Et is almost 13 years since Inter Milan last played a Champions League final. At that time, the Italian football club met FC Bayern in Madrid. Munich had prevailed confidently against Olympique Lyon and, under coach Louis van Gaal, a team that raised some hopes. They were not disappointed, because Bayern would experience a successful era in the years that followed, even without the Dutchman. The Munich final, however, lost; Inter Milan won 2-0 goals.
The young people from Munich around Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Müller did and did, the old Milan scored and celebrated. Argentina striker Diego Milito had the game of his life, scoring both goals at the Bernabéu. If you go through the line-ups from back then in the retrospective, you will see that the victory shouldn’t really have come as a surprise. Inter had a lot of experience to offer. The team around coach José Mourinho, who is fine with almost any means as long as there is victory in the end, played against Bayern.
The current year of Football Club Internazionale Milano also brings a lot of experience with them when this Champions League campaign ends on June 10 in the final in Istanbul. In the first leg of the semi-final against city rivals AC Milan, Edin Džeko, 37, and Henrich Mchitarjan, 33, scored. The fact that 25-year-old Lautaro Martínez made it 1-0 in the second duel on Tuesday evening shouldn’t be misleading. The striker has been on the international stage for a long time, recently became world champion and is therefore – like Milito – Argentinian.
Manchester City or Real Madrid?
The experience of the Qatar World Tournament immediately came to mind for Martínez as he considered his success with Inter. “I experienced that at the World Cup: if everyone is going in the same direction, then everything is easy,” he said, enthusing about himself and his team-mates. “We have done a great job. We showed that Inter deserves to experience such evenings.” It is not the first successful evening against city rivals. Inter won for the fourth time in 2023 – each time without conceding a goal: twice in the Champions League, in Serie A and in the Supercup.
The biggest final in European club football is also taking place in Istanbul. Opponent will be Manchester City or Real Madrid. The heavyweights will meet for the second time in England after the 1-1 draw in the first leg this Wednesday (9 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Champions League and on DAZN). The prevailing opinion on the final: Whoever wins in this semi-final also wins in Istanbul. After all, Real is a record winner and City is a Pep Guardiola football machine. But the favorite, like the young Bavarians, could have reckoned without Inter.