Inter Milan, also referred to as Internazionale, is a professional football team located in Milan, Italy. Inter history dates back to 1908 when it was established, and since then, the club has become one of the most successful and popular football clubs in Italy and globally. With numerous domestic and international titles won over time, Inter has earned a reputation as a powerhouse in the football world.
Inter shares the San Siro stadium with their city rivals, A.C Milan, where they host their home games. The stadium is the biggest in Italian football, capable of accommodating 75,923 people. Inter maintains a long-standing rivalry with Milan, engaging in the Derby della Madonnina, and also with Juventus, with whom they contest the Derby d’Italia.
The former derby is among the most popular in football. Inter is highly valuable, ranking among the most valuable in Italian and global football.
This article includes Inter badge history, Inter Champions league history, Inter kit history, Inter logo history, Inter jersey history, Inter honors, Inter trophies history, Inter mascot history, Inter stadiums, Inter players, Inter rivalries history, Inter coaches history. So it’s safe to say that you won’t need to look any further to know everything about the club.
When it all Began, 1908 to 1960
Inter history traces back to 1908 when it was established as Football Club Internazionale, following the schism with Milan Cricket and Football Club, now known as AC Milan. The founders wanted to accept foreign players without limits, in addition to Italians, thus giving the club its name.
The team secured its first and second championships in 1910 and 1920, respectively. In 1922, Inter Milan faced the risk of being relegated to the second division but managed to stay in the top league by winning two play-offs.
During the Fascist era in 1928, the club merged with Unione Sportiva Milanese and was renamed Societa Sportiva Ambrosiana, with a change in the team’s jerseys to white with a red cross. In 1929, the club changed its name back to Associazione Sportiva Ambrosiana, and in 1931, it became Associazione Sportiva Ambrosiana-Inter following pressure from shareholders.
Inter’s first Coppa Italia win came in 1938-39, led by Giuseppe Meazza. After World War II, the club regained its original name and went on to win its seventh championship in 1954.
The Golden Era, 1960 to 1967
Helenio Herrera, a manager from Barcelona, joined Inter in 1960, bringing along Luis Suarez, who won the European Footballer of the Year in the same year. He transformed Inter into one of Europe’s greatest teams by modifying the catenaccio system, adding a fifth defender, the sweeper or libero, behind the two center backs.
This allowed greater flexibility for counterattacks. Inter finished third in Serie A in his first season, second the next year, and first in his third season. They then won back-to-back European Cup victories in 1964 and 1965, earning Herrera the title “il Mago” (“the Wizard”).
The core of his team consisted of Tarcisio Burgnich and Giacinto Facchetti as attacking fullbacks, Armando Picchi as the sweeper, Suarez as the playmaker, Jair as the winger, Mario Corso as the left midfielder, and Sandro Mazzola as the inside-right.
Inter won the European Cup Final against Real Madrid in 1964 and Benfica in 1965 and also won the Intercontinental Cup twice. However, in 1967, Inter lost the European Cup Final to Celtic. It was during that year the club changed its name to Football Club Internazionale Milano, marking a significant event in Inter history.
Continuing to Impress, 1967 to 1991
In the aftermath of their successful period in the 1960s, an era to be remembered in Inter history, they went on to gain their eleventh and twelfth league titles in 1971 and 1980, respectively. However, Inter suffered their second defeat in the European Cup final in five years, losing 0-2 to Ajax, led by Johan Cruyff, in 1972.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Inter also managed to secure two Coppa Italia titles in 1977-78 and 1981-82. Inter Milan welcomed Hansi Muller and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge to their squad, with the latter moving from Bayern Munich in 1984.
Inter later secured their 1989 Serie A championship title led by Andreas Brehme and Lothar Matthaus from Germany and Argentine Ramon Diaz. Despite the addition of German Jurgen Klinsmann to the team and winning their first Supercoppa Italiana at the beginning of the season, Inter failed to retain their title.
