Sounds like the perfect semi-final match up if you ask me. The two teams have so much in common that it is a bit frightening. They both are defending champs in a league that they, historically, often win. They both possess boatloads of talent that is tough to be matched by any opponent. They both have a young coach that is sought after all around the globe.
Oh and did I mention the two sides also performed the biggest off-season transfer between the two clubs? Sure there were other significant moves this summer, but none that saw two stars switch sides of this magnitude. Serie A Player of the Year Zlatan Ibrahimovic left his Inter Milan side for Barcelona and Samuel Eto’o and some cash was bestowed upon Inter for the favor. Eto’o has still struggled to settle into life in Italy (although he did score in that Chelsea leg), and Zlatan Ibrahimovic has played second fiddle to Lionel Messi this season. So perhaps neither player has truly proved the other team wrong for the deal yet.
But that all could be decided in the next two matches.
When Inter Milan faced Barcelona in group draw of the Champions League the side was handed an embarrassing 2-0 loss in a match that they never had a chance to win. But a lot has changed for the side since that early battle.
One key addition this year for Inter has been Dutch attacking midfielder Wesley Sneijder. Along with Alberto Diego Milito it is hard to name another team that landed two players of higher value this year (well other then Real Madrid of course). Also Inter is a team much stronger at the keeper position and that certainly will not hurt their chances.
At the end of the day Barcelona will probably win over the Italian giants, but there are no guarantees in this stage of the tournament and I think the match will be better then most people are building it up to be.
The most fascinating story though is not about the coaches, players, or the side’s dominating history. The most exciting part is that both leagues only have one team left in the tournament.
And that makes it worth that much more.