“If you’d told me as a child that I’d play with Zamorano, Ronaldo, Simeone, Bergomi and all of the other great champions that I encountered at Inter, I wouldn’t have believed you.”
And yet, in amongst all of these great champions, Alvaro Recoba was able to stand out. From his first to his final Nerazzurri goal, he impressed and amazed crowds, producing magical and unique moments.
“When we were children, my father told us that we were only allowed to play with leather balls. The ball had to be hard, never one of those lighter plastic ones. Of course, when I began to play, I was already stronger. I don’t know if that was the reason or if it was due to genetics or something else, but I was already able to make a difference. This was perhaps because of the strength I could hit the ball with.”
Pure talent and a unique left foot. Recoba’s Nerazzurri adventure began with a bang: the Uruguayan managed to steal the show and upstage Ronaldo (the two players made their debuts in the same match), scoring a brace against Brescia on 31 August 1997. His last Inter goal came on 29 April 2007, when the Nerazzurri ran out 3-1 winners against Empoli at home. That day, he scored directly from a corner in magnificent fashion.
In total, he bagged 72 goals in 261 appearances for the Nerazzurri. Many were unforgettable, like his finish from midfield against Empoli on 25 January 1998, or his left-footed strike from the edge of the area to complete a historic comeback against Sampdoria on 9 January 2005. And then there were all those fantastic pieces of play, his agility and accelerations, his celebrations and the trophies he won: the Scudetto (x2), the Coppa Italia (x2), the Supercoppa Italiana (x2) and the UEFA Cup (x1).
Best birthday wishes, Alvaro Recoba!