There have been some amazing moments throughout the history of Inter Milan football. After all, the club is the only one in Italy that has never dropped below Serie A. That doesn’t mean that everything has been perfect for the club over the years, though. Let’s take a look at Inter Milan’s long history, highlighting the five worst moments for the club’s fans.
The Worst Match in Club History
No matter how good a club is or how many titles it has won, there are going to be some very bad losses deep in team history. In the case of Inter Milan, that loss came back in 1961 during the Serie A season when matched up against Juventus. In that season, Inter finished in third place in the league, just one point behind AC Milan and five points behind Juventus.
Juventus was able to maintain its top spot thanks to the drubbing it gave Inter on June 9, 1961. Omar Sivori scored a hat trick between the 11th and 17th minutes, giving Juventus a 3-0 lead at the half. He then scored another hat trick in the second half while Francesco Riefolo, Bruno Nicole, and Bruno Mora all scored once each. In the end, Juventus won the match 9-1.
As we mentioned, Inter Milan is the only club in Italian football to never drop below the Serie A level of play. That doesn’t mean that the club hasn’t come awfully close to being relegated a handful of times. The closest that the club got was in the fateful 1993-94 season. Inter Milan got off to a fine enough start, losing just one of its first 10 matches while winning five. However, things turned south in a hurry.
In the last 14 matches of the season, Inter won just twice with a 1-0 victory over Udinese and 4-1 victory over Lecce. The club needed at least a draw to avoid relegation in the penultimate matchday, doing so against AC Roma 2-2. Inter finished with 11 wins, nine draws, and 14 losses, good enough for 31 points. That put them one ahead of Placenza, who was relegated to Serie B.
The 1997 UEFA Cup Final
Now known as the UEFA Europa League, the UEFA Cup was one of the most prestigious tournaments throughout the continent. During the 1990s, Inter was able to secure the UEFA Cup championship three times with wins in 1991, 1994, and 1998. However, there was a loss in between that hurt badly. That came in the 1996-97 UEFA Cup season, with Inter being one of the favorites to win.
Inter Milan didn’t struggle much throughout the tournament, getting by Guingamp in the first round before defeating Grazer AK, Boavista, Anderlecht, and AS Monaco to get to the finals. Back then, the final was two legs, and Inter lost the first leg 1-0. In the second match, facing an aggregate loss, Zamorano scored an 84th-minute goal to send the final to penalty kicks. Zamorano proceeded to miss his first shot while Schalke 04 scored on each of theirs, giving them the UEFA Cup.
Luigi Simoni’s Exit
The entirety of the 1990s resulted in little success for Inter, and they had to watch their rivals win trophies on both a national and continental level. That would be understandable if Inter hadn’t been trying to win, but the club spent more money than just about any other club in football. In fact, Inter set the record for the highest-ever transfer fee twice toward the end of the decade when they acquired Ronaldo and then Christian Vieri.
The end result was zero Serie A titles throughout the decade, and one of the most heartbreaking moments for fans. Massimo Moratti took over the club in 1995, and two years later hired Luigi Simoni to lead the team as manager. However, Simoni was given a short leash, and despite being beloved by fans while winning a UEFA Cup, was relieved of his duties in November 1998. Simoni went on to have seven more managing stints before retiring in 2006.
The Calciopoli Scandal
Pretty much any professional club in Italy could call the Calciopoli scandal one of their worst moments. That’s certainly the case for Inter Milan, who was implicated in the scandal that saw clubs working with officials to fix matches. However, despite being named, it was really only Juventus that saw major consequences while Inter got away without much damage done to the club.
Former Juventus president Giovanni Cobolli Gigli commented about the situation, saying that Inter was just as guilty. “Everyone has forgotten this matter, if Inter had been in the sports trial with Juventus, and had been accused, as happened only years later, of ‘serious sporting offense,’ it would have been a different story,” he said. “Someone hid the file, someone powerful. Why try to hide something like that…I didn’t understand.”