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Your “Inter”national Summer Viewing Guide

The Nerazzurri are well represented in a packed summer of football

Belgium v Croatia - International Friendly Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

The wait between Serie A seasons may feel daunting, but there’s no need to fear. While Inter may have closed the curtains on the 2020/21 campaign almost a month ago, its players are still on the battlefields halfway through June. There’s not one, but two major international tournaments this summer and the Nerazzurri are heavily involved. With the Euro 2020 and Copa America nearing the opening kick, your football quotient should be satisfied until the domestic leagues finally return in August.

Let’s look at each Inter player in action and what their chances are for summer success.

Argentina v Chile - FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Qualifier Photo by Agustin Marcarian - Pool/Getty Images

Lautaro Martínez (Argentina)

After a superb season with Inter, Lautaro looks to have sealed a spot as a starter for Argentina. He went the full ninety in La Albiceleste’s pair of World Cup Qualifiers, draws against Chile and Colombia. As for the headline act of the summer, Argentina was drawn with Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Chile. The Copa America was originally meant to be held in Colombia and Argentina but it was moved to Brazil only a couple of weeks before the start date. Despite the change in venue, Lionel Scaloni’s side is favored to advance as one of the top seeds from Group B. With four of the five teams in the group advancing, focus will be on securing the top seed and an easier knockout stage. Much of the attacking load will flow through the feet of Lionel Messi, so Lautaro will be tasked to take advantage of the space the former opens up. The two-time World Cup champions have struggled to score in the WC qualifiers (7 goals in 5 games) but conceded only three. If he can replicate his Inter form in Brazil, Lautaro could be the x-factor La Albiceleste needs to make a run.

Match Schedule:

  • 6/14: Argentina vs Chile (5 p.m ET, 11 p.m CET)
  • 6/18: Argentina vs Uruguay (8 p.m ET, 6/19 2 a.m CET)
  • 6/12: Argentina vs Paraguay (8 p.m ET, 6/13 2 a.m CET)
  • 6/28: Bolivia vs Argentina (8 p.m ET, 6/19 2 a.m CET)

Romelu Lukaku (Belgium)

The other half of Inter’s strike force is set up to take center stage for his country. Lukaku and Belgium were drawn into Group B with Denmark, Russia, and Finland for the Euros and are favorites for a deep run. Kevin de Bruyne, Eden Hazard, and Lukaku form a lethal front three, with the latter especially deadly on the international stage. Lukaku scored his 60th international last week in a friendly with Greece and is Belgium’s all-time top scorer. The Red Devils’ Euro fortunes will depend in large part on Lukaku and with him firing on all cylinders, an appearance in the semi-finals is well within Roberto Martinez’s side’s reach.

Match Schedule:

  • 6/12: Belgium vs Russia (3 p.m. ET, 9 p.m. CET)
  • 6/17: Denmark vs Belgium (12 p.m ET, 6 p.m. CET)
  • 6/21: Finland vs Belgium (3 p.m. ET, 9 p.m. CET)
Chile v Colombia - South American Qualifiers for Qatar 2022 Photo by Claudio Reyes - Pool/Getty Images

Alexis Sánchez and Arturo Vidal (Chile)

While Inter’s Chilean duo have uncertain futures in Milan, their focus this summer will be on the national team. La Roja picked up a pair of draws in its World Cup qualifiers and Alexis Sanchez started both. Arturo Vidal tested positive for COVID-19, however, and is in danger of missing the Copa America starting next week. Even with the veteran midfielder fit, Chile won only one of six qualifiers and might have to settle for merely making it out of Copa group stage.

Match Schedule:

  • 6/14: Argentina vs Chile (5 p.m. ET, 11 p.m. CET)
  • 6/18: Chile vs Bolivia (5 p.m ET, 11 p.m. CET)
  • 6/21: Uruguay vs Chile (5 p.m. ET, 9 p.m. CET)
  • 6/24: Chile vs Paraguay (8 p.m. ET, 6/24 2 a.m. CET)
FC Internazionale v AS Roma - Serie A Photo by Emilio Andreoli - Inter/Inter via Getty Images

Marcelo Brozovic and Ivan Perisic (Croatia)

Brozovic and Perisic made their names on the international stage with Croatia’s memorable run to the 2018 World Cup final and while the Kockasti has hit a few bumps recently, something similar isn't out of the question this summer. Several key players from 2018 (Rakitic, Mandzucic, and Lovren to name a few) have fallen off since then, but Zlatko Dalic’s side is far from helpless. Featuring a midfield of Kovacic-Brozovic-Modric and an attack with Perisic, Petrovic, and Rebic, Croatia is a potential darkhorse. It will be hard-pressed to top England in the group stage but as 2018 showed, Croatia has plenty of knockout stage know-how.

