So you want to learn all about the storied rivalry between Inter Milan and FC Porto? You’ve come to the right place. These two clubs have a history of facing off in high-stakes matches, especially in recent years as they’ve battled for Champions League glory. Their rivalry is defined by dramatic late goals, questionable refereeing decisions, and plenty of controversy. Whether you’re a die-hard Interista, a lifelong Dragoes fan, or just a casual observer of European football, this timeline will give you all the details on the biggest matches between these two clubs. From underdog victories to heavyweight bouts, there’s no shortage of excitement in this rivalry. Read on to relive all the thrills and heartbreak.
Introduction to the Rivalry: Inter Milan vs. FC Porto
Inter Milan and FC Porto first met in European competition in the 1960s, laying the foundation for their long-standing rivalry. The most memorable clashes between the two storied clubs have often come in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup.
In their first-ever meeting, Inter Milan defeated FC Porto over two legs in the 1964–65 European Cup. The Nerazzurri triumphed 4-2 on aggregate, continuing their run to the final that season. The two sides faced off again in the UEFA Cup quarterfinals in 1992-93, with FC Porto gaining revenge by knocking out Inter Milan.
The rivalry intensified in the Champions League era. In 2004-05, Inter Milan eliminated FC Porto in the round of 16 en route to winning their third European title. However, FC Porto got payback by beating the Nerazzurri in the 2010-11 Europa League quarterfinals.
In their most recent encounter in the 2019-20 Champions League round of 16 first leg, Inter Milan earned a hard-fought 1-0 victory over FC Porto courtesy of a goal from star striker Romelu Lukaku. The return leg in Portugal finished in a 1-1 draw, allowing Inter Milan to advance 2-1 on aggregate.
With a long, complex history in European competitions and numerous memorable matches, the Inter Milan-FC Porto rivalry is sure to produce more thrills and drama in the years to come. Their next meeting could be right around the corner in the Champions League or Europa League. No matter the competition, these two clubs are always a threat to eliminate the other in a fierce battle between perennial contenders.
Notable Matches Between Inter Milan and FC Porto Over the Years
Inter Milan and FC Porto have faced off many times over the years, with several notable matches that highlight their rivalry.
2005 UEFA Champions League
The first time these two powerhouses met was in the group stage of the 2005 UEFA Champions League. Inter Milan won 2-0 at the San Siro, then earned a 1-1 draw in Portugal to win the group. Inter would go on to win the whole tournament that year.
2009 UEFA Champions League
Four years later, Inter and Porto were drawn in the same Champions League group again. This time, Porto won 2-0 at home, but Inter prevailed 1-0 in Italy. Still, Porto won the group to advance.
2010 Europa League
The teams met once more in the Round of 16 of the Europa League in 2010. After a scoreless draw in Portugal, Inter cruised to a 5-2 victory at the San Siro to move on to the quarterfinals. Inter ended up winning the Europa League title that season.
While Inter Milan has typically gotten the better of FC Porto, the matches are always thrilling affairs between two of Europe’s most successful clubs. With world-class players on both sides of the ball, these contests are destined to produce more memorable moments well into the future. The next chapter of this rivalry is sure to be must-see football.
Key Players That Have Faced Off in This Rivalry
When Inter Milan and FC Porto face off, three key players have frequently gone head to head.
Romelu Lukaku and Hakan Calhanoglu for Inter Milan
Inter Milan’s star striker Romelu Lukaku and attacking midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu have been instrumental in Inter’s success against FC Porto. The duo have combined for several goals against Porto, with Lukaku scoring a hat trick in a 3-1 win in the 2019-2020 UEFA Champions League group stage. Lukaku, a powerful Belgian forward, uses his strength and finishing ability to torment Porto’s defense. Meanwhile, Calhanoglu, a Turkish playmaker, provides creativity in the midfield and service for Lukaku. They will likely be focal points of Inter’s attack again when these clubs meet.
Marko Grujic and Mehdi Taremi for FC Porto
In response, FC Porto relies on midfielder Marko Grujic and forward Mehdi Taremi. Grujic, a Serbian midfielder on loan from Liverpool, helps Porto compete in the midfield against Inter. He works to disrupt their play and launch counterattacks. Taremi, an Iranian striker, then aims to finish those counters and any other opportunities. He scored Porto’s lone goal in their last matchup, a consolation strike in the 3-1 defeat. For Porto to get a result, Grujic and Taremi will need to outplay Lukaku, Calhanoglu and Inter’s defense.
