Eight incredible players that Inter Milan sold far too early

Dennis Bergkamp

Once upon a time, Inter Milan were one of the biggest clubs in Europe.

The Serie A giants had some of the best players in world football in their ranks - epitomised by the fact that they broke the transfer record twice to sign Ronaldo and Christian Vieri in 1997 and 1999 respectively.

As a result, they have an impressive 18 Serie A titles and three European Cups to their name.

But it’s been seven long years since they last won the league - and six years since their last trophy - the Coppa Italia in 2011.

So, what went wrong?

Well, long before their recent demise, it’s fair to say the Italian club didn’t exactly make the best decisions in the transfer market.

They have become renowned for selling players on the cheap that have gone on to become incredible talents. Maybe their recent downfall is a knockoff effect from selling top class players for virtually nothing.

So, here is a list of eight of the biggest mistakes they've made in recent years.

Matthias Sammer

Sammer joined the Nerazzurri in 1992 from Stuttgart but lasted six months and just 12 matches at the San Siro before being allowed to sign for Borussia Dortmund.

Shortly afterward, he helped Germany win Euro 96, won the Champions League with Dortmund in 1997 and also got his hands on the Ballon d’Or.

Ronaldo

Ok, so this decision may have been out of Inter’s hands and Ronaldo was already amazing, but surely they should have done more to keep the Brazilian striker at the club.

Inter broke the world record transfer fee to bring him to the club in a €27m fee and he rewarded the Italian club with 59 goals in 99 appearances during his time.

Little did Inter know that Ronaldo wasn’t even at his peak just yet. He joined Real Madrid for €46m and proceeded to score 104 goals in 177 matches at the Bernabeu and became one of the greatest strikers football has ever seen.

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Dennis Bergkamp

Inter spent £7.1m for Bergkamp back in 1993 and the Dutchman showed signs of promise, scoring 30 goals in 81 matches at the club.

Inexplicably, though, they allowed him to leave for Arsenal in a £7.5 million deal just as he was entering his peak years.

In his 11 seasons in north London, he transformed the Premier League and become a club legend.

Dennis Bergkamp

Roberto Carlos

We’re blaming Roy Hodgson for this one. After being picked up from Brazil, Carlos lasted just one season at Inter Milan before joining Real Madrid.

Why? Because Hodgson continually played him out of position.

"Hodgson's stay at Inter destroyed me,” Carlos told planet football.

"He played me in midfield and I had to consider that there was a chance that this would ruin my career in the national side.

"It's not that I did not have a good relationship with Hodgson. It is just that Hodgson doesn't know much about football.

"When Inter lost in the Uefa Cup final against Schalke in '96, it was purely because of Hodgson.

Ouch.

Andrea Pirlo

Imagine allowing a 22-year-old Pirlo to leave your club to join your biggest rivals after just 40 matches. Well, this is Inter Milan we’re talking about and that’s exactly what they did.

As you know, Pirlo went on to become of the greatest midfielders in his generation, winning six Serie A titles with AC Millan and Juventus as well as two Champions Leagues.

Oh, and he won 116 caps for Italy.

Good one, Inter.

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Clarence Seedorf

Inter didn’t learn their lesson after allowing Pirlo to join Milan because, one year later, they let Seedorf also sign for them.

Inter signed Seedorf at the end of 1999 for $24.35m but, before he could play 100 matches for them, he was swapped with Milan’s Francesco Coco.

Coco played 26 times in the league in five seasons for Inter, while Seedorf played 300 times for Milan, helping them dominate Italy and the rest of Europe.

Inter Milan v Torino X

Leonardo Bonucci

Bonucci played just four times for Inter, where he was valued at just €500 (no, really) before he was allowed to join Treviso.

He eventually ended up at Juventus where he has been a lynchpin in their defensive unit for the previous seven years.

He’s been linked with Chelsea and Barcelona recently and, if he is sold it won’t be €500 but more like €50m.

Philippe Coutinho

While Coutinho hasn’t achieved quite what the other seven players have, there’s no doubt Inter made a big error as far as the Brazilian is concerned.

Liverpool signed him for just £8.5m in January 2013 and his recent performances have attracted the attention of Barcelona.

The Italian club will be desperately checking to see if they included any sell-on clauses with the midfielder expected to command a fee in excess of £60m.

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