La rimonta di Robiolina

Giovanni Invernizzi SCROLL TO READ STORIA N.101 / 110

It was on 8th November 1970 when Inter badly lost 3-0 in the derby. It was only the fifth match of the season but the distance to the top was already five points. It was too big a gap considering the Nerazzurri’s ambitions. President Fraizzoli decided it was time for change and the Paraguayan Heriberto Herrera was sacked to be replaced by the Primavera Coach Giovanni Invernizzi. There was too much bad feeling in the dressing room following Herrera’s rule with an iron fist but above all because three key figures from the Grande Inter had been frozen out of the squad. They were Gianfranco Bedin, Jair Da Costa and Mario Corso.

With Invernizzi, it was a totally different story. He’d already been at Inter as a player and he was nicknamed ‘Robiolinia’ after his family who were famous for the production of cheese. A relationship based on trust and mutual respect emerged between Coach and players. As matches went by, what had been a temporary solution was transforming into an epic feat. Bedin, Jair and Mariolino Corso came back and along with the goalscorer Boninsegna, Inter were firing on all cylinders, winning 21 points from a possible 24. There was then a decisive win over the Rossoneri on 7th March 1971. The 2-0 derby win came courtesy of goals from Corso and Sandro Mazzola that took Inter to within just one point of leaders Milan.

I was born an Interista and I’ll die an Interista.

The climb up the table was made complete three weeks after. At that point, it was just a matter of time before the Nerazzurri mathematically wrapped up the Scudetto. With three matches left, Inter beat Foggia 5-0 and defeats for Milan and Bologna made Inter the Champions of Italy for the eleventh time. Next season, the former Primavera Coach also led the team to the European Cup final, only being beaten by Johann Cruyff’s Ajax. It didn’t matter though because Giovanni Invernizzi had left his mark on Inter history.

Giovanni Invernizzi

Giovanni Invernizzi (Albairate, 26 August 1931 – Milan, 28 February 2005) was a player and coach at Inter. As a player, he made 137 appearances (1949-50, 1951-52 season and then from 1954 to 1960) and he scored six goals as a midfielder. After training the Nerazzurri’s Primavera side, he took a place on the bench with the first team following the sacking of Heriberto Herrera. He won the title by coming back to overtake rivals Milan. He led Inter until 1973 when he moved to Taranto.