Inter hopes history repeats as City chases European glory

West Ham defeated Fiorentina 2-1 in the Europa Conference League final on Thursday morning – its first major European title since the 1965 Cup Winners’ Cup.

The London club was also one of three winners of the Intertoto Cup in 1999, but that victory only qualified them for that season’s UEFA Cup.

Immediately after the Hammers’ victory, a meme started making its round on social media, stating that the last time West Ham won a European trophy, Inter Milan won the European Cup, or as it is now called, Champions League.

The meme is popular as Inter Milan faces Manchester City for the top prize on Sunday morning (3am).

The Italian club last won the trophy in 2010. City, meanwhile, has yet to get its hands on ‘Old Big Ears’, the trophy’s affectionate nickname.

The English club will start as the favourite on Sunday, but Inter Milan fan and Twentytwo13 columnist, Rasvinder Singh, is overjoyed to see his beloved team in the final once again.

“It is unbelievable because I never saw it coming,” said Rasvinder, who lives in Singapore.

“We had a disappointing campaign in Serie A (finishing third, 18 points behind champion Napoli), and I would have been happy if we had qualified for the quarterfinals.

“But we have done well in the cup competitions. That has salvaged our season.”

Manager Simone Inzaghi is a cup specialist. He has led the club to 21 victories and five losses in 32-cup matches.

The club has kept 17 clean sheets while scoring 52 goals (1.6 goals per game) and conceding just 25 times (0.78 goals per game).

That winning percentage (65.6 per cent) beats City’s Champions League winning percentage (63.5 per cent) under Pep Guardiola but also its Serie A performance under Inzaghi (63.2 per cent).

Under Inzaghi, Inter has won the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana in the past two seasons. He now aims to add the Champions League to that collection.

Rasvinder knows Manchester City, with free-scoring Earling Haaland, will be hard to beat.

“We are major underdogs this time compared to 2010. I hope we give our best and prepare well tactically to execute it on the pitch,” he said.

Meanwhile, Manchester City fan Mark Savuriar, who has attended several games in the club’s historic season, will watch the final from home.

The Malaysian, based in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, in England, is confident City would win and complete the treble after winning the English Premier League and FA Cup.

Manchester United is the only English club to win all three trophies in the same year (1999).

“We have won the league five times in six seasons, but this is the trophy we want,” said Savuriar.

“We came close two years ago but lost to Chelsea. City can finally get its hands on the trophy.”

Haaland may have received all the praise for his goal-scoring prowess, as he found the back of the net 52 times in his debut season, but there is no doubt that Kevin De Bruyne is the player City will rely on to breach Inter’s defence.

The Athletic recently reported that De Bruyne was City’s most reliable performer over the past five years in the final 10 Premier League games, contributing 16 non-penalty goals and 16 assists.

He gets better just as the season comes to an end, and that spells trouble for Inter.