Match Schedule:

  • 6/13: England vs Croatia (9 a.m. ET, 3 p.m. CET)
  • 6/18: Croatia vs Czech Republic (12 p.m ET, 6 p.m. CET)
  • 6/22: Croatia vs Scotland (3 p.m. ET, 9 p.m. CET)
Denmark vs Bosnia-Herzegovina - Test Match Photo by Jan Christensen / FrontzoneSport via Getty Images

Christian Eriksen (Denmark)

Even when Christian Eriksen’s club fortunes were at their lowest, he still found his best in a Denmark kit. Now that he’s bounced back at Inter, the rest of Europe has to be on watch for Denmark’s star. Eriksen looks set for an exceptional tournament and has his country as a possible dark-horse. Thanks to a kind bracket, Denmark wouldn’t play any of the obvious favorites until the quarter-finals as long as they finish second in Group B.

Match Schedule:

  • 6/12: Denmark vs Finland (12 p.m ET, 6 p.m. CET)
  • 6/17: Denmark vs Belgium (12 p.m ET, 6 p.m. CET)
  • 6/21: Russia vs. Denmark (3 p.m. ET, 9 p.m. CET)
Italy Training Session And Press Conference Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Alessandro Bastoni and Nicolo Barella (Italy)

Speaking of favorites, the significant hype around Italy is understandable. The Azzurri are unbeaten since 2018 and Roberto Mancini has the peninsula country on a path of steady progress. Italy has improved leaps and bounds since a shock qualifying failure for the 2018 World Cup but has yet to face a real test until this summer. The Euros are the biggest stage yet for this Italy squad and thanks to a favorable group-stage draw, anything less than a deep run into the knockout rounds would be a disappointment.

Match Schedule:

  • 6/11: Italy vs Turkey (3 p.m. ET, 9 p.m. CET)
  • 6/16: Italy vs Switzerland (3 p.m. ET, 9 p.m. CET)
  • 6/20: Italy vs Wales (12 p.m ET, 6 p.m. CET)
UEFA Nations League qualifier”Poland v the Netherlands” Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images

Stefan de Vrij (Netherlands)

Frank de Boer’s sometimes comical, sometimes infuriating, skill of failing upwardly is unrivaled in the footballing world. He exited Inter in disgrace only to last five games at Crystal Palace. He sent a championship-winning Atlanta United off the rails in MLS and promptly became the manager of the Netherlands, the 16th best team in the world according to FIFA’s ranking. His managing career has been spectacular if you’re a neutral or a fan of the rivals of any club he’s coached. But despite a disastrous recent history on the sideline, de Boer has a chance to bail out his reputation this summer. Netherlands has one of the easier groups and with the likes of Memphis Depay, Gigi Wijnaldum, Stefan de Vrij, and Frenkie de Jong, enough talent to make some noise. The big question is will it be because of or despite the man on the touchline?

Match Schedule:

  • 6/13: Netherlands vs Ukraine (3 p.m. ET, 9 p.m. CET)
  • 6/17: Netherlands vs Austria (3 p.m. ET, 9 p.m. CET)
  • 6/21: North Macedonia vs Netherlands (12 p.m ET, 6 p.m. CET)
Austria v Slovakia - International Friendly Photo by Philipp Schalber/DIENER/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Milan Skriniar (Slovakia)

Of Inter’s Euro 2020 contingent, it’s Milan Skriniar who has the toughest task ahead of him. Slovakia’s star centerback will be charged with keeping Robert Lewandowksi, Alvaro Morata, and Isak off the scoreboard if Slovakia is to have any chance of advancing. Skriniar has shown himself capable time and time again of keeping Serie A’s best attackers under lock and key, though, so Slovakia has at least a fighting chance of pulling off a remarkable upset.

Match Schedule:

  • 6/14: Poland vs Slovakia (12 p.m ET, 6 p.m. CET)
  • 6/18: Sweden vs Slovakia (9 a.m. ET, 3 p.m. CET)
  • 6/23: Slovakia vs Spain (12 p.m ET, 6 p.m. CET)

Matias Vecino (Uruguay)

Last but not least comes Matias Vecino and Uruguay. Vecino will meet his Inter counterparts on Argentina and Chile in the Copa America group stage as La Celeste look to get one last major tournament out of Luis Suarez.

Match Schedule:

  • 6/18: Argentina vs Uruguay (8 p.m ET, 6/19 2 a.m CET)
  • 6/21: Uruguay vs Chile (5 p.m ET, 11 p.m CET)
  • 6/24: Bolivia vs Uruguay (5 p.m ET, 11 p.m CET)
  • 6/28: Uruguay vs Paraguay (8 p.m ET, 6/29 2 a.m CET)

Which Inter players will have the brightest summers? Will anyone be lifting a trophy in July? Let us know in the comments below.

Forza Inter!