Since their triumphant 2009-10 Champions League campaign under Jose Mourinho, Inter have only ever progressed from the group stage on two occasions, and have qualified for the competition just five times.
The Nerazzurri had previously endured a difficult period in the 2010s with new ownerships and a plethora of managers at the helm, though stability and progress has clearly been noticed in recent seasons and the club are now hoping to reach the heights that they did over 10 years ago.
After winning their first Scudetto in over a decade last season, Inter have begun their title defence with impressive 4-0 and 3-1 victories against Genoa and Hellas Verona respectively, before playing out an entertaining 2-2 draw away at Sampdoria last weekend.
Simone Inzaghi’s side were in front on two occasions, with first-half strikes from Federico Dimarco and Lautaro Martinez, though the hosts pegged them back twice to ensure the spoils were shared at the Luigi Ferraris Stadium.
Inter now turn their attention to Europe’s elite club competition with an opening fixture against the team who will likely be their toughest opponent in the form of Real Madrid, a club they have actually beaten in four of their six competitive meetings on home soil.
Despite this impressive home record, the Nerazzurri have in fact lost four of their last five games against Los Blancos in a European competition, and will likely be in for a challenging evening on Wednesday.
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Claiming points in midweek, however, would be highly beneficial for Inter’s quest to reach the knockout stages and for them to potentially qualify as group winners.
Seeking their 14th Champions League crown and their first since 2017-18, Real Madrid remain as one of the tournament’s favourites, though the competition around them has improved greatly and success this campaign could prove to be a challenge.
Under the tutelage of former boss Zinedine Zidane, Los Blancos finished top of their group last season – ahead of both Inter Milan and Shakhtar Donetsk – before beating Atalanta and Liverpool in the knockout stages. Real were ultimately sent packing by eventual champions Chelsea, losing 3-1 on aggregate in the semi-finals