the amazing Napoli of Diego Maradona and Antonio Careca during the 1988-89 season. This season Napoli was second-placed, 11 points behind the champions F.C. Internazionale Milano. The Nerazzurri won Serie A with a record margin which improved heavily thanks to Lothar Matthäus and Andreas Brehme's arrivals. Thanks to Matthäus playmaking did Aldo Serena get a resurgence, scoring 22 goals, becoming the top scorer of the entire league. Back in 1988-89 for the Inter demonstration. The legendary Giovanni Trapattoni was on the bench, Walter Zenga in goal, Riccardo Ferri and Giuseppe Bergomi in defence, Aldo Serena in attack, while German stars Andreas Brehme and Lothar Matthaus had arrived from the Bundesliga. The Nerazzurri romped to the Scudetto, winning 26 of their 34 games, losing just two, scoring 67 goals, and conceding only 19. All this was achieved in the then strongest league in the world, a championship that contained the Milan of Gullit, Rijkaard and Van Basten, the Napoli of Maradona and Careca, Juventus of Laudrup and Rui Barros, Fiorentina of Baggio and Borgonovo, and Sampdoria of Vialli and Mancini.For me this squad is one on the most impressive in all italian football history. Let’s go post by post of this Inter Dream Team of 1988-89.
World class goalkeeper with the gift of making seemingly impossible saves. Zenga was suspect on crosses, as all Argentina fans will point out, but Spiderman’s reflexes and agility were astonishing.
Bergomi is one of the greatest defenders who ever lived. A teenage wonderkid who won the World Cup in Spain at the age of 18, man-marking Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in the final, Bergomi wore the shirt of Inter with supreme distinction for 19 years.
Another excellent Inter servant, Mandorlini wore the Nerazzurri colours from 1984 to 1991, making almost 200 Serie A appearances. Having said this, he was fortunate enough to be surrounded by some great players.
Along with Zenga and Bergomi, and Milan’s Franco Baresi and Paolo Maldini, Ferri was another Milanese member of the brilliant Italy 1990 World Cup defence that went the first five-and-a-half games without conceding a goal. A fantastic man-marker who would stick to a forward like glue, Ferri was a key reason why Inter conceded just 19 goals in 34 games in 1988-89.
Oh how brilliant German players used to be! Brehme was an attacking full-back, who was outstanding at set-pieces, could shoot, cross and pass with both feet, and was quite simply one of his country’s greatest ever left-backs. Scored in both the semi-final and final of Italia ‘90, including the winner in the Rome showpiece.
Matteoli holds the record for the fastest goal in Serie A history, achieved after just nine seconds against Cesena in November 1988. The six-capped Italy international scored a few decisive goals that season.
Most famous for scoring a UEFA Cup winner against Aston Villa in a 1990 comeback victory, Bianchi served Inter for eight years, also winning nine Italy caps along the way
With 150 international caps, spanning 20 years and five World Cups, one of which he lifted as captain, Matthaus is perhaps Franz Beckenbauer’s only rival as Germany’s greatest ever player. The 1988-89 campaign was Matthaus’ first season at Inter, but he was an instant star, driving the club to the Scudetto with his technical, tactical, physical, mental, attacking, and defensive machinery.
It is fair to say that I was never Berti’s biggest fan, perhaps due to the injury- plagued last five years or so of his career. However, as a youngster, particularly in the late 1980s and early '90s, this tireless box-to-box midfielder was a symbol of the Inter team, scoring a number of crucial goals, including two in separate UEFA Cup finals.
Diaz only spent one season at Inter, but it was a memorable one as he thumped home 14 goals to help lead the side to the title. Diaz had an excellent seven-year career in Serie A, and will be remembered for his rocket of a left foot. Would have won the 1986 World Cup too had a feud with Diego Maradona not seen him banished from the Argentina squad.
Serena had an eventful club career as he played for Inter four times, Milan twice, and Juventus once, winning Scudetti with all these giants. The tall striker was top-scorer during the 1989 championship-winning campaign with 22 goals, but sadly he is best remembered by Calcio fans for missing a crucial penalty against Argentina at Italia ’90.
Stanging : Zenga, Ferri, Berti, Bergomi, Serena & Matthäus
Squatting : Díaz, Brehme, Bianchi, Matteoli & Mandorlini