The 10 Greatest Players to Wear Inter’s Number 10 Shirt

João Mário. Stevan Jovetić. Jonathan Biabany. Those are just some of the players to have desecrated Inter’s storied number ten shirt since the departure of Mateo Kovačić to Real Madrid in 2015. 

The ‘banter era’ at I Nerazzurri appears to be over now, however, and Inter have managed to finally find a player worthy of the number ten shirt in Lautaro Martínez, who is well on track to join the long list of great players to have worn it. 

Here’s a look at some of those players…


Roberto Baggio

Claudio Villa Archive

​Roberto Baggio, who joined his boyhood club just as he was entering his 30s in 1998, didn’t quite have the success he was probably hoping for at ​Inter, with his spell at the club being marred by injury problems, being played out of position, poor results on the pitch and a falling out with coach Marcello Lippi. 

Regardless, a player of Baggio’s ability naturally made an impact at the club. The forward scored 17 goals in his 59 total appearances for Inter, including notable braces against ​Real Madrid and Parma, the latter of which helped I Nerazzurri to qualify for the ​Champions League in the 1999-00 season.

Despite this, his strained relationship with Lippi meant that he left the San Siro at the end of the season, playing the last four years of his career with fellow Lombardian side Brescia. 


Clarence Seedorf

Clarence Seedorf

Though he is more fondly remembered for his decade long spell with ​Milan, Clarence Seedorf spent three seasons with their fierce rivals Inter between 1999 and 2002, making 93 appearances and scoring 14 goals, but failed to win any trophies with the club.

His most notable performance in the colours of I Nerazzurri was in the Derby d’Italia, where he scored a brace in Inter’s 2-2 draw with ​Juventus in March 2002, which included a last-minute goal to seal a point for his club. 


Adriano

Inter Milan's Brazilian forward Adriano

At one point in his short career, Adriano was considered to be one of the best strikers in European football, mainly due to an incredibly prolific first few seasons with Inter, scoring 59 times in 107 appearances for the club between 2004 and 2006, helping them to win a Coppa Italia and a Scudetto.  

As Inter began to dominate Italy, however, Adriano’s career experienced a sharp decline. Personal issues began to affect to his performances on the field and he scored just five goals in 23 appearances as I Nerazzurri won a consecutive Scudetto in 2006/07. The following season, he was sent on loan to Brazil with São Paulo, where he rediscovered his scoring touch

He returned to Inter following the conclusion of the loan period, but he clearly wasn’t the same player as before. He returned to Brazil with Flamengo in May 2009, before having failed spells at Roma, Corinthians and Athletico Paranaense. 

Regardless of how his time at Inter ended, Adriano is rightly considered an Inter legend and it is probable that, if it wasn’t for his personal issues, he would’ve been lifting the Champions League trophy when I Nerazzurri won it in 2010. 


Gabriele Oriali 

Gabriele Oriali

An incredibly versatile player who was capable of playing as a midfielder and a defender, Gabriele Oriali played for Inter before persistent squad numbers were introduced into Italian football, and as such, occupied many numbers, including the number ten, during his 13-year spell at Inter.  

Known for his intelligence and work-rate, Oriali was a key part of the Inter squad between 1970 and 1983, making nearly 400 appearances and helping his side to two Scudetti and two Coppa Italia. 

He would later work as a sporting director at Bologna and Parma before returning to Inter in 1999. In his 11 year tenure as sporting director, I Nerazzuri would win five Scudetti, four Coppa Italia and a Champions League. He left the role in 2010, but returned to it at the start of the 2019/20 season.


Evaristo Beccalossi

Evaristo Beccalossi

The much-travelled midfielder spent six years at the San Siro between 1978 and 1984, scoring 30 goals in 217 appearances for Inter, helping them to a Scudetto in 1979/80 and a Coppa Italia in 1981/82. 

An inconsistent, but well-regarded player, Beccalossi’s creativity, dribbling skill and equal ability in assisting and scoring goals ensured that he was an integral part of Inter’s squad during the late 70s and early 80s. ​It was that inconsistency though, despite his high degree of talent, that ensured he never earned a cap for the Italian national team.


Wesley Sneijder

Wesley Sneijder

Considered to be one of the worlds best players during his time at Inter, he was an integral part of the Inter side that won the Scudetto, the Coppa Italia and the Champions League during the 2009/10 season. He played a particularly key role in Inter’s Champions League victory, notching up six assists and scoring three times in his 11 appearances, including an equalising goal in the semi-final against ​Barcelona and an assist to Diego Milito in the final against ​Bayern Munich. 

He continued his form into the 2010/11 season, though that season only delivered a Coppa Italia. It was after this season that he experienced a decline in form and he was moved on to Galatasaray in January 2013. He made 116 total appearances for Inter, scoring 22 times and creating a further 35 goals. 


Lothar Matthäus 

Lothar Matthaeus

​One of the greatest midfielders of all time, Lothar Matthäus joined Inter in 1988 after incredibly successful spells with Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayern Munich in his home country of Germany. 

He instantly excelled in Italy, scoring nine goals in 32 appearances as Inter stormed to the Scudetto in 1988/89, winning the league by 11 points at a time when teams were still given two points for a win.

Though that Serie A success wouldn’t be replicated in the seasons following, he still continued to perform well for I Nerazzurri, earning the FIFA World Player of the Year award following Inter’s UEFA Cup victory in 1991. 

Considered a legend at the club, Matthäus scored 53 goals in 153 appearances over four seasons for Inter, impressive figures for a midfielder who played in ​Serie A during a time when it was still very much a defensive league. 


 Ronaldo

Ronaldo

Though Ronaldo wore the number nine through the majority of his spell with Inter, he wore the number ten in his first and most prolific season at the club, scoring 34 times in 47 appearances in 1997/98, helping his side to a UEFA Cup victory that season, as well as winning the Ballon d’Or.

His remaining time at Inter was unfortunately marred by injuries, and following the 1997-98 season, he made 46 total appearances across four seasons, scoring 25 goals. His injury problems were so severe that he missed the entirety of the 2000/01 season. 

Despite playing for Inter’s city rivals, Milan, towards the latter stage of his career, he is still considered an Inter legend and was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2018. 


Luis Suarez


Luis Suarez became the world’s most expensive player when he joined Helenio Herrera’s Inter side in 1961, helping the club to win three Scudetti, two European Cups and two Intercontinental Cups in his nine-year spell at the San Siro.

Employed as a deep-lying playmaker, Suarez’s creativity made him an integral part of the Grande Inter side of the 1960s, scoring on 42 occasions across 256 appearances. 

Retiring in 1973 with fellow Serie A side Sampdoria, Suarez would go on to have three separate, unsuccessful managerial spells with I Nerazzurri.


Sandro Mazzola

 - Italy

A one-club man, Sandro Mazzola spent 16 years at Inter, making 570 appearances, scoring 160 goals. Pacy, creative, prolific and tactically intelligent, he too was a key member of Helenio Herrera’s Grande Inter side, winning four Scudetti, two European Cups and two Intercontinental Cups. 

His exploits earned him the title of one of Italy’s greatest players and this was recognised in 2014 when he was entered into the Italian Football Hall of Fame.


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