Simone Inzaghi is earning comparisons to the legendary Inter Milan side of Giovanni Trapattoni with his current Nerazzurri team.
From record-setting numbers to a strong Italian spine, today’s print edition of Rome-based newspaper Corriere dello Sport, via FCInterNews, make the case for a strong parallel.
There have been quite a few strong Inter teams over the years.
From the “Grande Inter” team of the 1960s, to the years of domestic domination under Roberto Mancini in the late 2000s.
All the way to the Treble team of 2010 and the recent Scudetto winners under Antonio Conte.
But one team that really stands out in the memory is the “record-breaking” team of the 1988-89 season.
That campaign had seen Inter smash the record for most points collected in a single season during the two-points-for-a-win era.
Iconic coach Trapattoni had turned Inter into a well-oiled machine that season.
Inzaghi Inter Compared To Trapattoni 1988-89 Vintage
During the 1988-89 season, Inter were only permitted to have three foreign players in their squad.
And the Nerazzurri chose well. German icons Lothar Matthaus and Andreas Brehme were at the heart of that team’s success.
And Argentine striker Ramon Diaz spent one season in Nerazzurri colours, firing a free-scoring strike partnership with Aldo Serena.
Serena was one of a number of Italian players in that squad, per the regulations.
And the list of names of Azzurri stars looked like a real “murderer’s row.” The trio of Walter Zenga, Beppe Bergomi, and Giuseppe Baresi formed an iconic foundation at the back.
And in midfield, Nicola Berti was a shining light creatively.
Club stalwart Andrea Mandorlini was also a rock in defense for the Nerazzurri that season.
This current Inter team is not dissimilar in how they rely on top-class Italian internationals. As the Corriere note, five Italian internationals started for Inter against Juventus on Sunday.
These were Nicolo Barella, Federico Dimarco, Alessandro Bastoni, Matteo Darmian, and Francesco Acerbi.
That blend of peak-age players and veterans has formed a strong bedrock for the foreign players to shine, even in an area where rules are a lot more liberal about non-Italians playing in Serie A.
As the Corriere notes, the last time that Inter started five Italians in a Derby d’Italia against Juventus was 2003.
Then-Inter coach Hector Cuper fielded Francesco Toldo, Marco Materazzi, Fabio Cannavaro, Cristiano Zanetti, and Christian Vieri against the Bianconeri.
And the current formula is working at a similar pace to the 1988-89 season.
Translated to three points to a win, Trapattoni’s team of that season would be on 55 points from their first 22 matches. Meanwhile, this vintage under Inzaghi have actually outdone that – 57 points.