Throughout the 1980s and 90s, his generosity gifted plenty of joy to Nerazzurri supporters, bringing players like Rummenigge, Matthaeus, Klinsmann and Brehme to Milan. Now over 20 years later, his generosity is still not spent and he continues to make people happy, however it is now away from the spotlight. Ernesto Pellegrini was Inter President from 1984 to 1995 and other than being a smart businessman, he was also a man with a good heart. In 2014, he set up a restaurant to help people in need.
The customers can be up to 400 every evening and they are people in financial difficulties. Pasta costs just €1 although it retains its niche by also being a full, working restaurant. The environment is warm and welcoming, with clientele being able to choose what they eat. The decision to call the restaurant Ruben has been explained by Ernesto Pellegrini himself: “Ruben was someone who worked for my family for three generations. He was isolated at a difficult period in his life, without a home and without work. At the time I was only 20-years-old and I couldn’t help him. For this reason I am now trying to help today in his memory, helping those who find themselves in difficult situations.”
Ernesto Pellegrini never took a step backwards in life, not even when he was Inter President. He took the club’s reigns back in 1984, instantly gifting the Inter faithful German striker Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who was a two-time Ballon d’Or winner. His first few years as Inter President were not easy, as Italian football was then dominated by Maradona’s Napoli and the Dutch-inspired Milan side. However, success soon arrived. Inter won the record-breaking Scudetto in 1989, and then the Supercoppa Italiana and the UEFA Cup in between 1991 and 1994. Just months after the final triumph, Pellegrini sold the club to Massimo Moratti. One era ended and another began.