Europe’s biggest soccer showdown is just around the corner


Biser Todorov, via Wikimedia Commons

The 2023 UEFA Champions League final will be between Manchester City and Inter Milan, and will be played on June 10th.

Raj Kirtikar and Amna Ahmad

After an exciting season filled with many surprising wins and losses, the UEFA Champions League Final is almost here. Let’s take a look at the two finalists and how their seasons have been, as well as analyzing their chances at winning the most prestigious trophy in all of Europe.

Manchester City:

This is Manchester City’s second Champions League Final in the history of the tournament, with a 1-0 loss to Chelsea in 2021. They are seemingly the favorites to win this year, having picked up their third consecutive Premier League title a couple of weeks ago. A well known English powerhouse, many critics have asked the question of how Manchester City will fare against other European teams, considering they have never won a UCL before, nor been in a title game with a non-English team. However, their success this season is nothing short of remarkable. Powerhouse Erling Haaland joined Manchester City this season on a $55 million fee, and has shown that he was worth far more than the fifty million that Pep Guardiola bought him for.  Defying claims that he could not withstand the brutality and competitiveness of English football, Haaland became the top scorer this season with 36 goals, surpassing veteran Harry Kane of Tottenham and even Mohamed Salah of Liverpool. A champions league title would surely propel Haaland to the top three in the Ballon d’Or Race, the annual award given to the best soccer player of the year, putting him in league with the likes of world cup winners Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi for this season. 

Midfielder Kevin d’Bruyne and winger Bernando Silva have proven to be massively successful this season as well, with Silva scoring a brace against Spanish giant Real Madrid in the second leg of the semi-finals. Real Madrid was heavily favored to win it all, being the team with the most UCL titles, however, against Manchester City on May 17th, the well-oiled machine fell apart, losing 5-1. Kevin d’Bruyne has earned 8 goals and assists in the Champions League this season. Haaland and d’Bruyne share a special chemistry and make a lethal duo. The team has had a great overall performance this season, and the chances are in their favor for the finals. Having beaten Bayern Munich in the quarter finals and Real Madrid in the semi finals, Manchester City has proven itself to knock out even the toughest competition. Let’s see if they can bring the same spirit to the title game in Turkey.

Inter Milan:

A rather surprising finalist, Inter Milan is set to play against Manchester City on June 10th. This is their second Champions League final since 2010. Winning against Bayern Munich 2-0 in 2010, Inter hopes to repeat their success this year. Although they have made it to the Champions League final, their domestic season has not been as successful as Manchester City’s. Inter Milan is currently third in Serie A, the domestic Italian competition. Being 20 points behind the title holders Napoli, they are clearly not the most dominant Italian team. Regardless, their path in the Champions League has been successful. Initially being in a Champions League “group of death” with Barcelona and Bayern Munich, Inter was not expected to make it this far. However, with exceptional performances from Nicola Barella, Lautoro Martinez, and Edin Dzeko, along with efforts from the rest of the team, Inter has come far. Argentinian world champion Lautaro Martinez continues to stun, scoring three incredible goals in the Champions League so far. Edin Dzeko, at the age of 37, has scored four, drawing longevity comparisons with Real Madrid midfielder and Croatian champion Luka Modric, who is also 37 years old. 

In the quarter finals against Portuguese team Benfica, Inter won in a goalfest with a 5-3 win. Beating AC Milan 3-0 in the semi-finals, Inter Milan have proven to be adept, relentless, and cohesive as a team. While they have an uphill battle to beat Manchester City, they have proven they have the strength to do it, and hope they can do it once more. 

The Champions League final will be on Sunday, June 10. The final will be played at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul and will be at 3 PM EST.