End of a Successful Era, 1991 to 2004
During the 1990s, Inter experienced disappointment as their rivals Milan and Juventus excelled domestically and in Europe, while Inter struggled and had mediocre results in the league. Despite this, Inter achieved some success in Europe, winning three UEFA Cup trophies in 1991, 1994, and 1998.
Inter’s failure to win a single Serie A championship during this decade was unprecedented in Inter history. This left fans unsure of who to blame for the troubled times, resulting in strained relationships between fans, the chairman, managers, and players. Massimo Moratti’s takeover in 1995 saw Inter break the world record transfer fee twice.
However, fans became disgruntled with Moratti after he sacked popular coach Luigi Simoni and the team failed to qualify for any European competition for the first time in almost a decade.
In the following season, Moratti brought in former Juventus manager Marcello Lippi and signed several former Juventus players, but the team narrowly missed their first domestic success since 1989, losing in the Coppa Italia final to Lazio.
Continuing to Fail
In the subsequent season, Inter’s struggles persisted as they lost the 2000 Supercoppa Italiana match to Lazio and were eliminated from the Champions League by Helsingborgs IF. Marcello Lippi was sacked after just one game of the new season following Inter’s first-ever Serie A defeat to Reggina.
His replacement, Marco Tardelli, also failed to improve results and is remembered for the humiliating 6-0 derby loss to Milan. Even prominent players like Vieri and Cannavaro faced backlash as their restaurants were vandalized after defeats to Milan.
However, in 2002, Inter reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup and came close to winning the Scudetto before losing to Lazio. They also finished as runners-up in the league the following season and reached the semi-finals of the 2002-03 Champions League against Milan, but were knocked out on away goals.
A Remarkable Return, 2004 to 2008
Roberto Mancini was appointed as the new head coach of Inter on 8 July 2004, succeeding the former coach of Lazio. In his first season, Inter had an impressive record of 18 wins, 18 draws, and only two losses, earning a total of 72 points. Additionally, they won the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana and managed to defend their Coppa Italia title the next year.
The team was later awarded the Serie A championship for the 2005-06 season due to the Calciopoli scandal, and in the following season, they set a new Serie A record by winning 17 consecutive games, a feat put down in Inter history.
At the start of the 2007-08 season, Inter had high aspirations to win both Serie A and the Champions League. They had a strong start in the league and progressed to the Champions League knockout stage, but a disappointing loss to Liverpool caused speculation about Mancini’s future at the club.
Inter’s domestic form also suffered, as they failed to win their next three Serie A games. Mancini initially announced that he would leave Inter immediately after being eliminated from the Champions League, but changed his mind the following day.
Inter eventually won their third consecutive championship with a 2-0 victory over Parma, but Mancini was subsequently sacked due to his earlier announcement.
The Treble, 2008 to 2011
In 2008, Inter history took another turn when Jose Mourinho was appointed as the new head coach. Under his leadership, the team won a Suppercoppa Italiana and their fourth consecutive Serie A title, making them the first club in the last 60 years to accomplish such a feat, as well as the first club based outside Turin.
Inter went on to make history once again by winning the treble in the 2009-2010 season, becoming the first Italian team to do so. In Inter Champions league history, we read that they won the Champions League by defeating Barcelona in the semi-finals and Bayern Munich in the final, the Serie A title by two points over Roma, and the Coppa Italia by defeating the same side 1-0 in the final.
However, Mourinho left the club to manage Real Madrid at the end of the season and was replaced by Rafael Benitez.
After a declining performance in Serie A, Benitez was fired and replaced by Leonardo, who set a new Italian Serie A record by collecting 33 points in 13 games before leading the team to the quarter-finals of the Champions League and the Coppa Italia title. However, he resigned at the end of the season, and the team hired new managers during the following season.
Falling Back Down, 2011 to 2015
In Inter history, August 1st, 2012, marked the announcement of Moratti’s plan to sell a minority stake of the club to a Chinese consortium led by Kenneth Huang. Along with that, Inter also revealed an agreement with China Railway Construction Corporation Limited for a new stadium project, which unfortunately fell through later on.
