With South American spirit and warrior-like features, he notably had grit in abundance. Ivan Zamorano was a Chilean attacker who featured for Inter from 1996 to 2001. He was always ready for battle and conquered the San Siro thanks to his goals (the frequency of which earned him the nickname ‘Bam Bam’) and the unique commitment that he shown every time he donned the Nerazzurri jersey. The Curva Nord called him ‘Zamo-Rambo’ and depicted him as having a knife between his teeth because he fought for every single ball. Zamorano was not too tall, but dominated in the air, nor was he too fast, yet the ball still managed reach his feet just a moment before anyone else. However, the thing that most comes to mind is the way in which he could produce magic despite lacking first-rate technique.
Both selflessness and a sense of belonging accompanied him out on the pitch. Following Ronaldo’s arrival back in 1998, he relinquished his No.9 shirt without even batting an eyelid, as it then went on to be worn by the Brazilian. However, this was what led to Zamorano coming up with the ingenious idea of choosing No.18 and also placing a small plus sign in between the numbers. In terms of his role, Zamorano didn’t need endorsements to prove his worth, instead he could rely on the fact that he had attacker’s DNA. During his time in Milan, he continued to trouble opposition defences, also tormenting goalkeepers with his rapid and surprising touches, helped by an innate eye for goal.
This was on display during the return leg of the 1996/97 UEFA Cup final against Schalke 04. With just six minutes remaining, the Nerazzurri needed a goal to send the match into extra-time. Following a throw-in from the sideline and a flick-on, ‘Bam Bam’ got in front of his marker and stuck out a right-foot to fire the ball past the German goalkeeper. That goal was ultimately not enough to lift the cup, however, destiny granted him yet another chance the following year, this time against Lazio. Zamorano proved decisive, accurately placing a right-footed shot past the goalkeeper which helped secure his side a 1-0 win. When the trophy was awarded, Iván came draped with the Chile flag around his shoulders and the Nerazzurri shirt in hand. Two things that meant so much to his warrior’s heart.