For all Inter fans, Angelo Moratti has always been “The President”, the one who created and made the “Grande Inter” known to the world, which in the 1960s won: two European Cups, two Intercontinental Cups and gave the collective imagination a team mythical.
The beginnings of the entrepreneurial activity
He was born in Somma, in Lombardy on November 5, 1909 into a wealthy family, his father had a pharmacy in the center of Milan. He marries Erminia Cremonesi in 1927, she will be the person who will direct him towards the acquisition of Inter in the fifties. They have six children including Massimo, who in the 2000s will write another important page for the black and blue colors.
From an early age he had a flair for business, he was farsighted in exploiting the opportunities that between 1920 and 1930 came from the demand for petroleum products which allowed him to create a vast distribution network throughout Italy. From there begins an entrepreneurial journey that led him to create in 1962 one of the most important refineries in the Mediterranean in Sarroch in Sardinia and which is still the leader in the oil market today. In addition to the oil sector, he was also the owner of Corriere della Sera together with the lawyer Gianni Agnelli and owner of the economic newspaper Il Globo.
The presidency of Inter
Angelo Moratti became president of Inter on 28/05/1955. His passion for Inter was born through his wife Erminia who, twenty years before her, had dragged him to an Inter match against Roma. For him it is love at first sight. In 1955 he became the fifteenth black and blue president who had previously won the championship six times, but never an international cup. He bought the club for about 100 million lire from the industrialist Carlo Masseroni.
In the first years of the presidency Moratti paid for being too much a fan, some of his choices were dictated a lot by the heart and not by reason, as a result he had to change several coaches, eleven in five years. In these five years his results were disappointing, with two third places as best finish and a ninth place in 1959 which led him to consider selling the company. But the love for Inter was greater than the disappointments and so it continued, up to the great results that he then managed to achieve in the sixties.
Helenio Herrera and Italo Allodi
Helenio Herrera was an Argentine coach known in the environment as a great speaker, a lover of the game in attack made of pressing across the board. His arrival cost the president a lot from an economic point of view but over time he gave phenomenal results, so much so that he was called the “Wizard”. However, having a very strong character, sometimes he came into conflict with the more reserved and condescending president with the players.
There were various situations in which the discussions were animated, but the strongest one was when Herrera wanted to sell Mariolino Corso. Being the player that the president preferred to all from a technical point of view, he was never sold, despite the insistence of the coach.
In those years, together with Herrera, a young sporting director arrived: Italo Allodi. First of all, in building the team, he sold Angelillo and bought the Spaniard Luisito Suarez from Barcelona as playmaker, he focused on Corso’s inspiration, then he took on Burgnich, Jair and Di Giacomo as center forward, finally bringing Mazzola and Facchetti to the first team. These players, together with the captain Armando Picchi, formed the backbone that gave rise to the “Grande Inter”.
In 1963 he won the first championship with this formation: Sarti, Burgnich, Facchetti, Milani, Guarnieri, Picchi, Jair, Mazzola, Di Giacomo, Suarez and Corso. In 1964 he lost the Scudetto in the play-off with Bologna in Rome, but won the Champions Cup in Vienna against the legendary Real Madrid and a few months later also the Intercontinental Cup against Indipendiente.
From here begins the history of the Inter Euroworld that will be feared by everyone in the international arena. In the summer of 1964 Domenghini and Peirò arrived together with the young Bedin. He will be able to repeat himself with the victory of two other championships and the second Champions Cup in the final against Eusebio’s Benfica and also the Intercontinental Cup again against the Argentines of Indipendiente. Inter in this period played with: Sarti, Burgnich, Facchetti, Bedin, Guarnieri, Picchi, Domenghini, Peirò, Mazzola, Suarez and Corso.
Contrasts with Herrera and the fall
But after these glorious years in 1967 the fall of this great team began, also due to the contrasts between the coach and the president. In fact, after dominating the whole season, both in the league and in the Champions Cup, there was the darkest week in the history of the great Inter. In fact, first he lost the championship, due to the defeat against Mantova, in which a duck by goalkeeper Sarti was decisive with consequent overtaking of Juventus in the standings. Then in the Champions Cup final they were defeated by Celtic in Lisbon.
From there many conflicts arose within the team which led the president to consider the cycle of the great Inter concluded. In fact, in the following season he finished in thirteenth place and made the president take the decision to sell the club for 140 million to the Milanese entrepreneur Ivanoe Fraizzoli. At the time of the sale, there was a statement from President Moratti who said:
“Even in poker I prefer to quit when I lose, it takes more courage to continue”
With his release, Herrera and Allodi also left, thus ending the golden age of the black and blue team.
Having sold the club, Angelo Moratti continued to follow Inter as a fan, until his death in Viareggio at the age of 72. An immense crowd attended his funeral in Milan, to pay their last respects to the man who had brought the Milanese team to the Olympus of world football and who made it unforgettable, not only for his fans but for all football enthusiasts.