Inter Milan Profile
|Major Honours||Serie A (18), Coppa Italia (7), Supercoppa Italiano (5), Champions League (3), UEFA Cup (3), FIFA World Club Cup (1)|
Internazionale Milano, known widely as Inter Milan, is one of the most successful clubs in world soccer.
The club has won 30 domestic trophies, including 18 league titles and seven Coppa Italias. Inter have also won the Champions League and the UEFA Cup three times.
In 2010, Inter became the first Italian club to win the highly coveted treble - the Serie A, Coppa Italia and UEFA Champions League titles in the same season.
They share San Siro stadium with AC Mian, who have been their main rivals for generations.
The early years
Internazionale Milano was founded in 1908 following a split from the Milan Cricket and Football Club (now AC Milan). The club name comes from the founding members wishing to have free reign on foreign signings, as well as Italian players. Apart from a brief hiatus in 1928/29, following instructions from the ruling fascist party, the club have always played in blue and black.
Inter Milan won their first Scudetto in 1910, only two years after the club was founded. They followed that up with another league title in 1920. However, they were nearly relegated in 1922, but ultimately survived the drop.
In the 1938/39 season, inspired by lethal striker Giuseppe Meazza, Inter won their first Coppa Italia title. Meazza played for Inter from 1927 to 1940 and then again from 1946 to 1947, but also played for rival clubs AC Milan and Juventus. San Siro has been known as the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, in his honor, since 1980.
During Meazza's time as a player for the club, they won Serie A titles in 1929/30, 1937/38 and 1939/40. The last of those titles came despite being injured.
Inter Milan's relationship with the National Fascist party was uneasy, as the then ruling party of Italy was uncomfortable with a club that founded its identity on globalism. Inter temporarily had to merge with Unione Sportiva Milanese, but went back to their old name in 1943 upon the demise of the Fascist Party.
The Grande Inter era
The Grande Inter era in the 1960s saw Inter Milan enjoy a spell as one of Europe's dominant forces. The catalyst was manager Helenio Herrera, who joined from Barcelona and brought with him one of the world's best players - midfielder Luis Suarez (not to be confused with Uruguay striker Luis Suarez who rose to fame half a century later).
Herrera's 5-3-2 formation gave Inter plenty of potential to hurt opponents on the counter attack. He also employed a sweeper behind his two center backs to mop up any attacks.
In 1964, after beating FK Partizan in the quarterfinal and Borussia Dortmund in the semifinal, two goals from Sandro Mazzola helped Inter claim a 3-1 victory over Real Madrid in the European Cup final. Inter then went on to beat Independiente to win the Intercontinental Cup. They made the European Cup final again in 1967, but lost 2-1 to Celtic.
More domestic and European success
Helenio Herrera moved from Inter Milan to AS Roma in 1968 and an eight-year era came to an end. However, Inter remained a competitive team, winning Serie A in 1970/71, 1979/80 and 1988/89.
Although they were never relegated from the top flight, Inter would go 17 years without winning the Scudetto before their next triumph in 2005/06. However, they remained successful in Europe and won the UEFA Cup in 1990/91, 1993/94 and 1997/98.
In 1995, with Inter struggling in mid-table after finishing 13th and sixth in the previous two seasons, Englishman Roy Hodgson was brought in as manager.
Hodgson had a stabilising effect on the club, as they finished seventh in 1995/96 and qualified for the UEFA Cup, then finished third the following season and made the final of the UEFA Cup - losing to Schalke 04. Hodgson faced fan protests after losing the UEFA Cup final and left Inter Milan for Blackburn Rovers.
In 1997, Inter Milan signed Brazilian striker Ronaldo for a then-world record fee of $27million.
The new golden era
Ronaldo stayed at Inter for five years and was prolific in front of goal, but failed to help the team win the Serie A title. Inter were 45 minutes away from lifting the trophy in 2002, but ultimately fell short with Juventus claiming the prize.
