THERE WAS an air of menace about them: Black and blue stripes; dark, matinee idol looks; oiled hair; and a dictatorial manager who had a slightly sinister appearance. And they were “foreign”. English football managers, among other folk in Britain, were deeply suspicious of Italian football teams. They were, after all, ultra-defensive, sly, tricky and “dirty” – that was the narrative if you believed … Continue reading Great Reputations: Grande Inter – a harsh legacy?
WHILE Internazionale are credited with being the arch-exponents of catenaccio, the nerazzurri were not the first Italian team to adopt the defence-minded approach that squeezed the life out of Italian and European football. Inter’s stable-mates, AC Milan, were the forerunners. Nereo Rocco, from Trieste, first used the system at Padova, where he led a modest team from Veneto to third place in Serie A. After … Continue reading Great Reputations: AC Milan 1961-1963, the Nereo empire