The number 10 is one of the most iconic numbers in the history of the game. It’s a special number, evoking memories of great champions and players blessed with supreme talent and infinite class. They are the geniuses, the creative sparks, the artists of football. But the history of the number 10 is not tied solely to players with those traits and qualities. Across the club’s history, there have been number 10s that have bucked the trend, reinvented the role, far from the notion of your ‘traditional’ number 10. We have chosen ten players that have donned the famous shirt, telling their stories and their lives, on and off the pitch: this is story of ten Inter number tens!
True champions are globally recognised for what they are. They belong to everyone. The main man of our podcast was just that. A unique player, an idol of a generation and a true football icon. A champion with a capital C who, despite serious injuries,
had the strength to come back and leave his mark on the game both for club and country.
Humble and down to earth, he was the ultimate number 10, who repaid the faith shown in him by showcasing his full array of talent. In just two words: Roberto Baggio.
You can still be a number ten even if the shirt number on your back says otherwise, as Youri Djorkaeff knows all too well. The Frenchman donned the number six jersey during his days at Inter, as he did for the French national side and earlier in his career at Paris Saint Germain. But he was a number six with all the trappings of a great number ten, a player of innate elegance, class, and technique. A World Cup winner and European champion, our poster boy for the 1997-98 season ticket campaign, a musician, an Inter ambassador and above all a free spirit. Put simply: Youri Djorkaeff!
From the Ajax academy to Real Madrid and - in just a couple of days - from Linate airport to San Siro to play the derby against AC Milan as Inter’s newest number 10. Wesley Sneijder’s arrival was the icing on the cake helping a great team - created by José Mourinho – become the perfect team, ready to write its name in the history books.
A born leader driven to win, Lothar Matthaus is without a doubt a number 10 that broke the mould. He was not – as most number 10s are often defined – the most skilful player in the team. But like all number tens, he possessed a vital quality: charisma. And thanks to that, along with his strength and leadership, Matthaus inspired Inter against the odds to the Scudetto in 1989 and the UEFA Cup in 1991. In between, there was World Cup glory in 1990 with West Germany. His achievements and personal qualities ensure Lothar Matthaus is still revered by nerazzurri fans to this day.
Power, strength and technique: the traits that made up one of our best remembered nerazzurri number 10s. A player who may not have fulfilled his immense potential, but whose flame for a few years at least burned brighter than most. This is the story of Adriano Leite Ribeiro, the Emperor with a black and blue heart.
Left or right side, it didn’t make a difference to him: Evaristo Beccalossi was our number 10, a genius and an inspiration, your typical classy player but one however that did not always fit with the style of the team / but one however that was not always easy to slot into the formation.
A pure talent: even if sometimes he tended to disappear in matches only to then stamp his mark on the game again, suddenly catching you by surprise and amazing the fans leaving them speechless.
A man who reshaped the game of football as a show for the fans through three simple concepts: mesmerising dribbling was his way of saying hello, a cheeky nutmeg was his way of winning you over and a goal to make you fall in love! Not by chance, Evaristo Beccalossi has rightly earned a place in our history dedicated to the great numbers 10.