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Ivan Cordoba SCROLL TO READ STORIA N.49 / 110

He arrived at Inter in January 2000 and immediately won a starting spot in the heart of the Nerazzurri defence, also featuring at full-back. He was no taller than 1 metre 75 but his special jumping ability allowed him to win aerial duels against forwards 20 centimetres taller and he also scored a number of goals. His physical and personal qualities made him a favourite of the fans and his teammates. Because of this, all of the Nerazzurri players wore his number two shirt to pay tribute to him at San Siro for his final match. That was in May 2012 in a derby that Inter won 4-2. The best way to end his career.

Cordoba would take on his opponents on and off the pitch with the same lack of fear, giving his all. In 2005, he found the ‘Colombia te quiere ver’ foundation for disadvantaged children in his hometown of Rionegro. This is just one of many charity initiatives set up by Cordoba.

There are players who are not just remembered for what they did on the pitch but also for what they did off it. Ivan Ramiro Cordoba is one of those. His was an extraordinary career. He spent 13 seasons at Inter, conquering Italy, Europe and the world. But, to understand who he really was, it’s enough to read one of his comments after retirement. “I was never afraid of anybody, a true defender, as a person, you can be afraid of illnesses, war or poverty in the world but certainly not attackers.”

Ivan Cordoba

Ivan Ramiro Cordoba was born in 1976 in Colombia. After playing in his home country with Deportivo Rionegro and Atlètico Nacional, he moved to Argentine side San Lorenzo in 1998. Inter signed him in January 2000. In 13 seasons with the Nerazzurri, he played in 455 matches. He won five league titles, four Coppa Italias, four Supercoppa Italianas, one Champions League and one Club World Cup. He also made 73 international appearances for Colombia with whom he won the 2001 Copa America.