Ultimate Inter dream team: Ronaldo, Lothar Matthaus & Javier Zanetti - but no Christian Vieri

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GFX Dream Team Inter
Some absolute superstars have worn the Nerazzurri jersey over the years, but who makes their best-ever XI?

In their 114 years of history, Italian giants Inter have seen many champions wear their famed shirt. While some have been praised but then forgotten, others have left a profound mark by immortalising themselves in the minds of the fans and the club's history.

Sandro Mazzola, Giuseppe Meazza, Javier Zanetti, Ronaldo and Samuel Eto'o have all turned out for Inter, attempting to satisfy the refined palate of a fanbase that has always been demanding, whose judgment has often been decisive for the continuation of the careers of many Inter players.

Let's find out who makes it into the strongest Inter team of all time:

  1. Walter Zenga | Goalkeeper

    Walter Zenga | Goalkeeper

    Walter Zenga is often remembered for his grave error against Claudio Caniggia at the 1990 World Cup that eventually ended Italy's hopes, bure more than anything he remains one of the greatest goalkeepers Italy and Inter have ever seen.

    Zenga, who was nicknamed Spider-Man was a boyhood Inter fan and would end up becoming an idol of the supporters.

    Voted best goalkeeper in the world by the IFFHS for three consecutive years (1989-1991), Zenga has a special place in Inter fans' hearts.

    He is, without doubt, the perfect choice to guard the goal of this dream team.

  2. Maicon | Right-back

    Maicon | Right-back

    In hindsight, the signing of Maicon was one of the best deals secured by Inter in its history: little expense and a lot of yield. 

    The void left by the Brazilian full-back after his six-year spell at the club on the right wing is still not filled, even if Achraf Hakimi and Denzel Dumfries have done a decent job these last few seasons.

    Maicon enjoyed immense success at Inter, winning four Scudetti, two Coppa Italia trophies and a Champions League title among other silverware, which also included a treble in 2009/10.

    He is without doubt our dream team's right-back.

  3. Giuseppe Bergomi| Centre-back

    Giuseppe Bergomi| Centre-back

    The bushy eyebrows and moustache he sported even as a youngster were legendary. Nicknamed "Uncle", Bergomi is an Inter legend.

    Having won the World Cup as an 18-year-old in 1982, Bergomi would go on to lead Inter for years to come.

    He represented Nerazzuri for almost 20 seasons, which, in today's world, would be considered almost impossible to replicate.

    Bergomi was a versatile defender - equally comfortable at right-back as he was in the middle - who represented Inter with pride and won a Scudetto, a Coppa Italia and three UEFA Cups.

  4. Walter Samuel | Centre-back
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    Walter Samuel | Centre-back

    The nickname 'The Wall' alone was enough to strike fear into the opponents' forwards when they played against an Inter team with Walter Samuel in the backline.

    With Lucio, he formed an elite defensive pairing, a fundamental component in Inter's historic treble-winning side of 2009/10.

    The old fashioned, no-frills defending of the South American was an integral part of Inter for almost nine seasons.

    Samuel also served the club after his retirement. Between 2016 and 2017, the Argentine was part of Stefano Pioli's technical staff and he will always be remembered fondly by Inter fans.

  5. Giacinto Facchetti | Left-back
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    Giacinto Facchetti | Left-back

    Along with Javier Zanetti, Facchetti is the person who more than anyone else best embodies Inter.

    He has served the club in different roles: first as a player, then as vice-president and president.

    Facchetti was one of the first truly great attacking fullbacks and redefined the role of a wing-back as a member of the legendary Grande Inter team of Helenio Herrera.

    Facchetti, a one-club man, represented Inter for almost 18 years and captained the club and his country for years. He won four Scudetti and two European Cups with Inter Milan.

    He was a trailblazer on the pitch and modernised the role of full-backs in football. There is simply no Inter dream team without Facchetti.

  6. Javier Zanetti | Defensive Midfielder
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    Javier Zanetti | Defensive Midfielder

    Hands in the sky, the captain's armband on his left arm and tears in his eyes: the image captured by the photographers at the final whistle of the 2010 Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Inter perfectly describe what the club meant for the great Javier Zanetti.

    His record during the 19 years spent in Milan speaks for him. Zanetti was one of the greatest full-backs the club has seen and could play on either wing and also as a defensive midfielder.

