AC Milan and Inter Milan headed into this season’s Champions League tournament with a boat-full of hopes and expectations, but very different reasons why they could achieve league football’s greatest honor.
AC Milan was the team on the rise. The champions of the transfer market and the most talked about Italian team this off season. With the additions of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho many critics believed that the strength of Italy had shifted to the other club that plays in the San Siro. Then there was last year’s forgotten champs of Inter. The club who lost the most valuable person in the organization in their coach Jose Mourinho, but kept the key players of the club.
When the two club’s were compared this preseason they could not have been much different. The only common trait the two side’s have is that they are title favorites and play on the same grounds. But the hype of the two sides often favored AC Milan in the big tournaments with many critics questioning if Inter’s offense would stall under a new coach. After 3 qualifying matches it appears that Inter is the team in the driver’s seat of Italian clubs.
AC Milan had the toughest draw of any squad in the world being stuck in the same group as Real Madrid. Madrid is 3-0 with 9 points earned and Milan needs key victories down the stretch to lock a lower seed in the knockout stages meaning they will likely be up against a tough playoff schedule even if they do advance. The side was shutdown by Mourinho’s new club and offered few solutions for success on the world’s big stage.
Inter, on the other hand, is in excellent position with a clutch 4-3 victory over Tottenham and a comfortable 3 point lead over the EPL side and the rest of the competitive group. The overlooked side has begun to show serious signs of life on offense and should remain a relevant opponent in the Champions League for at least another round.
So at the moment it appears that recent success greatly outweighs the hype that has been created at AC Milan.