There are 31 to choose from and they each have good reason to be considered. We are, of course, talking about the strikers in contention to enter the Inter Hall of Fame, with the voting phase under way. They are vying to join the trio of Ronaldo, Giuseppe Meazza and Diego Milito, all of whom will always be Inter legends.
The candidates span every era in the club’s history and all left an indelible mark on Inter.
Could Samuel Eto’o follow Milito? While the Cameroonian striker only played for the club for two seasons, he racked up 53 goals in 102 appearances and played a key role in the crucial Champions League ties against Chelsea and Barcelona in 2010.
There are many more to choose from, however. We take a step back in time to remember some of the players who turned Inter’s forward line into one of the best in Europe. This includes Adriano the “Emperor”, who was not only a world-class player, but was also adored by the fans who always got behind him. Then there is Christian Vieri, the ninth top goalscorer in the club’s history with 123 goals to his name. His partner in crime for many years, Alvaro Recoba, who regularly conjured up magic with his left foot, is also on the shortlist. Argentina has two representatives from Inter’s Scudetto- and Coppa Italia-winning teams in the 2000s: Julio Cruz and Hernan Crespo.
While Ronaldo was the king at the end of the 1990s, it was his striking partner Ivan Zamorano who grabbed the opener in the all-Italian UEFA Cup final in Paris in 1998. Marco Branca and Maurizio Ganz led the line for the Nerazzurri before the South American duo, with Ruben Sosa and Dennis Bergkamp featuring in the UEFA Cup success in 1994. Further back in time, Jurgen Klinsmann joined Inter as reigning champions and fired the club to its maiden UEFA Cup in 1992.
There is certainly a place on the list for Aldo Serena, who was part of Inter’s record-breaking 1988/89 team. Alessandro Altobelli, the club’s second record goalscorer behind Meazza, is also in contention, with his stream of goals between 1977 and 1988 helping the Nerazzurri win the Scudetto once and the Coppa Italia twice. The striker will always be remembered for his goal in Italy’s World Cup 1982 success, but will his 209 goals for Inter earn him a place in the Hall of Fame?
Going further back in time, Roberto Boninsegna, Jair da Costa, Istvan Nyers and Benito Lorenzi all had varying attributes, but their eye for goal helped define various periods in the club’s history. Alongside the likes of Pietro Anastasi, Carlo Muraro, Angelo Domenghini, those four have a fighting chance of earning a place in the Hall of Fame. Lorenzi’s 143 Inter goals see him rank sixth in the all-time scoring charts, with the inspired Nyers just behind him in seventh after registering 133 goals in 182 appearances for the club. Jair’s marauding wing play helped Inter win the European Cup for the second time, with the Brazilian grabbing the winner in the 1965 final. Boninsegna’s 173 goals for the Nerazzurri between 1969 and 1976 mean he sits third in the scoring ranks.
Gino Armano, Mauro Bicicli, Renato Cappellini, Leopoldo Conti, Pietro Ferraris II, Umberto Guarnieri and Umberto Visentin III are some of the names that go back many generations to the club’s early days, but three in particular are worthy of a mention. Luigi Cevenini III was a relentless goalscorer who managed 158 goals in 190 appearances, sitting fifth in the scoring charts. Ermanno Aebi joins him in the top ten with a stunning 106 goals in just 142 games. Lastly, Annibale Frossi’s glasses made history, as did his goalscoring which helped Italy to Olympic success in 1936. The forward went on to become a successful coach and esteemed journalist.