HALL OF FAME: A MAGICAL EVENING

The words of those involved in yesterday evening's prestigious award ceremony held by FC Internazionale Milano

MILAN – Four new former stars were inducted into Inter’s Hall of Fame on what was a magical evening. Prior to Inter vs. ChievoVerona kicking off, the San Siro turf once again played host to four Nerazzurri legends as they were honoured for their special role in FC Internazionale Milano’s history.

With the award ceremony in full flow, the legends involved described their feelings to Inter TV in front of 60,000 fans at the Meazza. First up was an emotional Francesco Toldo, who came first in the goalkeeper category: “Receiving this award on the San Siro pitch with this crowd applauding in the background makes me really emotional. For me, it’s an honour to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Dejan Stankovic and I experienced great battles from which incredible wins emerged. Giacinto Facchetti was at one point my President when I was here, he was the one who welcomed me to Inter. I remember Meazza well. I’ve been really moved by the crowd and the affection we received when we entered the pitch. It’s an evening that will remain in my heart.”

Luca and Barbara Facchetti accepted the Giacinto’s award and had the following to say: “It was a wonderful surprise to be able to accept this award on behalf of our father. All the awards are fantastic. It’s certainly the case that he would feel very happy and honoured to be acknowledged as one of the greats in the Nerazzurri’s history. It’s fantastic that he has been honoured today together with people who are part of that same history. There is a common thread that links them. Meazza presented him to Inter in 1958 before an incredible cycle began: Helenio Herrera’s Grande Inter side and his career as a player, then there was his career as a Director before he then became President. Stankovic and Toldo are linked to this era. This is why it’s great that he’s been inducted into the Hall of Fame at precisely this moment. The best thing about it is that the fans voted for him. Many didn’t have the pleasure of seeing him play, so the various stories and memories have been passed down from generation to generation. His memory is still alive and he is still here with us – this is simply wonderful.”

One year after Lothar Matthaus made his entrance, Dejan Stankovic has now joined him in midfield: “I thought many times about what I would say after winning an award as important as this. Having played at Inter for 10 years, enjoying so many wins and trophies, it’s simply an honour. It feels like the old times once again this evening. Greeting the fans from the pitch, where I enjoyed countless battles together with my teammates, made me feel honoured to have my heart permanently stitched to these Nerazzurri colours. Lothar Matthaus won last year and he was one of my idols when I was young. I was lucky enough to play against him when we were at the 1998 World Cup in France. I want to say thank you for having been given the opportunity to wear these colours and fight every single day, match and minute for this shirt.”

To conclude the ceremony, there was also an award for Giuseppe Meazza, which was accepted by his grandson Federico Jaselli Meazza: “It’s a huge honour to receive this award on behalf of my grandfather, it’s indescribable. I want to thank the fans for having applauded his name, it’s a truly unique feeling. As the years go by, there is always the risk that a name is forgotten, but even the youngest fans wanted to honour him. This makes me so happy and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”


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