieri – The archetypal journeyman, Vieri had 15 spells at 12 different clubs, but was best known for the six years he spent at Inter. A pacy and insanely prolific striker, Vieri scored 123 goals in just 190 appearances for I Nerazzurri, but only managed to win one Coppa Italia with the club.
Samuel Eto’o – Coming off the back of an incredibly prolific spell at Barcelona, Eto’o sustained his reputation as one of the world’s best strikers during his two-year stint at Inter, scoring 53 goals in 102 games before making a big-money move to Russia.
Mauro Icardi – Forget about all the controversy, Icardi was a world-class player in what was, to be utterly honest, a pretty average Inter side. A clinical finisher, the Argentinian scored 124 goals in 219 appearances before being shipped out on loan to Paris Saint-Germain.
Diego Milito – And last, but certainly not least, is the hero of Inter’s greatest ever season: the 2009/10 season. A season in which Milito etched his name in Inter folklore by scoring two in the UEFA Champions League final.