Inter continued to threaten Juventus and AC Milan without ever wrestling supremacy away from the Bianconeri or the Rossoneri. Roberto Mancini took over as head coach in 2004, moving from Lazio, winning the Coppa Italia with Inter in 2004/05 and 2005/06.
In 2006 the Calciopoli match fixing scandal saw Juventus relegated, AC Milan docked points, and Inter Milan awarded the 2005/06 Serie A title despite having initially finished third.
Inter went on to win the title in 2006/07 under Mancini and then again in 2007/08. But, after being knocked out of the UEFA Champions League by Liverpool, Mancini announced his intention to step down at the end of the campaign. A day later he went back on his decision, but was still sacked at the end of the season and replaced with Jose Mourinho.
Mourinho initially fared no better than Mancini as he won the 2008/09 Serie A, but lost in the UEFA Champions League last 16 against Manchester United. However, the following season, he wrote his name in the club's history books.
Mourinho and the Treble
In 2009/10, Inter Milan made history by winning the Serie A, Coppa Italia and UEFA Champions League. Samuel Eto'o was a key signing made by Mourinho, who brought him in from Barcelona as part of a deal which saw Zlatan Ibrahimovic move in the opposite direction.
Inter beat Barcelona 3-2 on aggregate in the Champions League semi-finals, with Wesley Sneijder, Maicon and Diego Milito scoring for the Nerazzurri. In the final the Argentinian striker, Milito, scored both goals as Inter beat Louis van Gaal's Bayern Munich at the Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid.
Mourinho moved to Real Madrid following his Champions League triumph and was replaced by Rafael Benitez. The Spaniard won 2010 Supercoppa Italiana and the FIFA Club World Cup, but struggled in Serie A and was sacked by Christmas, just seven months into the job.
New Brazilian manager Leonardo brought success by retaining the Coppa Italia trophy, however they finished runners-up to AC Milan in Serie A and were knocked out of the Champions League by Schlake 04 in the quarterfinals.
Leonardo resigned at the end of the 2010/11 season and was replaced by a string of managers who all failed to win the Serie A, the Champions League or any major silverware in the coming decade.
Antoine Conte's arrival as manager in May 2019 sparked a change in Inter's fortunes. In the 2019/20 season the club finished runners-up, to champions Juventus, in Serie A, the first time they had finished in the top two in eight seasons. Inter also reached the 2020 Europa League final, but were beaten 3-2 by Sevilla.
Derby della Madonnina
Inter Milan have had a rivalry with AC Milan since the two clubs split in 1908. Working class supporters tended to gravitate towards AC Milan and more wealthy folk towards Inter, but time has blurred those lines somewhat.
The match between the two sides is called the Derby della Madonnina after the statue of the Virgin Mary which sits on top of the Milan Cathedral. Since 1929 in Serie A, Inter have won 66 matches against Milan, compared to the Rossoneri's 52.
High profile stars who have played for both teams include Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Leonardo Bonucci, Mario Balotelli, Andrea Pirlo, Ronaldo and Giuseppe Meazza.
Inter also has a fierce rivalry with Juventus, known as the Derby d'Italia, Roma, Napoli and Atalanta.
Inter Milan have a large fan base across the world, and their supporters areÂ known as the Interisti or Nerazzurri.
However, their ultras have drawn controversy. They are generally considered to be right wing and in 2019 gained notoriety when they defended Cagliari ultras for racially abusing their own player, Romelu Lukaku.
Famous Inter Milan fans include Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli, Brazilan supermodel Adriana Lima, motorcycle world champion Valentino Rossi and American singer Katy Perry.
Inter Milan's majority shareholder is Suning Holdings Group and their chairman is Steven Zhang. Inter brought in a record €417million in revenue in 2018/19, but still made a net loss of €48.4million Euros.
Inter Milan are currently suing the MLS for trademark infringement, claiming 'Inter' is synonymous with their club only.