MILAN – The debut fixture for Inter For Ever is drawing closer and Francesco Toldo, who has set up the project that will see a team of ex-Nerazzurri players working as ambassadors for Inter throughout the world, recalls how it came about: "It was Giacinto Facchetti who came up with the idea; all I've tried to do is carry it through. It's nice to know I've done something that he would have wanted."
Turning out for this side will be players who have both left their mark on Nerazzurri history and been permanently affected by the colours: "Inter is something special that stays with you forever," commented the former keeper who today works as an ambassador for Inter Campus. "And you do feel special when you pull on a Nerazzurri shirt. It's the whole philosophy, the soul... I don't even know how to explain it properly. It makes you feel at home. That's why I thought I could reunite some of us who have felt at home at Inter to help carry a message around the world. Obviously there are those of us who have won a lot with the club and become fan favourites, others less so, but we are all united by one thing: our Nerazzurri background."
Tomorrow, Friday 25 May, on the pitch in Via Pomerio in Arco (Trento), Inter For Ever will make their debut against Bayern Munich, kick-off at 20:00. "It will be a very special debut for me," Francesco explains. "Bayern were the last opposition I faced in my playing career, in the Champions League final in Madrid on 22 May 2010. I wasn't on the pitch but the colours still felt mine. Black and blue forever." Afterwards came a position within the club and Inter Campus. Toldo reveals: "A lot of effort gets put into Inter Campus. I've been around the world with them: L'Aquila, where they were hit by the earthquake, in Cambodia, Venezuela, Romania, Lebanon and Palestine. Far-flung locations where you sense how strong these colours are. And they make a difference in people's lives. For me it's like experiencing a second life, realising what football means beyond the confines of the pitch."With Inter For Ever he will be back on the pitch tomorrow: "It always a joy to play again and it's a privilege to represent Inter forever." Teaming up with Toldo on Friday 25 May will be - among others - Marco Materazzi, Luis Figo, Luigi Di Biagio, Evaristo Beccalossi, Alessandro Altobelli, Antonio Manicone, Carlo Muraro, Jimmy Fontana, Massimo Paganin, Piero Fanna, Daniele Adani, Alessandro Scanziani, Felice Centofanti, Leonardo Occhipinti, Enrico Messaggi, Marco Monti, Benito Carbone, Fabio Tricarico, Giancarlo Pasinato, Andrea Mazza, Giampiero Marini, Nazzareno Canuti and Angiolino Gasparini.
Tomorrow's encounter in Arco (Trento) is just the first gathering. There will be many more to follow, with many more ex-Nerazzurri joining the For Ever side for future matches. Toldo has already planned a series of appointments in Italy and around the world. For Inter and with Inter.