Perhaps Diego Maradona gave Lothar Matthäus the biggest compliment when he described him as the “best rival I had in my whole career”. Both players won Serie A titles when the league was at its peak around Italia 90, but they were very different. Maradona was a flawed genius who seemed to be playing in the heavens, while Matthäus was perhaps the most complete midfielder there has ever been. He led by example, was professional, powerful, incredibly motivated and self-confident. He had an incredible engine; his range of passing was phenomenal; and he had a blistering shot. As a natural leader, he improved the players around him.
Between 1988 and 1992, Matthäus scored 53 goals in 153 appearances for Inter. He won Serie A, the Supercoppa Italiana and the Uefa Cup for the club, while also picking up the Ballon d’Or in 1990 and the World Cup in Italy the same year.
With Inter looking set to clinch their first Scudetto in over a decade, it is fitting to celebrate a man who played a major role in returning the Nerazzurri to the top of Serie A, 32 years ago.
Matthaus turned 60 on Sunday March 21, 2021.
At 28-years-old, Matthaus was an icon for both club and country, having played more than 60 games for Die Mannschaft and already a three-time league champion with Bayern. Even with the spending power and glamour of Serie A at the time, the move rocked German football.
On his first appearance at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza he completed the scoring during a comprehensive 4-1 defeat of Pisa and gave an all action display that would become a trademark of his time in Italy.