Simone Inzaghi’s Inter have enjoyed the most dominant of seasons against their Derby della Madonnina rivals.
The Nerazzurri’s fourth triumph over Stefano Pioli’s Milan in 2022/23 was certainly the most significant, even if much of the work was already done for them in an emphatic first leg victory in their Champions League semi-final tie.
Inter’s performance in the return leg was measured and controlled after Brahim Diaz spurned a good early chance for the away side. A tootheless Milan were kept at arm’s length before Lautaro Martinez netted the dagger with 16 minutes remaining to send San Siro into raptures.
The Nerazzurri’s comfortable victory means they’ve progressed into the Champions League final for the first time since 2010, but how many times have they won the competition?
Inzaghi will be aiming to win Inter their fourth European Cup/Champions League crown in Istanbul on 10 June and follow in the footsteps of Helenio Herrera and Jose Mourinho.
Those two Inter outfits are regarded as the greatest in the club’s history given their achievements on the continental stage. The pioneering Herrera played a crucial role in Inter’s rise in the 1960s as the Nerazzurri claimed back-to-back European Cup successes in 1964 and 1965.
The idiosyncratic and dictatorial coachhad previously galvanised a forlorn Barcelona side before venturing off to Milan, where his Inter would establish themselves as the most feared team on the continent. It took time for Herrera to craft his masterpiece, with members of his ‘Grande’ team arriving in drips and drabs. Nevertheless, Inter’s domestic rise facilitated a journey into Europe, where the contrasting styles of the continent’s finest awaited the Nerazzurri’s dogged pragmatism.
This ideological dichotomy came to a head in the 1964 European Cup final as the ‘catenaccio’ employers, the face of ‘anti-football’, met Real Madrid’s spellbinding artists. To the dismay of neutrals, Inter claimed a 3-1 victory much in part to Carlo Tagnin’s shunning of Alfredo Di Stefano.
Herrera’s champions returned the following year with the aim of going back-to-back, and their campaign started with an emphatic victory over Dinamo Bucharest. A 3-2 win over Rangers set-up a semi-final tie with…