3 men and one jersey

Ciriaco Sforza SCROLL TO READ STORIA N.6 / 110

The noble House of Sforza ruled the Duchy of Milan for almost a century, from halfway through the 1400s to 1535. Therefore, it’s a surname in Milan which can’t go unobserved. Ciriaco Sforza arrived at Inter in the summer of 1996 from Bayern Munich for six Billion Lire. A Swiss midfielder of Italian heritage, the then-manager Roy Hodgson really wanted him and he was the cherry on the cake from the President Massimo Moratti as the last signing of a transfer market designed to make the team win immediately.

With a number of great players such as Bergomi, Zamorano, Ince, Zanetti and Djorkaeff, it was strange to try and understand why Hodgson wanted the 26-year-old so badly, in that city, the surname couldn’t just be a coincidence. On the pitch however, things went differently from how the fans had expected as he scored a goal worth three points on his debut at Udine on the first day of this season, his only goal in 26 appearances. Overall, Sforza would made 40 appearances in all competitions, he scored four but struggled to find space with Paul Ince competing for the same role until inevitably parting ways at the end of the season.

Sforza returned to Germany while the Fenomeno Ronaldo arrived in Milan. Even if the two never shared a pitch, it was through film that Sforza is still remembered 20 years later thanks to the film ‘Three Men and a Leg’ by Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo. Aldo lends the recovering Giacomo Sforza’s shirt to wear to bed because “Ronaldo’s was sold out.” It became a cult scene, frequently referenced and known across generations. That 27-year-old who arrived in Milan in the summer of 1996 is still remembered not for the goals scored, the matches he played or the difference that he made. While it was the Fenomeno’s shirt on the pitch, Ciriaco Sforza’s number 21 shirt became a star at the cinema.

Ciriaco Sforza

Ciriaco Sforza joined Inter in the summer of 1996 for six Billion Lire from Bayern Munich. He made 26 Serie A appearances and scored once. In the Coppa Italia he played three times and he featured eleven times in the UEFA Cup with three goals scored. His debut goal secured a 1-0 win at Udinese on 8th September 1996 excited the fans but it remained his only league goal. At the end of the 1996-97 season, he returned to Germany with Kaiserslautern.