59 years of “Spillo”

MILAN – 209 goals in 466 appearances. That statistic alone tells you all you need to know about the extraordinary Nerazzurri career of Alessandro Altobelli. Skilful, agile, strong in the air: he was the complete centre-forward, a ruthless goal-scorer. Spillo is the second highest scorer in the history of the club, and the most prolific in European competition (35 goals in 69 matches) and domestic cups (46 goals in 80 matches).

Having cut his footballing teeth with Latina and Brescia, Altobelli was bought by Inter in the summer of 1977. He didn’t have long to wait to make his debut, scoring the opener in a Coppa Italia clash against Como on 21 August, which the Nerazzurri won 2-0. A week later, he’d made his Serie A bow against Bologna.

Altobelli led the line for Inter for eleven seasons, captaining the side for three. Silverware inevitably arrived – Spillo lifted the Scudetto in 1979/80, along with two Coppa Italias in 1977/78 and 1981/82 respectively.

Amongst the wealth of happy memories, who could forget his hat-trick against Juventus on 11 December 1979, a match which Inter went on to win 4-0? Indeed, Spillo would go on to make history with the national team too, scoring in the World Cup Final to down West Germany and hand Italy the crown in 1982.

An idol of the fans, Altobelli’s name has come to be synonymous with goals and success. So on the day of his 59th birthday, F.C. Internazionale and Inter Forever would like to say: Happy Birthday Spillo!