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Address: Corso Vittorio Emanuele II 9 - 20122 Italy
Phone: +39 02-77151
Fax: +39 02-781514
Official URL: http://www.inter.it
Chairman: Massimo Moratti
Club Director: Marco Branca
Stadium: Giuseppe Meazza, Milan
The Early Years
Inter Milan was founded in March of 1908 under the name of Internazionale Football Club Milano, by a group of visionaries who wished to give foreigners a chance to play football alongside Italians. Its founding fathers split from the Milan Cricket and Football Club (A.C. Milan), thus creating a fierce rivalry that is still present a century later.
From the club’s onset, it was open to accepting foreigners, hence the name of Internazionale. The Club won its first Scudetto in 1910 under the direction of their captain Virgilio Fossati, who would subsequently perish in World War One.
Their second title would come ten years later in 1920 but then the club was thrown into turmoil by the fascist regime led by Benito Mussolini. The regime’s hard-line tactics forced the club to merge with Milanese Unione Sportiva and the club won its third Scudetto under the name of Ambrosiana Inter in 1930.
A fourth league title followed eight years later due to the brilliance of striker Giuseppe Meazza. Meazza played for the Nerazzurri for 13 years and is still the club's record goalscorer with 245 goals in 350 appearances. He was later immortalized when the stadium at San Siro was renamed after him one year after his death.
Inter’s fifth Scudetto was won in 1940 and a few months after the Second World War ended, the club re-emerged under the name of Internazionale. They won back-to-back championships in 1953 and 1954, before entering the golden age of their history, remembered as the era of La Grande Inter.
La Grande Inter
President Angelo Moratti ushered in a new glorious era in the 1960s in which one of the greatest teams in European club football history was created. Led by Coach Helenio Herrera, Inter won three league titles in 1963, 1965 & 1966 while also capturing two straight European, and Intercontinental Cups in 1964 & 1965.
Herrera was a strict disciplinarian who ruled with an iron fist. Nicknamed 'Il Mago', The Magician, he was years ahead of his time and was a pioneer in revolutionizing the Catenaccio tactical system. In Herrera's model of the defensive formation, a sweeper was added to the back-line. The Argentine also stressed the importance of fitness and diets in the ever evolving game of football.
This glorious Inter team included some of the all-time greats of European football - Giacinto Facchetti, Sandro Mazzola, Luis Suarez and Mario Corso to name just a few.
The squad could have even secured more success but for a couple of near-misses. They lost in a Scudetto play-off to Bologna in 1964 and were runners-up to Celtic in the final of the 1967 European Cup. Setting record after record, they also went more than three years without losing a home game between 1964 and 1967.
Following this golden era, Inter went on to win another Scudetto in 1971 and 1980 before another great team was assembled under another legendary Coach Giovanni Trapattoni. Inter stormed to their 13th Serie A title in 1989, winning an incredible 26 of their 34 games.
During Trapattoni's tenure, the Nerazzurri possessed the German triumvirate of Brehme, Klinsmann and Mattheus, as well as defensive great Giuseppe Bergomi. Nicknamed 'The Uncle', Bergomi played for Inter for almost two decades from 1980 to 1999 and is the club's record appearance holder with 519. A Supercup victory to start the ensuing season reflected that good times were ahead for the club in the 1990s but this was the start of a Scudetto drought that would last for seventeen years.
The Domestic Drought
Inter won three UEFA Cup titles in 1991, 1994 and 1998 but the decade will be remembered for domestic failure and constant underachievement. The 1990s were the only decade in Inter’s history that they did not win at least one Scudetto while their rivals, AC Milan and Juventus flourished in both domestic and European competitions.
Inter hold the honorable distinction of being the only club to have never been relegated from Serie A but that feat was almost relinquished when they finished just one point from the relegation zone in 1994.
Massimo Moratti, the oil tycoon and son of the great Angelo Moratti, took over the club in 1995 and immediately invested hundreds of millions of his own money in a bid to bring back the glory years. This led to the high-profile purchases of the likes of Ronaldo, Christian Vieri and Hernan Crespo.
Moratti almost brought a Scudetto to the Nerazzurri faithful in 1998 but could not overtake Juventus after a season-long duel. A title-decider at the Delle Alpi when Juventus won 1-0 in controversial circumstances proved to be crucial.
May 5, 2002 is a day that will forever live in infamy for Inter supporters. Hector Cuper's men just needed to win their last game of the season away at Lazio to finally re-capture the Scudetto but despite twice leading, the team collapsed in the second-half, losing 4-2 and handing the title to Juventus.
The Scudetto At Last
Inter were awarded the Scudetto in 2006 as a result of the Calciopoli scandal that rocked Italian football. Juventus were relegated to the Serie B and stripped of their title, while AC Milan received a points deduction penalty that ultimately gave Inter their first title in 17 years.
It was a bittersweet moment for the club and its supporters as they wished that the Scudetto could have been won on the field instead of in the courtroom. The following year, Coach Roberto Mancini led his team to a record of 17 consecutive Serie A victories on the way to their 15th Scudetto.
The club set a plethora of records on the way and won the title with five games to spare, yet critics and pundits point out that, due to Juventus' relegation and Milan's points penalty, it was a weakened Serie A. This season the club is celebrating its centenary year and are donning a new white jersey with a red cross to honour its rich 100 years of history.
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