Inter vice-president Javier Zanetti reflected on the challenged ahead for the Nerazzurri after they were drawn in a difficult group for the 2022/23 Champions League on Thursday evening.
The Italian giants will face Spanish club Barcelona and German champions Bayern Munich, who they defeated in the semi-finals and final respectively in the 2009/10 edition, and Czech team Viktoria Plzen in Group C.
Speaking to Sky Sport Italia after the conclusion of the draw, Zanetti reflected on the quality of the opponents whilst also talking up his club’s chances of progressing from the group stage.
“The group is difficult, complicated, and with teams that know how to play in the Champions League,” he said.
“We will have to be at the top when we are called to play. We are also a growing team, we saw it last year with Liverpool, and we will definitely try again.
“It is a great stimulus to face these teams, Bayern are an established club, as well as Barcelona. We have great respect for them, but we will be ready.”
Inter remain last Italian winners of Champions League
It will not be an easy start for Inter in the 2022/23 Champions League with such illustrious opponents in their group but they will want to improve on their Round of 16 exit to Liverpool last season under Coach Simone Inzaghi.
That result might still be fresh in the minds of Nerazzurri fans but you have to back to 2009/10 when the Italian giants last won the competition.
Captained by current vice-president Zanetti and coached by current AS Roma tactician Jose Mourinho, Inter defeated Bayern Munich 2-0 in Madrid, Spain 12 years ago to be crowned European champions for the third time in their history and also secure their first win in the Champions League era.
Since then, no other Italian club has been able to get their hands on the trophy again. Juventus lost the 2015 and 2017 Champions League Finals to Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively while Roma reached the semi-finals in 2017/18 before being eliminated by Liverpool.
An Italian triumph in the competition this season is perhaps an improbable task. However, Inter defeating Bayern Munich in at least one of those Group C encounters should evoke memories of that glorious triumph in 2010.