A different way to see football

Annibale Frossi SCROLL TO READ STORIA N.12 / 110

Annibale Frossi enjoyed so many lives that even trying to tell it in a book or film would not be enough. From a hidden passion for football due to his mother wanting him to be a doctor, to winning gold at the Berlin Olympics, wearing the Nerazzurri shirt, gaining experience at Alfa Romeo, being a journalist and finally instigated innovative change from the Serie A dugout. All of this linked to just one common denominator…a pair of glasses that he wore everywhere since he was a child due to his nearsightedness.

My state of mind is indescribable when I’m playing with Meazza, Demaria and Ferraris. My heart completely takes over when I head out onto the pitch. My legs are no longer my own.

Annibale could have done anything. He had an analytical and precise eye for goal, while he then went on to become one of the greatest innovators in our football sphere, largely thanks to his passion. Furthermore, due to football and the Nerazzurri colours, he avoided a call-up to the Italo-Ethiopian War. He arrived at Inter when he was 25, having already secured an Olympic Gold medal with the National Team. Meazza, Demaria and Ferraris were there, who linked up with Frossi to form the green rectangle. An impossible dream that was played out like that of a film plot. Legs trembled and hearts thumped at a thousand beats a minute, however the chance was unique and he didn’t let the emotion get the best of him.

Annibale eventually returned to Inter as coach and was a precursor for modern times due to his precise means of match preparation. He forever stood strong in defence of his ideas, which were occasionally rejected and criticised by a hostile environment. He invented the false centre-forward, insisting that a perfect football match should finish 0-0, symbolic of the balance he liked to see out on the pitch. Well ahead of his time back then and perhaps still advanced in regard to today. However, his conviction and ideas still live on, along with his decisive glare that was forever present behind his famous spectacles.

Annibale Frossi

Annibale Frossi (Muzzana del Turgnano, July 6th 1911 – Milan, February 26th 1999), signed for Inter back in 1936 for 50 thousand lira. He made 147 appearances for the Nerazzurri and scored 49 goals, notably winning two league titles and a Coppa Italia. He then returned to Inter as coach during the 1956-57 campaign. He was an Olympic hero in Berlin by becoming tournament top scorer with seven goals, eventually winning the gold medal.