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Inter History: The day after Christmas

Story of the Cevenini brothers

The Cevenini brothers played for Inter Milan during the 1920 derby with U.S. Milanese.

The day after Christmas 1920, Inter Milan and U.S. Milanese faced each other in an old-fashioned derby.

The Cevenini brothers played for Inter Milan during the 1920 season.

One unique part of this derby was the fact that the Nerazzurri featured the Cevenini brothers – all five of them – on the pitch at the same time.

Having Luigi, Aldo, Mario, Cesare and Carlo on the pitch at the same time set a record for the number of siblings on the field at the same time – a record that has yet to be broken, according to Inter’s club site.

It was Luigi and Carlo that pushed Inter to a 2-1 win in the derby that year.

Here is an excerpt from Inter’s 110 site regarding the game:

“Out of all five brothers, one stood out in particular. Luigi or ‘Zizi’ had that air of maverick genius. He had a hot head, two good feet and extraordinary sense of where the goal was. His awareness of his own ability often saw him act out against his own teammates who felt weren’t capable of keeping up and he often did so in an ungentlemanly fashion. Osvaldo Aliatis knew this well after he was given a slap in front of everyone after misplacing a pass.”

Luigi was the middle Cevenini brother, but was likely the most prolific. He had 190 appearances for the Nerazzurri from 1912 to 1915, 1919 to 1927. He scored 158 goals and won the league title with Inter in the 1919-20 season. He also played for the Azzurri in 29 games and scored 11 times.

A unique characteristic of Luigi was the fact that he played the game with a cigarette, “but he dribbled round [sic] entire teams, scoring and setting up fantastic goals.”

Luigi suffered from erratic behavior like disappearing from Milan prior to any derby matchup. Apparently, he was in England “for trials with the inventors of football.”

While there won’t be five brothers on the pitch, the second installment of the Derby della Madonnina will take place Wednesday as Inter and AC Milan face off in the quarterfinals of the Coppa Italia.