Inter's Stalwarts: The Four That Have Stayed
Nerazzurri: The black and blue never change, but the players certainly have.
When Giuseppe Bergomi took over Inter Milan in the summer of 2012, most of the fans around the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza knew that quite a bit of change lay ahead, hopefully for the better.
The squad contained a couple of quality players, but most of them vastly overpaid, and more still well past their prime. Even worse, the club was in the midst of a financial crisis, with very little money to spend, and hardly a wage budget to work with.
The changes began immediately. Within a few years, Bergomi had completely overhauled his squad; the richly paid, older generation of the Nerazzurri was gone, and the new, youthful, exciting generation had arrived. The likes of Mattia Destro, Rogerio, and Emerson Luiz came and reinvigorated the new-look club.
Now in Giuseppe Bergomi's 6th season in charge of his boyhood club, it seems as though the entire team has completely changed; where fans once saw Diego Milito scoring goals every week, Mattia Destro has taken up the mantle, and where the Giuseppe Meazza once cheered on elder statesmen Javier Zanetti down the right flank, Omar Carrasco deputizes.
However, not everything has changed. From the players on the Inter wage list that Bergomi inherited back in 2012, four players still remain; Lorenzo Crisetig, Alvaro Pereira, Philippe Coutinho, and club captain Andrea Ranocchia.
Captain Fantastic: Andrea Ranocchia (above) has been a fixture in Bergomi's team.
Andrea Ranocchia is obviously the biggest success story. Giuseppe Bergomi arrived at the club with Ranocchia at just 24 years old and a burgeoning, tough tackling center back. At first, the Italian had to fight for his starting spot with the likes of Walter Samuel, Matias Silvestre, and Juan Jesus, but within a year Ranocchia had risen to stardom.
Since 'Beppe' took charge, Ranocchia has made 332 appearances for Inter and became the club's captain after the retirements of Javier Zanetti and Esteban Cambiasso. The now 29 year old also won international acclaim, with 40 caps and multiple Serie A Player of the Year honors to his name.
Alvaro Pereira is the most surprising remaining player of the four. The Uruguayan left back has never been an 'outstanding' performer at the club, but he's always been a very consistent defender and an excellent overlapping wingback. He has always had to share time with Yuto Nagatomo and now Lucas Digne, having never made 30 league appearances in a season, but he's always delivered.
Consistent: Pereira, though not the flashiest, has always played well for the club.
Now 32 years old, some people are very surprised that Pereira still plays a relatively important role at the club; he is the oldest player at the club. However, as 96 caps for Uruguay prove, the left back is a talented player, and has been one of Bergomi's most loyal servants.
Philippe Coutinho is now considered one of the best players at Inter Milan, and perhaps even in the world, but many forget that it was Giuseppe Bergomi that truly resurrected the Brazilian's career. Immediately thrust into the starting lineup in 2012 after the sale of Wes Sneijder, Coutinho has become a surefire fan favorite.
Superstar: Coutinho managed over 20 goals and assists last season.
The tricky, fleet-footed attacking midfielder turned winger is now one of the first names on the teamsheet for Giuseppe Bergomi. Coutinho has made an outstanding 241 appearances in all competitions since "Beppe's" arrival, scoring an outstanding 71 goals and adding 81 assists, also scoring 12 times in 39 caps for Brazil.
The fourth and final player that has stayed at the club throughout Bergomi's reign from his very first day is homegrown Lorenzo Crisetig. The central midfielder has spent his entire career with the Nerazzurri, but his first three years under Bergomi were out on loan at Spezia, Verona, and Osasuna. After scoring 10 goals and creating 10 assists for the Spanish side, Crisetig joined Inter's first team in 2015.
Home-Grown: Crisetig, born and bred Inter Milan, now has 9 caps for Italy.
Since then, the 25 year old has become an integral part of the Inter Milan squad, strongly challenging Andrea Poli for his spot in the club squad and even gaining 9 Italy national team caps. He has also become the shining example of success from Inter's youth academy.
Even though these last six years have been full of change for Inter Milan, and even though their squad seems very, very different from the team that conquered the world with Mourinho, some players live on, adapt, and have conquered the world yet again with Bergomi.