Inter Milan is one of the most prominent football clubs in the world and for good reason. The club has won many league titles and has had some of the greatest players in the sport’s history. There has also been a long list of great managers in Inter Milan’s history, with these five standing out as the best.
Before we start the list, some of the managers who just missed the cut include Arpad Weisz, Jose Mourinho, Simone Inzaghi, and Hector Cuper.
La Spezia native Giulio Cappelli spent his playing career with several teams throughout the country, including Spezia, Livorno, and Viareggio. He had over 200 games as a player, then retired in 1943. Just a few years later he joined Lucchese as the club’s manager and he would spend two short stints as the manager of Inter Milan from 1949 to 1950 and for one year in 1960.
Capelli may have only had three seasons in total as the manager, but he was able to amass a winning percentage of 59.32% He didn’t win any of the major trophies during that time, but he helped guide Inter Milan to a time of stability after things had been rocky for a little while. He went on to manage Chieti and Alessandria at the end of his career.
These days, it would be incredibly rare to see someone spend time as both a player and manager at the same time, but that’s what happened for Virgilio Fossati. From 1909 to 1915, he was a midfielder and manager for Inter Milan. During that time, Fossati scored four goals and made nearly 100 appearances while also being part of the Italian National Team. Fosatti’s career was cut short by World War I, but he was able to find success as a manager first.
Fossati had one of the top winning percentages in Inter Milan history at 62.72%, which is doubly impressive when you consider that he had 110 matches in total, drawing just nine times. Inter Milan won Serie A one time during Fossati’s career, and the team was incredibly consistent during his tenure.
Giovanni Trapattoni was part of the arch-rival as a player when he starred with AC Milan from 1959 to 1971. He then ended his career with Varese in the early 1970s and then rejoined AC Milan as the team’s manager in 1974. After spending a few years with the squad, Trapattoni became the leader of Juventus for a decade and then spent another three years there in the early 1990s. In between, Trapattoni had a five-year stint as the Inter Milan manager.
Trapattoni is third all-time in club history with 230 matches managed, and he finished with a record of 126 wins, 59 draws, and 45 losses. Trapattoni won Serie A one time during his managerial career, as well as the Supercoppa Italia and the UEFA Europa League.
Iesi-born Roberto Mancini spent time with Bologna as a player during the early 1980s before spending 15 years with Sampdoria, scoring 132 goals in 424 appearances. After wrapping up his career with Lazio and Leicester City, Mancini got into management with Fiorentina in 2001. He then led Lazio for a couple of years before starting the first of his two stints with Inter. The first lasted from 2004 to 2008 while the second was from 2014 to 2016.
Mancini is one of just two men to have over 300 matches managed in Inter Milan history, and he won 58.08% of those matches. He’s also tied at the top of the list for trophies with seven, three of which are Serie A championships. Mancini won the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italia twice each before moving on to Zenit Saint Petersburg in 2017.
The top manager on the list is another man who spent multiple stints as the Inter Milan manager. Argentinian Helenio Herrera had a playing career that lasted for 15 years before managing a long list of teams which included Barcelona, Roma, and Atletico Madrid. From 1960 to 1968 and 1973 to 1974, Herrera was the leader of Inter Milan, giving him the longest total time spent as the club’s manager.
Herrera’s 366 matches are tops on the list by more than 60 matches, and he also leads the club in all-time wins as the only man to get over 200. Herrera won just over 56 percent of his matches with Inter Milan, and he’s tied with Mancini for the most trophies in club history with seven. This includes winning Serie A three times as well as two UEFA Champions Leagues and two Intercontinental Cups.