Success at any football club is always based around a strong defence. If that platform of stability is not there, then it’s difficult to put together any title runs. Since the foundation of Inter Milan in the early 1900s, some great backlines have helped forge success for the club.

From domestic Serie A titles to spectacular triumphs in Europe, the impressive history of the club is linked with some of the greatest defenders to ever pull on the famous black and blue shirt.

Simone Inzaghi’s team currently has the fewest goals conceded among all teams in the Serie A 2023/2024 season. This factor influences the odds, whether you’re checking the UK bookmakers at or other European online platforms — Inter usually emerges as the favourite, with their opponents’ expected individual goal tally almost always low. Let’s explore the origins of the current team’s inspiration and the legendary defenders who kept their nets untouched at San Siro and beyond.

Giuseppe Bergomi

With over 500 appearances for the club during his fantastic career, Giuseppe Bergomi remains an icon of Inter Milan’s past. He was a one-club man as well, dedicating his entire professional career to the Nerazzurri.

Bergomi won just one league title but helped Inter lift the UEFA Cup three times in the 1990s. His ability to read the game was spectacular and made him a giant in the backline.

Javier Zanetti

Another legend Javier Zanetti is one of the all-time great Argentine defenders, who spent nearly two decades at the San Siro. He was a generational talent who made more than 850 appearances for Inter.

Versatility was the key to Zanetti’s game as he could play anywhere across the back line and still look imperious. He was a strong, but fair player, and only received one Serie A red card in his entire career. Zanetti holds the record for the most Serie A appearances for Inter Milan and total club appearances overall.

Walter Samuel

Bringing a physical, yet composed edge to the Inter backline, Walter Samuel’s stay at Inter was briefer than some of the names on this list of great defenders.

But it was a successful six-season tenure for the Argentine, winning five Serie A titles and the UEFA Champions League. Samuel was just an immense presence, physically dominating, but he also had a great turn of speed and controlled aggression.

Tarcisio Burgnich

A bulldog of a defender who would constantly be snapping at forwards and giving them nightmares.

He spent 12 seasons with Inter and was the archetypal Italian defender – strong, very aggressive and intimidating. Burgnich was part of the Italian squad that finished runners-up to Brazil at the 1970 World Cup and he won four Serie A titles and two European Cups with Inter.


The great Brazilian is one of the greatest right-backs to have ever played the game. He forged a great career in Italy, winning the UEFA Champions League and four Serie A titles.

The Brazilian was quick and would often be found in an advanced position, but in a flash, he would be back fulfilling his defensive duties thanks to having a combination of phenomenal work rate, speed and stamina.

Andreas Brehme

A World Cup winner with Germany, Brehme brought something different to the Italian top flight. He was never a player that relied on his speed, instead, he managed to blend a great toughness with anticipation and some outstanding technical abilities for a centre half.

He only spent four seasons with Inter but won a Serie A title and the UEFA Cup during his stay.

Iván Córdoba

The Colombian was a big fan favorite at the San Siro and played more than 450 times for the club. He was a rock in the centre of the defense and while not being the tallest of defenders, what he lacked in height he made up for in commitment, athleticism and timing.

Córdoba was the heart of Inter’s defense that dominated Serie A as the club won five consecutive league titles from 2005/06 through 2009/10.

Giacinto Facchetti

Through the 1960s and 1970s, Inter were blessed to have Giacinto Facchetti, easily one of the greatest fullbacks to ever play the game. He was formerly a forward, but upon moving to Inter was slotted into left back.

Facchetti won the Scudetto four times during his career and because of his speed and attack-minded abilities that made him keen to push forward, he revolutionized the full-back position.