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Winners of the 2017 International Champions Cup in Singapore and tournament stalwarts – having participated in every edition since the inception in 2013 – it’s always a treat when Inter come to town.
One of European soccer’s most historic clubs, Inter are hoping a second International Champions Cup title will act as the perfect springboard into the 2019/20 season, in which they will look for a first Scudetto since 2010.
As Inter prepare for another action-packed tournament, we take a more detailed look at the club.
An indisputable giant of the global game, Inter are currently undergoing an exciting transformation. The Nerazzurri appointed the esteemed Giuseppe Marotta as CEO at the beginning of 2019 to help take the club into a new era.
Having returned to the UEFA Champions League this season after a spell outside of Europe’s top club competition, Inter are showing signs of a resurgence and may well be the side best equipped to loosen Juventus’ stranglehold on Italian supremacy.
With Marotta overseeing corporate matters and Luciano Spalletti leading the team from the dugout as coach, Inter are headed in a new direction, one of the many reasons it will be exciting to see them line up at another International Champions Cup.
Inter have one of the most illustrious histories in soccer. Formed in 1908, they have won Serie A 18 times, lifted the Coppa Italia on seven occasions as well as clinching the Supercoppa Italiana five times.
In Europe, they have lifted the iconic UEFA Champions League trophy three times, tasted success in the UEFA Cup thrice and were crowned FIFA Club World Cup champions to cap 2010, the greatest year in the club’s history.
With eight Scudetti in the trophy cabinet by 1954, Inter became the most dominant force in European soccer following Helenio Herrera’s appointment as coach. Under the Argentine – known as the father of Catenaccio, a tactical style characterised by an ultra-organised defence – they completed a hat-trick of Italian titles and won back-to-back European Cups in 1964 and 1965.
Although Herrera left in 1968, Inter remained at the fore of the Italian game, winning three further titles in 1971, 1980 and 1989.
The mid-noughties heralded the club’s most dominant period, in which they won five Scudetti in a row and completed the treble (Serie A, Coppa Italia and UEFA Champions League) under José Mourinho in 2010.
Other notable Nerazzurri icons include Giuseppe Meazza, their highest-ever scorer, and Javier Zanetti, who made an astonishing 858 appearances for the club during a 19-year career and whose No.4 shirt was retired after he hung up his boots in 2014.
Stadium – San Siro
The Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, more commonly known as San Siro, has been Inter’s home since 1947.
With a capacity of 80,018, it is one of the largest stadiums in Europe and the largest in Italy.
It was the scene of Inter’s 1965 European Cup triumph and has since hosted three further finals; in 1970, 2001 and 2016.
San Siro’s renovations ahead of the 1990 FIFA World Cup brought the stadium up to UEFA category four standard. It is also a popular venue for concerts, with Bob Marley, Bruce Springsteen and The Rolling Stones all having sold out shows there.
Coach – Luciano Spalletti
Spalletti was appointed Inter boss in June 2017 and kicked off his reign by winning the International Champions Cup in Singapore a month later, defeating Olympique Lyonnais, FC Bayern and Chelsea along the way.
His first season was both successful and dramatic. In May 2018, Inter recovered from 2-1 down to beat Lazio 3-2 and qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2012.
A two-time Serie A Coach of the Year, Spalletti is targeting more International Champions Cup glory before embarking on his third season at the helm.
Marcelo Brozović – An energetic and versatile box-to-box midfielder, the Croatian has become one of the first names on the team sheet under Spalletti, capable of performing a variety of roles in the middle of the pitch.
Signed from Dinamo Zagreb in 2015, Brozović is an established Croatia international and helped his country reach the final of the FIFA World Cup in Russia last summer.
Milan Škriniar – The Slovakian centre-back was scarcely known outside of Italy when he moved to San Siro from Sampdoria in the summer of 2017. Less than two years on the 24-year-old is one of the most highly rated defenders in Europe.
A full Slovakian international, Škriniar has been a mainstay for Inter under Spalletti with his composure and ability to read the game making him a model of consistency for the Nerazzurri.
Samir Handanović – The Inter captain has long been one of the most consistent goalkeepers in Serie A and has been a stalwart for the Nerazzurri since signing from Udinese in 2012.
The Slovenian joined Inter as part of a double deal which saw wing-back Davide Faraoni move to San Siro as well. By relocating to Milan, Handanović succeeded the hugely experienced Júlio César, hero of Inter’s Treble-winning side, between the sticks.
Closing in on 300 appearances for Inter, it’s safe to say he’s more than filled the Brazilian’s gloves.
Ones to watch
Lautaro Martínez – Still only 21, Martínez is viewed as one of the most promising young forwards in Serie A and has an impressive goals-to-minutes ratio this season.
International Champions Cup fans are, of course, well-acquainted with the South American after his stunning goal to beat Atlético de Madrid during the 2018 tournament.
Let’s hope for a repeat this year.
Yann Karamoh – Another one to have caught the eye during Inter’s International Champions Cup campaign last time out, the exciting French forward has impressed on loan at Bordeaux this season.
However, the Ligue 1 side do not have an option to buy and Karamoh will link-up with Inter once more and look to nail down a regular starting berth under Spalletti.