International Champions Cup: Focus on Inter Milan
After defeating Benfica 3-2 in their International Champions Cup opener, OL are set to face Inter Milan in their second match of the tournament - a showdown between two European powerhouses with plenty of history.
Inter, a club apart
Founded on March 9, 1908 under the name Internazionale, the club was the brainchild of former members of Milan Foot-Ball and Cricket Club, now known as AC Milan, its biggest rival. As opposed to the traditional red and black colors of the Rossoneri, Inter responded with a black-and-blue-striped jersey that would be worn by an endless list of football legends.
Two years after its formation, the club won the first of 18 Scudettos. Successes hasn’t been limited to Serie A, however, as the Nerazzurri have also won seven Italian Cups, five Super Cups, three Champions Leagues, three UEFA Cups, two Intercontinental Cups and a Club World Cup.
Some eight years after their historic Serie A/Coppa Italia/Champions League treble, Inter are just starting to return to prominence on the world football stage. After a six-year Champions League absence, the Beneamata are back in Europe’s top club competition thanks to a fourth-place finish last season. This was largely due to Mauro Icardi, club captain who inherited the armband three years ago and was the league’s top scorer, alongside Ciro Immobile, with 29 goals. At just 25 years old, the Argentine is already 9th on the club’s all-time scoring list (107 goals) and is the sixth-youngest player in history to surpass the 100-goal mark in Serie A (25 years, 27 days).
Matches between Inter and OL
Inter will always remain a special opponent for OL, since Les Gones made their European competition debut against the Nerazzurri on December 10, 1958, in Milan. It was the first leg of an Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Round of 16 clash that ended in a humbling 7-0 defeat for the French side. But Lyon would get their revenge some four decades later. Specifically in October 1997, when OL beat Inter, 2-1, in the first leg of the UEFA Cup Round of 32 before being eliminated in the return leg after a 3-1 loss. Then there’s the 2002-03 Champions League group stage, in which Lyon earned a gutsy 2-1 win at the Giuseppe Meazza on October 2, 2002, before playing to a dramatic 3-3 draw later that same month in Gerland. In total, seven matches with a slight advantage for Inter (OL: 2 wins, 2 draws, 3 losses).