Born in 1961, Lothar Matthäus’ playing career lasted from 1979 to 2000. The German was at Inter from 1988 to 1992, four seasons which saw him score 53 goals in 153 matches. With the number 10 shirt on his back, he was the complete midfielder, blessed with power and technique. In his first season in Serie A, he inspired the Nerazzurri to a record-breaking Scudetto triumph, the 13th in the Club’s history. He also won the Supercoppa Italiana and UEFA Cup while he was at the Nerazzurri.
In 1990, following West Germany’s 1990 World Cup success in Italy, France Football presented him with the prize of the Ballon d’Or.
Matthäus thus become the first Inter player to win this prestigious award. Matthäus raised the Ballon d’Or trophy to the sky at the Meazza on 10 March 1991 prior to Inter vs. Juventus (a match that the Nerazzurri won 2-0, with the German getting on the scoresheet). The stands were packed as a wonderful ceremony involving children in Inter and Germany shirts unfolded on the San Siro turf.
Matthäus is one of four players to have featured in five World Cups (the others are Antonio Carbajal, Rafael Márquez e Gianluigi Buffon), with the German having played in a record 25 World Cup games during his career. Having made 150 appearances, he remains Germany’s most-capped player. He scored 23 times for his country, who he helped to win both the European Championship and World Cup.
In 2020, France Football named the German in the “Ballon d’Or Dream Team”.