In our countdown of the Top 20 Inter players in the last 20 years, we recognise Inter’s clinical striker Christian Vieri in 9th spot.
Christian “Bobo” Vieri will go down as one of the most prolific goal scorers in Inter’s history. Vieri scored 103 goals in 143 Serie A appearances putting him in the top 10 ever for Inter.
There was always controversy surrounding Vieri, as he was known as a nomad since he never had a football home. In saying that, Vieri spent 6 seasons with Inter which is the most by far he ever spent in one club.
Let’s look a bit further at Vieri’s Inter career.
Record signing paying dividends –
In July 1999, Inter signed Vieri from Lazio for a world breaking fee. The transfer cost Inter around €49mil, as at the time the currency was still the Lire.
The reason Inter signed Vieri was because of his stellar season with Lazio, and Inter were looking to build a mouth-watering attack joining Ronaldo up front.
From the first game at Inter, it seemed Vieri was at home as he started his Inter career with a hattrick against Hellas Verona. The season kept going from strength to strength as Vieri finished with 13 goals from 19 appearances.
Unfortunately Vieri would suffer an injury causing him to miss nearly all of Inter’s last few games. This would cost Inter any shot at the title as they were only able to manage 4 wins from the final 11 matches without Vieri.
Could score a goal –
If there was one thing we expected from Vieri, it was goals. The man was a goal scorer through and through, and knew how to find the back of the net.
In the next few seasons, Vieri would establish himself as one of the greatest strikers in Italy. As we know back then, Serie A was the best league in the world.
Vieri managed to score 18 goals in the season of 2000/01 from 27 appearances. He was Inter’s highest goal scorer as no one else finished in the double digits.
Single handedly Vieri was keeping Inter competitive, as the following year he scored 22 goals in 25 appearances. Again, no other Inter player finished in double digits as Vieri was the focal point of Inter’s attack.
The best of Vieri was yet to come, as in the 2002/03 season he went full beast mode. Scoring 24 goals in 23 appearances, Vieri was named Serie A Italian footballer of the year and also was Serie A top scorer.
At the end of Vieri’s time at Inter, there was plenty of controversy over his eventual exit. Especially since his next move was to AC Milan. That’s right, Vieri went straight from us to our cross city rivals!
We later found out that Moratti, Inter’s president at the time, was spying on Vieri. This was publicized as Vieri sued for damages against the club and won.
“I was happy, as a footballer and as a person, and I gave all the energy I had for the club. You can quite understand how incredibly disappointed I was to learn that he’d been tapping my phone and listening to my calls. Come on, that’s the kind of thing the mafia does.”; Vieri was quoted as saying.
It’s a shame that Vieri’s time at the club ended like this. He was very successful on an individual level and scored a lot of goals for the club. The only piece of silverware he managed was the Coppa Italia, so was never lucky enough to win a Scudetto during his time at Inter.
We will be visiting number 8 next on our countdown. Who would you like to see in that number 8 spot for the Top 20 Inter players in the past 20 years?
As always Forza Inter!