    He arrived in 1995 at Inter in the shadow of his compatriot Sebastian Rambert, but went on to outshine all imports to the club.

    Often called the captain of the second 'Grande Inter', Zanetti is an all-time record holder for appearances in all competitions for Inter and for trophies won in the history of the club.

    He is currently a vice-president of the club.

  7. Lothar Matthäus | Central Midfielder

    Lothar Matthäus | Central Midfielder

    One of the greatest midfielders in football history, Lothar Matthaus was one of the three Germans at Inter, alongside Andreas Brehme and Jurgen Klinsmann in the late 1980s and early 90s.

    A devastating shot from distance, combined with terrific technique and ferocity, Matthaus had few equals on the football pitch.

    He was the focal point of the Inter side that won the Scudetto in 1988/89 under Giovanni Trapattoni's guidance.

    He also helped Inter win the Italian Super Cup and a UEFA Cup, the latter coming 25 years after the club's last European trophy at the time (the European Cup won in 1965).

    Finally, Matthaus won the Ballon d'Or during his time at Inter, in 1990.

  8. Esteban Cambiasso | Central Midfielder

    Esteban Cambiasso | Central Midfielder

    Esteban Cambiasso is yet another Argentine who arrived at Inter without much of a reputation, before leaving as a modern-day great.

    Cambiasso, like his compatriot Zanetti, had to win the trust of the Nerazzurri fans, erasing some initial mistrust that arose from his stature as a flop at Real Madrid.

    It turned out to be a serious mistake from Real Madrid to have let Cambiasso leave on a free transfer back in 2004.

    And Inter struck gold. He spent 10 seasons at Inter, transforming into a world-class midfielder.

    Deadly with his passing and vision, Cambiasso is still remembered with great affection by Inter fans who hold him in high regard.

  9. Sandro Mazzola | Forward

    Sandro Mazzola | Forward

    When Sandro Mazzola burst on the scene in 1960, he was just the 'son of Valentino Mazzola' for many. But he soon managed to carve out his own place in Inter history.

    With his sublime technique, Mazzola entertained the San Siro audience for 17 years, before retiring in 1977.

    A shining beacon of Helenio Herrera's 'Grande Inter', Mazzola made his debut almost by chance on a hot afternoon on 10 June 1961 against Juventus. Inter showed up with a team full of kids in protest against the repetition of the game (previously suspended) and lost 9-1. The only goal scored was a penalty converted by Mazzola.

    That day a new star of Italian football was officially born, capable of competing for the Ballon d'Or with Johan Cruyff in 1971 (when he finished second) and winning practically everything there was to win with Inter.

    Mazzola was a one-club man who was always destined to be an Inter great.

  10. Ronaldo | Forward
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    Ronaldo | Forward

    When Serie A could still afford to welcome footballers at their peak rather than in the sunset of their careers, Massimo Moratti's Inter dictated the law on the market. The flagship signing of his presidency was undoubtedly Ronaldo, the best footballer in the world at the time.

    To snatch him from Barcelona in the summer of 1997, Moratti made Ronaldo the most expensive player in the history of football.

    Describing the Brazilian in one word is completely impossible, even if the magical forward only won one title with the Nerazzurri - the 1998 UEFA Cup which was won after his dazzling performance in the all-Italian final in Paris against Lazio.

    He was destined for greatness at Inter and only a very serious knee injury that kept him away from the pitch for over a year kept him from fulfilling his destiny.

    But he returned and led Brazil to a World Cup win in 2002. He would leave for Real Madrid in 2002.

    His transfer to arch-rivals Milan, in January 2007, slightly damaged the relationship with the Nerazzurri supporters, which was repaired later when he admitted 'guilt' over the move.

  11. Diego Milito | Forward

    Diego Milito | Forward

    Diego Milito was the "Man of the 2009-2010 season" for Inter as he scored a total of 30 goals, four of which were decisive in Inter's wins in the Italian Cup, Scudetto and Champions League (he scored a brace in the final).

    It doesn't get more decisive than that.

    Interestingly, it was his first season at the club.

    With the exception of the 2011-2012 campaign, Milito never reached the highs of his first season at Inter, due to injuries, but he only needed one legendary season to leave an indelible mark on Inter's history, and to stay there forever.