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Esteemed European heritage

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Inter Milan are turning back the clock. After putting away their fierce rivals, AC Milan over two legs with professional performances, they have a date with destiny against Manchester City. And while Inter wouldn’t have been backed by many to reach this stage at the start of the competitions, Inter Milan’s Champions League Finals record and pedigree suggest this won’t be as given of a result as many expect.

The Nerrazurri have a long and esteemed history in the competition. They’ve won the competition three times and played five finals. The appearance this year will be their sixth.

Here’s a comprehensive rundown of Inter Milan’s Champions League Finals record. Some heartbreak, some elation, but unquestionable pedigree and prestigious history-

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Inter Milan Champions League Finals record

Inter Milan have been to the final of the Champions League in 1964, 1965, 1967, 1972, and 2010.

They won the tournament in 1964, 1965, and 2010.

Here’s how they did it-

1964- Inter Milan 3-1 Real Madrid

The first Champions League final for the Italians. Facing them were the Kings of Europe in Real Madrid. Armed with superstars like Ferenc Puskas, Alfredo di Stefano, and Francesco Gento among others, Inter Milan were huge underdogs.

However, they had the legendary Helenio Herrera in the dugout. Herrera, who pioneered the “Catenaccio” formation, blunted Real Madrid’s superstars as Inter won their maiden Champions League through a brace from Sandro Mazzola and a goal by Aurelio Milani. Los Blancos’ holy trinity of Puskas, Di Stefano, and Gento was left scoreless as Felo’s 70th-minute goal was nothing more than a consolation.

1965- Inter Milan 1-0 Benfica

Helenio Herrera’s Inter Milan became only the third team to retain the European Cup with another defensive masterclass against Benfica in the 1965 Champions League (then Champions Cup) final.

Benfica, led by the talismanic Eusebio, were the free-scoring favourites. They had scored 27 goals in eight games en route to the final. That is until they faced the hard-edged Catenaccio in the final.

Helenio Herrera’s team put forward another defensive masterclass, edging the tie courtesy of a solitary goal by Jair. Benfica huffed and puffed but couldn’t break down the Italian defence.

1967- Inter Milan 1-2 Celtic

After a year away, Helenio Herrera steered his Inter team to another European final, their 3rd in four years. However, this was to become the first blot on Inter Milan’s Champions League Finals record.

Jock Stein was the new prodigy on the block whose management style would ultimately go on to inspire a generation of Scottish managers, including Sir Alex Ferguson.

Inter Milan took the lead via a Mazzola penalty in just the 7th minute. However, there was to be no defensive lockdown this time. Celtic stormed back late, with goals from Tommy Gemmell and Stevie Chalmers handing Celtic their maiden UCL title. They also became the first Scottish team to win the Champions Cup.

Inter Milan wouldn’t be back on this stage for another five years, with a rebuild looming on the horizon.

1972- Inter Milan 0-2 Ajax

Another final, another blot on Inter Milan’s Champions League Finals record. However, this time, they lost to arguably the greatest club side in European football.

Johan Cruyff the player was in the midst of leading Ajax to three consecutive Champions League titles (1971, 72, 73).

With their new, innovative, and fearlessly attacking “Total Football“, the Italians’ Catenaccio began looking like the relic of a bygone era.

A much changed Inter Milan under Giovanni Invernizzi this time was blown away by Ajax. Johan Cruyff dominated the game, with his brace securing Ajax’s second UCL title on the trot.

Meanwhile, Inter Milan’s Champions League Finals record now stood at two losses and two wins in four games. However, Helenio Herrera’s spiritual successor would put the wins column above losses once again almost 40 years later.

2010- Inter Milan 2-0 Bayern Munich

Jose Mourinho and Inter Milan wrote themselves into history when they joined the esteemed list of teams that have won the treble with this UEFA Champions League win.

It was Inter’s first final after 38 years in the wilderness and near misses. Although the team was much changed, the spirit of Helenio Herrera was very much alive through their Portuguese manager.

Jose Mourinho’s finals record in Europe remained unscathed as a masterful defensive display against Louis Van Gaal’s Bayern paved the way to a historic win.

Diego Milito struck twice as Bayern were blanked despite having 68% possession. Helenio Herrera would be proud. Notably, no Italian club won another European trophy, let alone a Champions League, since this result until Mourinho rocked back in Italy at AS Roma, winning them a UEFA Europa Conference title.

Also read: All you need to know about the UEFA Champions League Final 2023

2023- Inter Milan vs Manchester City (?-?)

Simone Inzaghi’s men might be huge underdogs for this one, but if history has taught us anything, that’s just the way the Italians like it.

Ataturk Stadium in Turkey will be witness to one of the most anticipated UCL Finals in recent memory.

It is up to this team to nudge the wins column further ahead in Inter Milan’s Champions League Finals record. Although the likelier prospect is that wins and losses match each other again with a Man City victory, Inter won’t make it easy. Time to summon the spirit of Herrera again?

Vatsal Gupta
A die-hard Red Devil, who has straight up not had a good time since 2012. Lives on Korean dramas and books and can often be heard talking about armchair psychological stuff.

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