Having flown low for the last 13 years on the continental plane, Inter will play a final of UEFA Champions League ante Manchester City next June 10, a special chance to once again achieve a glory that seemed – and still seems – increasingly unattainable for many historic teams in world football.
The Neroazzurro was consecrated by last time in 2010 against Bayern Munich, on that remembered day when Diego Milito shone and failed to reach any decisive instance of the Champions League again. Worse still, he did not even play the tournament for five consecutive editions (2012/13, 14/15, 15/16, 16/17 and 17/18). He was only able to do so when Italy went on to have four berths in 2018/19.
The context shows that this current Inter has some similarities with that of 2010, both surprising teams and from which great things were not expected. The difference, of course, is that the 2010 team marked an impossible milestone today: it was the first Italian team to win absolutely everything; In addition to that Champions League, was enshrined in the A league, Italy Cup, European Super Cup y Club World Cup. A perfect season from start to finish.
However, both teams they achieved much more than expected. The one from 2023 was not a favorite not even to pass the group stagein which he had to compete with Bayern, Xavi’s Barcelona (who came up and finding a good football level) and the Victoria Pilsen Czech. And it started in the worst way, debuting with a loss against the Germans at home, but they recovered by stealing six points from the Czechs, beating Barça at the Giuseppe Meazza and playing a great game at the Camp Nou, where they the locals equalized agonizingly 3-3 but that helped Inter to get second place.
In 2010 the Milan team experienced something similaralso with the Barcelona as protagonistcon Rubin Kazan y Dynamo of Kiev completing the group (today unthinkable). It was difficult for Inter to qualify and ended up doing so with only 9 pointsin second place behind those of Guardiola. In the first round they made just two points, but in the rematches they managed to recover and the 2-0 victory against the Russians in Italy on the last day ended up making the difference, between two teams that came to define with six points each.
And both in 2010 and in 2023, with the classification assured, the real Champions began. And Inter began to show that it was not as accessible a rival as it seemed. In 2010 he left behind Chelsea in the round of 16, winning at home and away, while in the current one it was Porto who suffered it
In the quarterfinals, he passed without problems to the CSKA Moscow in 2010, with two victories by the minimum, while in the current one he was the executioner of a Benfica who arrived undefeated (2-0 as a visitor, 3-3 at home).
But the semifinals in both editions were hinge. In 2010 because eliminated Barcelonathe best team in the world and the current champion at that time, also beating them 3-1 in Italy and 1-0 in Spain, a fight that Mourinho ended up beating Pep, and in the current one he had to show a lot of character to eliminate his traditional rival , Milanprevailing for 2-1 y 1-0.
The difference is that the bets on City in this edition suppose a much more uneven final than that of 2010, in which anyone could have raised the Orejona. Despite the fact that Inter arrived at the decisive match, highly criticized for Mourinho’s tactical approaches, such as the one he made at the Camp Nou dedicated to cutting off Barcelona’s playing circuits, it could not be said that Bayern were favourites, even despite the big names that he had on his squad, who would end up confirming his level two editions later with a runner-up (2011/12) and a highly celebrated title the following year (2012/13).
Now in the final they will have to face some Citizens who seem invincible, who are the big favorites to win their first Champions League. The hope for Inter is that both in 2010 and 2023 it arrives with a lot of wind in the shirt that gave it the semifinals. Can he repeat the feat?
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