This was followed by a disappointing 2012-13 season, the worst in recent Inter history, as they finished ninth in Serie A and failed to qualify for any European competitions. However, under the guidance of Walter Mazzarri, Inter managed to finish fifth in Serie A the following season and secured qualification for the 2014-15 UEFA Europa League.
In 2013, an Indonesian consortium led by Erick Thohir, Handy Soetedjo, and Rosan Roeslani acquired 70% of Inter shares, bringing about a change in the club’s ownership structure.
During Thohir’s reign, Inter shifted their financial strategy towards a more self-sustaining business model but still encountered some financial difficulties and received penalties for violating UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations in 2015.
Roberto Mancini returned as the club manager in 2014, but Inter finished eighth, and they finished fourth in the 2015-2016 season, failing to qualify for the Champions League.
New Owners, 2016 to 2019
In 2016, Inter history took a new turn when Suning Holdings Group, led by Zhang Jindong, bought a majority stake in the club. The first season under new ownership saw poor performances in pre-season friendlies, leading to the departure of head coach Roberto Mancini.
The subsequent coaches, Frank de Boer and Stefano Pioli, also failed to lead the team to success. Luciano Spalletti was appointed as Inter manager in 2017, and the club clinched a spot in the UEFA Champions League group stage the following year.
Steven Zhang was later appointed as the new president of the club, and in 2019, LionRock Capital became the club’s new minority shareholder. In May 2021, Inter received a loan of $336 million from American investment firm Oaktree Capital due to losses incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.
New Coach and Better Results, 2019 to Present
Inter history over the past few years has been eventful, marked by multiple changes in ownership, management, and players. In 2016, Suning Holdings Group acquired a majority stake in the club, leading to a series of managerial changes and mixed results on the pitch.
However, the appointment of Antonio Conte as coach in 2019 signaled a turning point, as Inter finished as runner-up in the 2019-2020 Serie A season and reached the 2020 UEFA Europa League Final. In May 2021, they secured their first Serie A title in eleven years.
Despite this success, Conte left the club due to disagreements with the board, and Simone Inzaghi was appointed as his replacement in June 2021.
Inter continued their winning streak, winning the Supercoppa Italiana in January 2022 and the Coppa Italia in May 2022, as well as finishing the 2021-2022 Serie A season in second place with an impressive 84 goals scored. In January 2023, they won their third Supercoppa Italiana, defeating Milan 3-0.
Inter Logo History
An interesting fact in Inter history is that the design of the first Inter logo was created by Giorgio Muggiani, one of the club’s founders, in 1908. The original logo featured the letters “FCIM” in the center of a badge made up of circles, and while some details have been altered over time, the basic elements have remained consistent.
The logo was updated in 1999-2000 to include the club’s name and year of foundation but was changed again in 2007 to a more modern style with a smaller Scudetto star and lighter colors.
However, in July 2014, Inter underwent a rebranding which resulted in the removal of the star from all media except for match kits, making the current logo significantly different from its predecessor.
Inter Jersey History
Inter has been recognized by their fans as Nerazzurri due to their traditional black and blue striped uniforms that they have worn since their establishment in 1908. The reason behind the selection of these colors can be traced back to the night of 9 March 1908, when the club was founded at 23:30; it is believed that the colors were inspired by the nocturnal sky.
Additionally, Giorgio Muggiani, one of the club’s founders, chose blue as the opposite color to red, which was the color of their rivals Milan Cricket and Football Club. In 1928, the club was forced to abandon their black and blue uniforms when the ruling Fascist Party became uneasy with their name and philosophy.
As a result, the 20-year-old club was merged with Unione Sportiva Milanese, and the new club was named Societa Sportiva Ambrosiana after the patron saint of Milan. The flag of Milan replaced the traditional black and blue in their uniform.
