Skip to main content

The Legendary Pippo Inzaghi


“Oi oi oi, oi oi oi oi, Pippo Inzaghi segna per noi” The chant inspired by a Milan legend, the fans imploring Inzaghi to score for us. So simple that even kids could learn it quickly, so powerful that the chant and its accompanying emotions stuck with you long after the game. All because Inzaghi was as passionate or more passionate than the most devout fan, and if they sang his chant, he did everything in his power to score… for the fans, for the shirt, for the club, and for our hearts. People say that he celebrated every single goal like it was a Champions League final, and it’s true. His class, his devotion to Milan, and his unparalleled passion made him a Milan legend.

Legend.

I remember the day he retired like I remember the moment when my children were born. More painful was that I was supposed to have been at that match, something I’ll always regret. It was probably at least 48 hours of tears for me. Obviously, I was saying goodbye to a number of Milan legends. But it was my Inzaghi shirt that was tear stained. And when he scored, every imaginable emotion just exploded in me, followed by the empty pain of knowing I wouldn’t see him score for Milan ever again.

Perhaps the saddest day of my life

Why so much pain and emotion for one player? Inzaghi had that power… as a player, my heart always leapt when he stepped onto the pitch. I loved all of the Milan players, but Super Pippo just always filled me with hope and the anticipation of goals and especially of celebrations. Pippo was one of us, so when he scored, it was as if we all scored. Or so it seemed, anyway. His passion and connection with the fans made him a fan favorite, even if he was on the bench or injured.

Even went out by scoring the winning goal

And why not? In eleven years at Milan, he scored 73 goals. And celebrated 73 times. Many of those goals were big ones. Game winners, Champions League match deciders, like his two goals vs. Liverpool in the final in 2007 that gave Milan their seventh trophy. He holds the record for the most hat tricks in Serie A for at least the past 25 years or so. His brace against Real Madrid in 2010 saw him take the title at that time for the most goals scored in European competitions with 70 goals, including a joint-high 3 hat tricks in the Champions League. He sits 18th in all time Serie A goal scorers, too, in addition to obviously being both Italy’s and Milan’s top European goal scorer.

His 2 goals won Milan's last Champions League trophy

A lot of people say he was not that gifted technically, that he just knew how to be in the right spot and read the defense well. He likely would own the record for the most offside calls, if there were such a stat, because he was always pushing the edge, ready to score. Whatever he lacked technically, though, he made up for in heart and passion and pure determination. So it’s no wonder that when he wrote his coaching thesis, it was entitled “A Mentality to Be Winners.”

Leaving a trail of decimated defenders and keepers in his wake, he knew how to score and to win

Which leads me to the present. After coaching the youth teams for two years, he is now the man in charge at Milan. Celebrating his 41st birthday, he is quite young to have the reins of such a storied club. And yet, I believe he is just what Milan needs right now. Without the kind of squad that Inzaghi played with, Milan need a super dose of winning mentality. Someone who had to work and draw from within himself to be a champion.

He may not score the goals himself anymore, but he'll still celebrate like he did

He was not gifted, as many would say so many of our players are not either, but he was a winner. He never complained, was always classy, and was such a fan favorite that he was the only player who retired two years ago that was honored by the Curva in a special way. He connects with the fans, he respects the management, and he respects the players. But he also has high expectations of the players, and a sincere desire to instill in them the habits and mentality that he had to become such a Milan legend. And above all, he always wants to win.

Mister Inzaghi means business

The past two years without him in the first team have been hell for Milan fans given the criminally insane actions of management. But now that he is back, he is ready to turn water into wine. He said that this squad is not quality enough to win, but if this is the squad he’s got, then they they will win by grit and determination rather than talent. He is inspiring the team, and slowly but surely, with minute improvements, we can see that his passion and dedication are already starting to inspire the players individually and as a whole. And while he can’t personally go out there and score for us anymore, and we could still face a really tough season, it is so much better knowing that he is in charge. If anyone can work the miracles needed with this squad, it’s the legendary Inzaghi. I believe in Super Pippo.


A very happy 41st birthday to Mister Inzaghi
May your passionate spirit bring back our Milan


This post inspired by the music of the Pippo Inzaghi song

Our next match is a friendly
Valencia vs. Milan
Sunday, August 17th • 21:00 CEST (3pm EDT)


Stay tuned for an all new podcast on Monday!