September 21, 2023

Inter, Sforza, Shaqiri, Sommer and the thread with Switzerland that goes back to the founding days


The goalkeeper who will succeed Onana’s legacy will be the 21st Swiss in Nerazzurri history. Here are the youngest compatriots who passed through Eppan, following a tradition that dates back to 1908

Adrian Seu

An original connection that is renewed in the hope that this time things will go better than in the recent past. The arrival of Yann Sommer in Milan re-establishes the direct link between the Nerazzurri and Switzerland that began 115 years ago, in 1908, when a group of Rossoneri “dissidents” created the Internazionale Football Club. Half of the squad has since been made up of Swiss players Except for Shaqiri, protagonist of a fleeting hiatus in 2015, there are 20 Swiss players who have worn the Nerazzurri shirt, with some ups and downs. The former Bayern goalkeeper, who is set to take over from Onana in Eppan in a few days, will be the twenty-first.


Switzerland is an important part of the club’s original soul, as its founders included eight Swiss people. The same ones who also put together the squad for the very first official games and won the first championship in the second year of club life. There were some “followers” like Ugo Riettman, who was a textile industrialist by trade and earned only one attendance before turning to arbitrage. But there were also important farmers like Hopf, Kappler, Kunmer, Marktl (who also wore the captain’s armband), Schuler, Niedermann and Wolkel. In the years that followed, between the First and Second World Wars, also Giorgio Muggiani, painter and footballer by trade and vocation, carried the Nerazzurri, the three brothers Hintermann and Martinelli (7 appearances and no goal) to then make a jump after Second World War with Geneva striker Vonlanthen, author of 12 goals in 42 appearances spread over two seasons (between 1955 and 1957) before becoming coach of the Swiss national team from 1977 to 1979. But after that block he became the protagonist of the first historic Scudetto, no Swiss managed to win a trophy in Milan.

Stress and Shaqiri

Not even the last two in chronological order were successful, two that Nerazzurri fans still fondly remember despite their brief stints and opaque experiences under the Madonnina. The first is Ciriaco Sforza, brought to Milan for 6 billion lire by then-President Moratti in the wake of a smashing 1996 European Championship: the Italian-born midfielder’s was a start with a bang, topped with two goals (however great) in the first two missions, it is a pity that complete darkness followed before the sale after only twelve months. In Milan, in a midfield where Djorkaeff’s talent and Ince’s personality thrived, his qualities always remained hidden, so much so that Sforza was remembered by the fans above all for the shirt Giacomo wore in Three Men and One Leg. famous comedy from 1997, which accounted for only four goals and two assists for the actions on the pitch. The same goes for the last Swiss in the Nerazzurri before summer, Xerdan Shaqiri, who landed at Eppan in January 2015 to increase Mancini’s offensive potential, only to have the disruption removed just half a year later without leaving the slightest regret. Adding to Shaqiri’s strong muscles, he recalls an afternoon of grace in Bergamo, helping with a goal and an assist to defeat Atalanta 4-1. Other than that, little or nothing. Logically, the hope is that Sommer’s music will be completely different.

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