MILAN – Inter’s third fixture of the 2021/21 Champions League is just around the corner, with Antonio Conte’s side set to face Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid at 21:00 CET on Tuesday 3 November. To mark this prestigious occasion, Euro Express, our series dedicated to European football, is back. From previous encounters and the stadium through to players and coaches, here are five talking points relating to the match:
REAL MADRID IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Real Madrid are the most decorated side in the Champions League having won the competition 13 times, with four of these triumphs having come in the last seven seasons. Ever since the current Champions League format was introduced, Los Blancos are the only team to have won the trophy three times in a row. They’ve been involved in a total of 16 finals.
HISTORIC MATCHES BETWEEN THE SIDES
When we think about this fixture, the 1964 final in Vienna and the Nerazzurri’s first European Cup triumph spring to mind. Inter have faced Real in Spain on seven occasions but unfortunately haven’t had much success: the Nerazzurri have lost six times and won just once, with this victory coming in 1967 thanks to Cappellini’s finish and Zoco’s own goal. The rivalry between the two sides only became more intense in the 1960s when Los Blancos got the better of Inter in their semi-final showdown in 1966, preventing the Nerazzurri from winning their third consecutive European Cup. In the 1980s, Inter and Real Madrid faced each other eight times in three different competitions: the UEFA Cup, the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and the European Cup.
Inter have a special connection to the Santiago Bernabéu, where they've previously lifted two trophies (the playoff triumph in the Intercontinental Cup in 1964 and the Champions League in 2010), but the Nerazzurri’s last away trip to Real Madrid in 1998 was played in Seville. Meanwhile, Tuesday’s showdown will take place at the Alfredo Di Stéfano Stadium in Valdebebas due to renovation works at the Bernabéu, where Inter last faced Real in the UEFA Cup in 1986.
CONTE vs. ZIDANE: FIRST ENCOUNTER BETWEEN THE TWO COACHES
Zinedine Zidane enjoyed a highly successful playing career, and he’s also a highly decorated coach. Together with Bob Paisley and Carlo Ancelotti, he’s one of three coaches to have won three Champions League trophies. Between 1996 and 2001, he spent five seasons with Antonio Conte at Juventus, and the duo are now set to face each other as coaches for the first time.
HAKIMI'S DEVELOPMENT IN MADRID
Achraf Hakimi was born on 4 November 1998 in Getafe, in the Community of Madrid. And it was with the Los Blancos that the Moroccan wing-back developed as a player, eventually making his debut for the Spanish side in 2017. He made 17 appearances and scored twice for Real Madrid, also winning various trophies. In 2018, he became the first (and only) Moroccan player to win the Champions League.