Inter Milan, in full Football Club Internazionale Milano, Italian professional football (soccer) team based in Milan. Inter Milan is the only Italian club never to have been relegated to a league below the country’s top division, Serie A.
Inter was formed in 1908 by a breakaway group of players from the Milan Cricket and Football Club (now known as AC Milan) who wanted their club to accept more foreign players; Inter’s first club captain, Hernst Marktl, was Swiss. Inter won its first Italian league championship in 1910 and has amassed 18 domestic league titles in total, including a run of five consecutive titles from 2005–06 (the original winner that year, Juventus, was stripped of the title for its role in a match-fixing scandal) to 2009–10. In 2010 Inter became the first Italian club to capture the “treble” of a domestic top-division title (the Serie A championship), a domestic cup (the Italian Cup), and a continental championship (Champions League) in a single year. In international competiton, the club has won three European Cup/Champions League titles (1964, 1965, and 2010), two Intercontinental Club Cup titles (beating Independiente of Argentina in 1964 and 1965), and three Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Cups (now UEFA Europa League; 1991, 1994, and 1998).As a member of Inter, Klinsmann helped the club win the Italian Super Cup in 1989 and the UEFA Cup in 1991 before he left the team to join AS Monaco of the French Ligue 1 in 1992. He led Monaco to an appearance in the 1994 Champions League semifinals, a feat that—combined with the five goals he scored in that summer’s World Cup—contributed to his earning German Player of the Year honours. In addition to gaining fame as one of the top strikers in the sport, he developed a reputation for diving (feigning being fouled in an attempt to draw a penalty against an opponent). He both embraced and mocked this reputation at his next stop, Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League, when he began diving facedown across the pitch to celebrate his goals, a playful move that endeared him to many of England’s notoriously demanding fans. After playing one season with Tottenham, Klinsmann signed with Bayern Munich in his home country. He led Bayern in goals scored in each of his seasons with the team, helping to capture another UEFA Cup (1996) and a Bundesliga title (1996–97) in the process. Klinsmann finished his club career by playing short stints with Italy’s Sampdoria and with Tottenham in 1997–98.
After his retirement Klinsmann relocated to the United States, where he was a partner in a sports marketing consulting agency and served as an adviser to the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer. In 2004 he returned to Germany to manage the men’s national team, which he led to a third-place finish in the 2006 World Cup before resigning shortly after the tournament. After a stint managing Bayern Munich during the 2008–09 season that saw him get fired with five games remaining in the Bundesliga schedule, Klinsmann was hired to coach the U.S. men’s national team (USMNT) in 2011.
Klinsmann’s first year of heading the U.S. team was uneventful and led to public speculation that his job might already be in jeopardy, but in 2013 he guided the team to a national-record 12-game winning streak, which was capped off with a Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Gold Cup tournament victory. The USMNT then had a promising performance at the 2014 World Cup, surviving the so-called “group of death” to qualify for the 16-team knockout round, in which it was eliminated by Belgium. The team placed fourth in the 2016 Copa América Centenario tournament, but it had failed to demonstrate the marked improvement and well-defined style of play that many thought the hiring of Klinsmann would bring. In November 2016, after the team lost its first two games in CONCACAF qualification play for the 2018 World Cup—which included the team’s first-ever home loss to rival Mexico—Klinsmann was fired from the USMNT.