However, in 1929, the club restored the black-and-blue jerseys, and after World War II, when the Fascists had fallen from power, the club reverted to their original name. In 2008, Inter commemorated their centenary by incorporating a red cross on their away shirt, which symbolizes the flag of their city. In 2014, the club started using a predominantly black home kit with thin blue pinstripes and a traditional design.
In Italy, football clubs are often associated with animals, and Inter is represented by the grass snake known as Biscione. This reptile holds significant meaning for the city of Milan, featuring prominently in the Milanese heraldry as a coiled viper with a man in its jaws.
It can be found on the coat of arms of the House of Sforza, which once ruled over Italy from Milan during the Renaissance period, as well as on the coat of arms of the city of Milan, the historical Duchy of Milan, and Insubria, the region where Milan is located. In the 2010-11 season, Inter’s away kit was designed with the serpent symbol.
Inter’s stadium is the San Siro, which has a seating capacity of 75,923 and is officially known as the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, named after a former player who played for both Inter and Milan.
The stadium is located in the San Siro district, and it has been Milan’s home since 1926; built with funding from Milan’s chairman Piero Pirelli and constructed in 13 and a half months by 120 workers. In 1935, the club sold the stadium to the city, and since 1947, it has been shared with Inter as joint tenants.
The stadium was first opened on 19 September 1926, with Inter winning a friendly match against Milan 6-3. Over time, the stadium’s capacity has increased from 35,000 to its current size through several renovations, including the most recent one in late 2021 to host the UEFA Nations League final.
San Siro is designed specifically for football matches, unlike many other multi-purpose stadiums in Serie A, which contributes to its reputation for a fantastic atmosphere during games due to the stands’ proximity to the pitch.
Massimo Moratti has proposed various projects for a new Inter stadium since 2012. However, in June and July 2019, Inter and A.C. Milan announced an agreement to construct a new shared stadium in the San Siro area.
In the winter of 2021, the mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala, granted official permission for the new stadium’s construction next to San Siro, which will be partially demolished and repurposed after the 2026 Olympic Games. In early 2022, Inter and A.C. Milan revealed a backup plan to relocate the new Milano stadium to the Greater Milan area, outside of the San Siro region.
Inter Rivalries History
Inter history has seen a number of rivalries, with two being particularly important in Italian football. One of these is the Derby della Madonnina, which is played against AC Milan and has been a tradition since Inter split from Milan in 1908.
The name of the derby is derived from the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is located atop the Milan Cathedral, one of the city’s most famous landmarks. This match is typically played in a charged atmosphere, with many banners, some of which can be humorous or offensive, unfurled before the game.
Although flares are often present, they led to the cancellation of the second leg of the 2004-05 Champions League quarterfinal between Milan and Inter on April 12, after an Inter supporter threw a flare from the crowd, striking AC Milan keeper Dida on the shoulder.
The other significant rivalry is with Juventus, with matches between the two teams referred to as the Derby d’Italia. Up until the 2006 Italian football scandal, which resulted in Juventus being relegated, the two teams were the only Italian clubs that had never played below Serie A.
In the 2000s, Inter developed a rivalry with Roma, who finished as runners-up to Inter in all but one of their five Scudetto-winning seasons between 2005-06 and 2009-10. The two teams have also played against each other in five Coppa Italia finals and four Supercoppa Italiana finals since 2006. Other teams, such as Atalanta and Napoli, are also considered to be rivals by Inter.
Inter Fan Base
According to a research conducted by the Italian newspaper La Repubblica in August 2007, Inter is among the most popular clubs in Italy. During the early years, Inter fans were typically from the middle class, while AC Milan fans were usually from the working class, a division that is now outdated.
Boys San is the traditional ultras group of Inter and is one of the oldest, founded in 1969. They hold an important place in the history of the ultras scene. The most vocal Inter fans gather in the Curva Nord or the north curve of the San Siro.
This area is associated with the club’s most dedicated supporters, who display banners and flags to show their support. Inter’s ultras groups include Boys San, Viking, Ultras, Irriducibili, Brianza Alcoolica, and Imbastisci, with Irriducibili being right-wing and having good relations with Lazio ultras.