Ten things you never knew about Inter

From their humble beginnings to 'The Uncle' and having one over on their city rivals, FC Internazionale Milano have a colourful history, as UEFA.com discovers.

Inter won the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League
Inter won the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League ©Getty Images

FC Internazionale Milano can this season become the first team to win the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League four times. Ahead of Walter Mazzarri's side's Group F opener against FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk – their 350th European game – UEFA.com picks out ten facts that you might not know about the Nerazzurri.

Formed: 1908

Nicknames: Nerazzurri (Black and Blues), La Beneamata (The Beloved)

UEFA club competition honours (most recent in brackets)
• European Champion Clubs' Cup: 3 (2010)
• UEFA Cup: 3 (1998)
• European/South American Cup: 2 (1965)

Domestic honours
• League title: 18 (2010)
• Italian Cup: 7 (2011)

• The club was founded by a group of AC Milan fans following issues over the signing of foreign players – from here came the name 'Internazionale'. Giuseppe Prisco, Inter vice-president from 1963 until he died in 2001 and famous for his witty put-downs, used to joke: "Only from humble origins comes greatness."

©Getty Images

• Inter and Italy legend Giuseppe Meazza, whose name Inter's stadium bears, had humble origins of his own. Having lost his father during World War I, he grew up in Milan with his mother Ersilia, whom he helped to sell fruit at the market. He learnt to play football barefoot as she hid his shoes to discourage him from playing. He scored 197 goals for Inter and won two FIFA World Cups with Italy.

• In the past, Inter fans were called 'Bauscia', a Milanese term meaning 'braggart', because the Nerazzurri were seen as the club of the bourgeoisie. By contrast, Milan were nicknamed 'Casciavit' – screwdriver in Milanese dialect – as the Rossoneri were the team of the working class.

Milan may have won the European Cup in 1963, but Inter quickly responded to their city-rivals by becoming the first Italian side to lift it twice, in 1964 and 1965. That 'Grande Inter' team coached by Helenio Herrera are also the only Italian side to have won the Scudetto, European Cup and European/South American Cup in one season, in 1965.

• Three famous Inter defenders are in the top six in the list of players who have made the most Serie A appearances for one club: Giacinto Facchetti (475), Giuseppe Bergomi (519) and Javier Zanetti (615). Milan's Paolo Maldini, AS Roma's Francesco Totti and Juventus' Alessandro Del Piero complete that lineup.

• Bergomi, known as 'Lo Zio' or 'The Uncle' because of his moustache and mature appearance even at a young age, has made more UEFA Cup appearances than anyone else (96). He is also the only player to have won the trophy three times.

• Two of Bergomi's UEFA Cup triumphs came alongside two players who won the Ballon d'Or while wearing the Nerazzurri shirt – Lothar Matthäus and 'Il Fenomeno' Ronaldo. "I have a photo of Ronaldo on my desk alongside the one of Meazza," Prisco used to say. "His photo replaced the one of my parents but I'm sure they would understand."

• After the famous hat-trick of trophies in 1965, Inter secured another treble in 2010 when they claimed the UEFA Champions League and domestic double under José Mourinho. Massimo Moratti, the son of 'Grande Inter' president Angelo Moratti, was over the moon after emulating his father's success. He said: "Reliving these kind of emotions after so many years is just unbelievable."

• Arguably the most famous song dedicated to a footballer in Italy is about former Inter midfielder Gabriele Oriali. Ligabue's 'Una Vita Da Mediano' celebrates selfless hard-working men "like Oriali".

• Inter are the only Italian side never relegated to have been Serie B. "I can assure the Inter fans that Serie B is not in our DNA," said Prisco. Referring to their city rivals, he added. "I believe a relegation takes five Scudettos away from your trophy cabinet, and winning the Mitropa Cup [an old tournament for Serie B champions won by Milan in 1982] cancels out all the rest."

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