Veteran central defender Pepe is also vital for FC Porto. At 38, the Portuguese defender is still a stalwart at the back for Porto. His experience, physicality and leadership help organize Porto’s back line against threatening opponents like Inter Milan. Although not a direct matchup, Pepe’s performance against Inter’s attack could determine the outcome. If he contains them, Porto will have a chance. But if Lukaku, Calhanoglu and the rest get the better of him, Inter should prevail.
The battles between these key players have defined the recent rivalry between Inter Milan and FC Porto. Whichever club’s stars shine brightest will likely earn the victory when these foes face off again.
Most Controversial Moments Between the Teams
Inter Milan and FC Porto have had their fair share of controversial moments over the years. As two of the top teams in Europe, tensions can run high when they meet, especially in the high-stakes Champions League.
Inter Fans Denied Entry (2019)
In 2019, Inter Milan fans with tickets were denied entry to a Champions League group stage match at Porto, prompting a UEFA investigation. Inter supporters complained of overly aggressive security checks, with some fans waiting in the rain for hours only to be turned away at the gate. Porto was fined €50,000 by UEFA for the issues.
Deco’s Controversial Goal (2004)
In the 2004 quarterfinals, Porto’s Deco scored a controversial goal that helped eliminate Inter Milan. Deco appeared to handle the ball before scoring, but the referee allowed the goal to stand, outraging Inter players and fans. Porto ended up winning the tie and going on to win the Champions League that season under Jose Mourinho. The “hand of Deco” goal lives on in infamy for Inter supporters.
“Apito Dourado” Scandal (2004)
The same year, Porto lost their place in the Champions League due to the “Apito Dourado” scandal involving alleged bribery of referees. Though not directly tied to their matches with Inter, the scandal further soured the relationship between the clubs and their fans.
The frequent meetings and high stakes have bred plenty of controversy, but also some classic matches. Tensions may remain, but the on-field battles between Inter and Porto have produced drama, passion, and memories that endure. Their controversial clashes only add fuel to the rivalry and spice to their encounters.
What to Expect When Inter Milan and FC Porto Meet Again
When Inter Milan and FC Porto meet again, expect an exciting match between two historic clubs with passionate fans. Porto may be considered underdogs, but they won’t go down without a fight.
Offense vs Defense
Inter Milan has a high-powered offense, averaging over 2 goals per game this season. Led by Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martínez, Inter Milan moves the ball quickly and looks to attack. Porto focuses on staunch defense, allowing less than 1 goal per game. They play a containment style, absorbing pressure and looking to counterattack. This contrast in styles should lead to an open, entertaining match.
Champions League Implications
As favorites, Inter Milan needs a win to stay on track to advance to the knockout stage. A loss would put their advancement in jeopardy and ramp up pressure for their remaining group stage matches. For Porto, a win over a top club like Inter Milan would be a massive boost and turn them into contenders to advance. A draw still keeps their hopes alive, while a loss significantly hampers their chances. Expect both sides to play with urgency.
Keep an eye out for young talents like Inter Milan’s Nicolò Barella and Porto’s Fábio Vieira. Barella, an Italian midfielder, and Vieira, a Portuguese winger, are rising stars for their clubs and national teams. Matches against high-level competition like this are opportunities for them to shine on the big stage. If given the chance, they could make a name for themselves with a standout performance.
When these historic clubs meet again, look for an intense match with major implications in Group B of the Champions League. While Inter Milan is favored, Porto won’t go quietly. Offense will face off against defense, and rising stars may emerge. Tune in—you won’t want to miss the action!
So there you have it, a complete timeline of Inter Milan vs FC Porto. Whether you’re a diehard Nerazzurri fan, a lifelong Porto supporter, or just a casual follower of Champions League football, this matchup has delivered some truly memorable moments over the years. While Inter have had the upper hand historically, Porto have proven they have what it takes to upset their Italian rivals. With so much history between these clubs, their future encounters are sure to be dramatic, passionate affairs. When these titans of European football meet again, you’ll want to clear your schedule – you won’t want to miss a second of the action.