MILAN – The number 10: you can’t live with them, can’t live without them. Sometimes misunderstood, but always loved and admired. Genius. Grace on the ball. Now you see it, now you don’t. No matter what the era, they’re the special player, the one who holds the entire stadium in raptures, in the palm of their hand. The one who makes the difference when the goal seems tiny, the opponents intimidating and when the ball won’t do what you want it to.
Some players are just born number 10s, there’s no middle ground, you either are or you’re not. Only very few have the right to wear that shirt on their back.
Inter have had some wonderful players in that position. They’re all remembered for one moment or another, a pass, a goal or some unique piece of vision. Two of them have even made an all-time XI.
Lothar Matth�us won one Scudetto, a UEFA Cup and a Super Cup in his four seasons at the club. He scored 53 goals from his 153 appearances with the Nerazzurri, one of which came against Napoli at the San Siro, and handed us our 13th title. Who could forget?
Roberto Baggio is an iconic figure in Italian football: he delighted the Inter fans for two seasons, making 59 appearances and scoring 17 goals in that time. His tally included two beauties against Real Madrid, when he celebrated by cupping his hand to his ear to better hear the roar of the ecstatic Meazza crowd.
Both of them, one-of-a-kind players, just like Maradona and Pel�, Platini and Pusk�s, and Messi of course, the only man still playing to be included. Just the names alone tell you all you need to know, all selected by FIFA as the best number 10s ever.
All-time XIs tend to spark debate, but perhaps in this case we’d be better off just keeping quiet and admiring. They are number 10s: you never question them and they’re never forgotten.