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Inter Milan induct Zenga, Zanetti, Matthaus and Ronaldo to Hall of Fame

Moratti family receive Special Prize — all part of Inter’s 110th anniversary celebration.

Walter Zenga, Ronaldo, Lothar Matthaus and Javier Zanetti were inducted into the Inter Milan Hall of Fame Friday night.
Inter Milan

During Friday night’s 110th anniversary gala at Hangar Pirelli in Milano Bicocca, Inter Milan inducted four members into its Hall of Fame.

Walter Zenga, Javier Zanetti, Lothar Matthaus and Ronaldo were all unveiled as new inductees to the Hall.

In addition, the Moratti family received the “Special Prize” which was accepted by Massimo Moratti. Massimo Moratti served as Inter’s president from 1995 to 2004 and again from 2006 to 2013.

“Some great champions received prizes and I was a bit jealous,” Moratti said at the gala, as quoted on the team’s website. “To be Inter President is a marvelous thing. I’m proud to have heard all the names of tonight’s prize-winners and all the others as well. Viva Inter, Forza Inter!”

Walter Zenga

Zenga was signed by Internazionale in 1978 but joined the first team in 1982 after playing in lower divisions.

He made 328 appearances for the Nerazzurri through the 2004 season, helping lead the team to a Scudetto in 1989 — a season where Zenga conceded just 19 goals all season — the UEFA Cup in 1991 — the first European title for Inter since the 1960s.

He also led the Italian National Team to a third-place finish in the 1990 World Cup.

“My childhood dream has become a reality,” Zenga said. “I used to go the stadium and I only wanted to watch Inter. This prize is a unique feeling for me!”

Zenga is currently the manager of Crotone.

Javier Zanetti

Zanetti joined Inter in 1995 after starting his career in South America.

With the Nerazzurri, Zanetti had 615 appearances through the 2014 season and scored 12 goals. Among the team’s successes during his tenure were the UEFA Cup, four Coppa Italia trophies, four Supercoppa Italiana titles, five Scudetti titles and the 2009-10 UEFA Champions League.

“I arrived here as a child and I was completely unknown,” Zanetti said. “The Moratti family adopted me and I fell in love with Inter straight away.”

Currently, Zanetti is the vice president for Inter and his No. 4 jersey has been retired. He is also a special ambassador for the Special Olympics.

Lothar Matthaus

Inter Milan signed Matthaus in 1998 after he played in Germany for Bayern Munich and Borussia Monchengladbach.

Over his play with the Nerazzurri, he made 115 appearances and scored 40 goals. In 1991 he was named FIFA World Player of the Year and remains the only German player to earn the award.

Internationally, Matthaus played in five World Cups, leading then-West Germany to the title in the 1990 World Cup.

“I enjoyed a career spanning 20 years but these four were the most emotional,” Matthaus said.

He managed several clubs after his playing career, including the Bulgarian national team, the Hungarian national team and FK Partizan. Since then, he has served as a television pundit for several networks.

Ronaldo

Inter picked up Ronaldo from Barcelona in 1997 and he made 68 appearances in his five seasons with the Nerazzurri.

Over the course of that time, he scored 49 goals. He was signed for a then-record $27 million. Ronaldo was a two-time winner of the FIFA World Player of the Year — once with Inter in 1997, the same year he won the Ballon d’Or.

In addition to helping Inter win the 1998 UEFA Cup, Ronaldo made 98 appearances with the Brazilian national team, scoring 98 goals and leading the team to 2002 World Cup title and runner-up finish in 1998.

“The generations before me helped me become what I am now,” Ronaldo said. “They were idols and provided a lot of incentive.”

He has since retired from football and has served as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Development Program.

And, of course there’s this ...

Inter will take on Napoli Sunday afternoon at the San Siro.


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