With three Champions League trophies and 18 league titles, Inter Milan is one of the world’s most successful clubs. Not surprisingly, the team is responsible for fielding some of the best players to kick the football. While impossible to narrow down to the best eleven, we nonetheless take the plunge.
Argentine defender Javier Zanetti made a whopping 858 appearances for the Inter Milan side, captaining Internazionale for 13 of his 19 seasons. He’s the most capped player ever for Inter Milan and retains the record for most appearances in Champions League history as a team captain. A workhorse who’d rather lead by example than dazzle, Zanetti was instrumental in Inter’s bucket of trophies including a Champion League, a UEFA Cup, five league titles, 4 Copa Italia victories, 4 Super Copa trophies, and a Club World Cup.
A small but mighty defender at 5’8, Iván Córdoba used his infinite energy and athleticism to stunt offenses. With 455 caps, a Champions League’s trophy, 5 Serie A championships, 4 League Cups, 3 Italian Super Cups, and a FIFA Club World Cup, it’d be sacrosanct to exclude the Colombian from the top 11.
Like his compatriot and teammate Javier Zanetti, Esteban Cambiasso preferred results over style. Playing defensive midfield, the bald Argentinean earned over 300 caps with Inter Milan, scoring 41 times. With 5 Scudettos, a Champions League, 4 Italian Cups, 4 Italian Super Cups plus a FIFA Club World Club trophy, Cambiasso secures his name in the Inter history books.
The authoritative presence of Julio Cesar protected the goalposts for Inter’s five consecutive Scudetti from 2005 – 2010, culminating with the Treble in 2010’s Champions League victory. With over 300 caps for Internazionale, including a Ballon D’Or nomination, the athletic and shot-stopping Brazilian has a trophy vault worth of memories.
While he only spent 3 years at Internazionale, the versatile Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimović scored 66 goals in 117 appearances with the club. He won Footballer of the Year for two consecutive seasons, helping lead the team to 3 Scudetti and 4 Italian Super Cups. Only the Champions League alluded him.
With a dynamic combination of excellent dribbling technique, strength, and pace, Samuel Eto’o averaged more than a goal every two games at Inter Milan. With total goals over the century in 53 caps, The Cameroonian striker helped take the squad to the historic Treble in 2010, adding to the trophy vault he started in Barcelona prior.
Playing an integral role as part of the historic Treble which saw Inter win the 2010 Serie A, the Italian Cup, and Champions League, Wesley Sneijder finished as one of the runner-ups of the Ballon D’Or behind Lionel Messi. Although he spent only 3 seasons with Internazionale, the Dutch playmaker earned 76 caps and scored 13 goals on the way to winning two Copa Italia along with a FIFA Club World Cup.
Hampered by injuries that cut short an impactful career at Inter Milan, Ronaldo nonetheless excelled in the 99 caps and 58 goals he scored for Internazionale in what was then the hardest league in the world. A new breed of striker, Ronaldo O Fenômeno “The Phenomenon,” is on the list of eleven best to play for Inter Milan for what should’ve been could’ve been a spectacle despite his one piece of silverware, the 1998 UEFA Cup.
Considered a hard football player, not just for his tackles but for his colorful language, Italian Marco Materazzi nonetheless won 5 consecutive Serie A titles, 4 Copa Italia titles, 4 Supercoppa Italian, and a Champions League trophy in 2010. In his 209 caps with Inter Milan, he also scored 19 times given his knack for headers.
A prolific goal-scorer for Inter Milan, Christian Vieri netted 123 goals in 190 matches before slowing down due to injury. He was the highest goal-scorer in the league for the 2002 – 2003 season, the engine of the Nerazzurri attack, but too briefly the face of Inter. He twice finished runners-up to the Scudetto and only managed to snag the Copa Italia at the end of his Inter career.
The Argentina striker Diego Milito played well over 100 games for Internazionale, scoring two goals in the Champions League final over Bayern Munich to complete the Treble, including a Seria A and Copa Italia. Although the latter half of his scoring record with the Nerazzurri wasn’t as prolific, he still bagged a total 75 goals before transferring back to Racing Club where he started his professional career.