Fresh off winning the Italian U-18 crown, Inter Milan is getting ready to start UEFA Youth League play.
The Primavera drew Dynamo Kyiv for the first round of the tournament.
“It will not be a simple encounter. Dynamo Kyiv and Ukrainian football as a whole have picked up some important results in youth football and we will also play the second game away from home,” said Stefano Vecchi, Nerazzurri U-18 coach said to Inter Channel. “We will have to earn progression to the next round out on the pitch. It will be an unpredictable challenge, but we are really excited ahead of this adventure.”
Over the summer, Vecchi’s squad won the Otten Cup, the Memorial Quadri, the Torneo Città di Vignola as well as winning the fifth edition of the Memorial Mamma Cairo earlier this month. The Nerazzurri knocked off Torino 4-1 in the finals of the Mamma Cairo after beating Juventus 4-2 in the semifinals.
“We performed really in pre-season and won all of the tournaments in which we played, although ultimately these results have little importance,” Vecchi said. “Tournaments like the Otten Cup allow you to become aware of teams abroad and their different styles of play. It was obviously a positive experience and one that will help us in view of the Youth League. I am sure that I have a strong squad, but we will have to work very hard until the end of the season if we are to show our true worth.”
For the Youth League, Dynamo will travel to Milan for the first of two legs on Sept. 27 followed by the return leg in Kiev on Oct. 18. If the Nerazzurri win, they will face either Danish side Esbjerg fB or Finland's Käpylän Pallo in the next round with the first leg on Nov. 1 and the return leg on Nov. 22.
Salzburg is the defending Youth League champion and will open against Bordeaux.
Here is the first- and second-round draws for the Youth League:
First round draw (27 September & 18 October)
Internazionale Milano (ITA) v Dynamo Kyiv (UKR)
Zimbru Chișinău (MDA) v Vllaznia (ALB)
Ludogorets (BUL) v Željezničar (BIH)
Dinamo București (ROU) v Lokomotiva Zagreb (CRO)
Esbjerg (DEN) v KäPa (FIN)
Legia Warszawa (POL) v Breidablik (ISL)
UCD (IRL) v Molde (NOR)
Hammarby (SWE) v Ajax (NED)
Bordeaux (FRA) v Salzburg (AUT, holders)
Nitra (SVK) v Shkëndija (MKD)
Dudelange (LUX) v Sparta Praha (CZE)
Sutjeska (MNE) v Budapest Honvéd (HUN)
Brodarac (SRB) v Maccabi Haifa (ISR)
Kairat Almaty (KAZ) v Krasnodar (RUS)
Liepāja (LVA) v Shakhtyor Soligorsk (BLR)
Bursaspor (TUR) v Saburtalo (GEO)
Second round draw (1 & 22 November)
Zimbru Chișinău/Vllaznia v UCD/Molde
Dinamo București/Lokomotiva Zagreb v Ludogorets/Željezničar
Internazionale Milano/Dynamo Kyiv v Esbjerg/KäPa
Legia Warszawa/Breidablik v Hammarby/Ajax
Brodarac/Maccabi Haifa v Bursaspor/Saburtalo
Liepāja/Shakhtyor Soligorsk v Nitra/Shkëndija
Kairat Almaty/Krasnodar v Sutjeska/Budapest Honvéd
Dudelange/Sparta Praha v Bordeaux/Salzburg