BARCELONA - Tonight's game at Camp Nou will be the thirteenth meeting between Inter and Barcelona in the history of European competitions. The overall record of previous results falls in favour of the “Blaugrana”, but there are certainly some unforgettable flashes of Nerazzurri brilliance scattered throughout. Twelve matches, two Nerazzurri wins. The first came in the 1969/70 season, in the round of 16 of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup at Camp Nou: Barcelona 1-2 Inter, with the goals coming from Boninsegna and Bertini. The second, an unforgettable occasion for all Inter fans: the 3-1 win in the 2010 Champions League semi-final.
There is one statistic in particular that proves the Catalan stadium’s status as a real stronghold: Barcelona have not lost at home in the Champions League since 2013, when they were defeated by Bayern Munich. In the group stage, this record extends back to 2009, when they lost to Rubin Kazan in their group with Inter and Dinamo Kiev.
A mountain to climb in conquering Camp Nou. But doing the impossible is #NotForEveryone, and the history between Inter and Barcelona sees a multitude of Nerazzurri periods, moments and pieces of skill, all of which have remained embedded in memory and legend. We cannot help but start by remembering Julio Cesar’s incredible save from Leo Messi in the semi-final second leg of the 2010 Champions League. A right-footed strike from the Argentine sent the ball flying towards the bottom corner, it seemed destined for a goal, but our Brazilian had other ideas, pulling off a miraculous fingertip save. The game in 2010 was a rarely celebrated defeat, Piqué’s goal made it 1-0 at full-time, but that sent the Nerazzurri to the final which they then went on to win against Bayern Munich in Madrid. 90 minutes of Inter brilliance in Barcelona after Thiago Motta’s sending off, resulting in a huge team performance. The match had come just days after the superb 3-1 win in the first leg at San Siro, with goals from Sneijder, Milito and Maicon.
Other games against Barça have seen Inter come up more incredible goals and moments. For example, Marcelo Brozovic invented the so-called 'crocodile’ in last season's away game, lying on the ground behind the wall to prevent Suarez's free kick from threatening Handanovic's goal. Last year’s Champions League also saw the comeback over Tottenham in the final minutes, sealed with Vecino's goal and the resulting 2-1 victory at San Siro. Let’s hope that Inter can reach into history and add to these memorable moments tonight.