Born Interista

Spillo Altobelli SCROLL TO READ STORIA N.50 / 110

If your dad’s the second best goalscorer in Inter history and he scored in the most important match of all for Italy, it’s an uphill task to become a footballer in his footsteps. The son of the famous Alessandro ‘Spillo’, Mattia Altobelli’s career was a difficult one. In a Nerazzurri shirt, he went through all the youth teams winning a Primavera Scudetto and the Viareggio Cup. He sampled the first team atmosphere, making his debut against Bari in the Coppa Italia in 2002. He then slid down to the lower leagues, making some appearances in Serie B and Serie C before dropping down to amateur football.

On the other hand, his father Spillo made history in an Inter shirt. He arrived in the summer of 1997 at the age of 21, making his first steps as a professional with Latina and Brescia. He immediately established himself as a starter and in his first year he scored a goal in the final as Inter won the Coppa Italia. In the 1979-80 season, he won the Scudetto, scoring 15 goals (second best goalscorer that season behind Bettega) and that included a hat-trick against Juventus in the Derby d’Italia. Spillo was a complete forward who scored in every competition. League, Coppa Italia, or European competition, it made no difference.

The Nerazzurri shirt was my life, I was a born Interista. Even my first team Latina had a black and blue shirt…It was then a dream come true to go to Inter, to play there for eleven years and score some goals. I made a small piece of club history.

He played and put the ball in the net. He also scored a number for Italy despite strong competition for places up front from Paolo Rossi and Graziani. This didn’t stop him from going on the goalscorer’s list in the final of the 1982 World Cup against West Germany. At 27, Spillo was on top of the world. He left Inter in 1988 after some disagreements with Trapattoni, just before the record-breaking Scudetto win but with a tally of 209 goals. Only Meazza did better in a Nerazzurri shirt.

Spillo Altobelli

Alessandro Altobelli developed as a player at Latina. After three seasons in Serie A with Brescia, he was signed by Inter in 1977. He played in a Nerazzurri shirt for eleven seasons as he took part in 406 matches and scored 209 goals (behind only Meazza). He won the Coppa Italia twice and the Scudetto once. For Italy, he played 25 times and won the 1982 World Cup.