Once the shock had worn off, both FC Internazionale Milano and FC Bayern München insisted they had much to look forward to as the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League finalists were paired in this season's round of 16.
Two Diego Milito goals helped Internazionale get the better of the Bavarians in the 22 May showcase at the Santiago Bernabéu, yet the Bayern forward Thomas Müller was excited about the prospect of a rematch. "We have a score to settle with Inter," he said. "Since we have the advantage of playing the second leg at home, I am very confident that we will prevail."
Midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, meanwhile, eagerly anticipated taking on his old Bayern team-mate Lúcio again – and winning. "This is a very nice draw," he said. "I am especially looking forward to meeting my friend Lúcio. It will be a tough job, but I am convinced we will advance to the next round."
Bayern coach Louis van Gaal felt similarly positive. "I don't think it is a bad draw. We still have scores to settle with Inter Milan," explained the Dutchman. "Almost all the players who played in Madrid in May are still with Bayern."
There has been one significant change at Inter since that Madrid encounter, with José Mourinho heading off to coach Real Madrid CF and Rafael Benítez taking his place. The current incumbent heard the result of the draw while preparing for Saturday's FIFA Club World Cup final against TP Mazembe of DR Congo.
"It will be an interesting tie for the fans and players that were involved in Madrid," said the former Valencia CF and Liverpool FC boss, who has yet to come up against the German side. "Bayern are a very strong team with a great coach, but at the moment the most important game for us is [the Club World Cup final]. We'll start to think about European games after that."
Inter owner Massimo Moratti, who joined his team on the pitch last term in celebrating their first European Champion Clubs' Cup success since 1965, added: "It's an interesting draw. Bayern have a big chance for revenge after last season's final. We will have to see what state we are in physically and mentally in February."
Last season's final was the clubs' fifth meeting in UEFA competition. They first went head-to-head in the 1988/89 UEFA Cup third round, with Inter winning 2-0 in Munich before losing 3-1 at San Siro to fall on away goals. That remains their only previous two-legged tie, though they were also pooled together in the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League group stage. On that occasion, Bayern prevailed 2-0 away and drew 1-1 at home. Thus they have never beaten Inter at home, despite winning both past matches with the Nerazzurri at San Siro.
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