The Champions League and Europa League get back to action this week and Inter fans will not be watching their team play, but instead watching other Italian teams represent Serie A. Juventus, Roma, Napoli, Fiorentina, and Lazio are all playing in these two competitions and this caused me to wonder (not for the first time) should we be supporting the other Italian teams, or hoping for their downfall.
There are reasons to support the other teams (even if they are a team you are typically indifferent towards or even have some dislike of them in Serie A). These teams are representing our league and if they do well it shows the rest of Europe that Serie A is a strong league that can battle with the best. This could increase the league's reputation and make it more likely that high-profile players would come to Italy. Also, when the other teams win this increases Italy's UEFA coefficient to help gain ground on England so hopefully we can reclaim a fourth Champions League spot. From a purely selfish standpoint it also can make sense for Inter fans to hope Italian teams go far in these competitions because that means they have more games to play which would make them more likely to slip up in the league due to fatigue (and that would be especially important for Inter since Fiorentina and Roma are two of their main rivals for 3rd place).
On the other hand, it does feel weird to be rooting for these other teams, especially given the fact that many of their fans don't really like Inter. Our issues with Napoli have been well documented this season, Roma has seemed to dislike us ever since they became perennial runners-up during our winning period with Mancini/Mourinho (they probably didn't like us before that and I didn't know or care), Lazio ultras have some serious racism issues (I know most teams have issues with their ultras but still), and Juventus...ugh. The thought of supporting Juventus makes me slightly nauseous.
So that's where I'm at. I feel like it is advantageous for other Italian teams to do well but it is often just hard for me to actually support them. I think I'll just stick to watching their games as a neutral, silently judging them for every mistake them make but inwardly having a conflicted smile for them representing the league and hoping they go far. As long as they don't win a treble.