Welcome to Sportstar’s highlights of the Champions League quarterfinal first leg between AC Milan and SSC Napoli being played at the San Siro in Milan, Italy.
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Two storied Italian clubs are back among Europe’s elite for the first time in more than a decade.
Inter Milan has not been in the Champions League quarterfinals since going out at that stage as the defending champion in 2011. City rival AC Milan last made it to the final eight in 2012.
Since then there have been slumps on the field and turmoil off it, with both clubs changing ownership several times and coaches even more frequently. However, after years of mediocrity, both teams ended lengthy waits for a Serie A title before finally making it back to the top of European football.
In their absence, no Italian team has won the Champions League — although Juventus did finish runner-up twice.
Milan will host runaway Serie A leader Napoli in the first leg of the quarterfinals on Wednesday, a day after Inter visits Benfica.
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Inter was the last Italian team to lift the trophy, when it won an unprecedented treble of the league, Italian Cup and Champions League under José Mourinho in 2010. Before that, Milan won the last of its seven titles in 2007.
The other two quarterfinals this week pit Real Madrid against Chelsea and Bayern Munich against Manchester City.
When the Milan clubs were at the top of European football, they were under the stewardship of long-term owners Silvio Berlusconi and Massimo Moratti.
Moratti, who held Inter since 1995, sold a majority share of the club to an Indonesian consortium led by Erick Thohir in 2013. Retail giant Suning then took over the club three years later, shortly before Milan also came under Chinese ownership.
Former Italian premier Berlusconi had controlled Milan for more than 30 years before selling to a Chinese consortium in 2017. U.S.-based hedge fund Elliott Management took over the following year. The club was sold to another American investment firm, RedBird Capital Partners, last year.
Under former Juventus and Italy coach Antonio Conte, Inter won its first Serie A title in more than a decade in 2021 as it ended the Bianconeri’s grip on the league crown. That was Inter’s first trophy since 2011 and the first league title since 2010.
Milan finished second that season and went one better in 2022 as it ended its own 11-year wait for the scudetto.
When and where to watch AC Milan vs SSC Napoli?
When and where will AC Milan vs SSC Napoli be played?
The Champions League quarterfinal between AC Milan and SSC Napoli will be played at the San Siro. The match is scheduled for a 12:30 am kick-off IST on April 13.
Where or how can I watch AC Milan vs SSC Napoli?
The Champions League quarterfinal between AC Milan and SSC Napoli will be telecast live on Sony Ten 1 SD and HD.
Where can I live streamAC Milan vs SSC Napoli?
The Champions League quarterfinal between AC Milan and SSC Napoli can be live streamed on Sony LIV.
In Europe, Inter reached the knockout stage of the Champions League last season. It was eliminated by Liverpool in the round of 16, despite winning at Anfield. It reached the Europa League final in 2020 but lost to Sevilla.
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Milan made it back to Europe’s elite club competition for the first time in eight years last season, but was eliminated in the group stage.
Unlike the other two Italian clubs, Napoli has never been in the Champions League quarterfinals.
But Napoli is set to end its own wait for a league title.
Napoli is 16 points ahead of second-place Lazio and nearly assured of winning its first Serie A title since Diego Maradona led the club to its only two Italian league championships in 1987 and 1990.
However, it recently suffered its heaviest defeat of the season — to the team it will meet in the quarterfinals — when it was routed 4-0 by Milan.
That was only the second time in 14 matches that Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti had lost to Milan counterpart Stefano Pioli.