From the round of sixteen draw to prestige and bragging rights, Inter Milan have no lack of motivation to top their Champions League group.
This is the view in today’s print edition of Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, via FCInterNews.
Inter play their final Champions Leaghue group stage match of the season this evening.
The Nerazzurri host La Liga side Real Sociedad at the San Siro.
And this evening’s match is, for all intents and purposes, a straight playoff for top spot in the group.
Both of Inter and La Real had already secured a spot in the round of sixteen with a couple matches to spare.
Therefore, the pressure is off as far as knockout qualification goes.
But that doesn’t mean that this evening’s match won’t have significant ramifications.
Inter Have Plenty Of Motivation To Top Champions League Group
The most obvious thing at stake in this evening’s match is a theoretically more straightforward round of sixteen draw.
Facing a team who finish second in their group is of course no guarantee of an easier tie in the next round.
But the prospect of avoiding heavy-hitters like Real Madrid, Barcelona. Manchester City, Arsenal, and Bayern Munich is certainly sufficient reason to push for a win this evening.
Moreover, topping the group would mean playing the second leg of the next round at home.
And as the Gazzetta notes, Inter would very much like to avoid Europe’s elite in the next round for another reason.
The two legs of the round of sixteen tie take place after league matches against Juventus and Roma.
Therefore, if Inter get a difficult round of sixteen tie, they could end up with an exceptionally tough fixture list to manage.
Then there’s the matter of a cash bonus for a victory.
UEFA grant a €2.8 million bonus for each win in the Champions League. That would be no small boost for Inter.
And lastly, there is the simple matter of prestige.
Inter reached the Champions League final. They showed themselves to be capable of going toe-to-toe with anyone in Europe.
And the Nerazzurri will want to keep that momentum up in continental competition.