Okay, all kidding aside, I had to do some research to find out more about Inter Milan’s Europa League opponent, Rapid Vienna.
On Monday, UEFA held its knockout round draws for both the Champions League (wimper) and the Europa League with Inter Milan drawing the Austrian side which finished second in Group G just behind Villareal.
“We know that there are no easy games in Europe but we want to play a big part in this competition,” said Inter Milan vice president Javier Zanetti, after the draw. “Obviously, it was disappointing to be eliminated from the Champions League and there’s still a sense of regret but we have to focus on the Europa League now which is prestigious competition and one that I have great memories of thanks to the win in 1998. You have to face tough teams and winning the trophy would bring further prestige to the Club. We’ll approach the competition in the best way possible because we are capable of going all the way.”
First, Rapid Vienna is actually called Sportklub Rapid Wien in the Austrian Bundesliga — not to be confused with the German Bundesliga.
Last season, Rapid Vienna reached the 48-team group stage of the Europa League after finishing Group 2 of the Europa League Play-offs main patch. They made their seventh group appearance in the league, one fewer than Salzburg, since 2004-05.
After winning their playoff rounds, Rapid Vienna was drawn into Group G along with Villareal, Rangers and Spartak Moskva.
Rapid Vienna finished level on points (10) with Villareal but were second due to the Spanish club having a greater goal differential.
So far this season, Rapid Vienna is eighth in the Austrian Bundesliga with five wins, five defeats and eight draws.
The last, and only time, Rapid Vienna and Inter Milan faced each other was in the 1990-91 UEFA Cup group stage where Inter won both matches en route to winning the entire competition. The Nerazzurri have recorded eight wins against Austrian clubs along with one draw and five defeats. Inter has won their last seven European matches against Austrian clubs and have held clean sheets in five of those matches.
Inter will travel to Vienna for the first leg of the round of 32 on Feb. 14, 2019 with the second leg coming a week later at the Giuseppe Meazza.
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