With Chinese owners and a growing fan base in Asia, I would expect that Asia will become a frequent destination for Inter’s preseason tours.
The Nerazzurri will face Bayern Munich on July 27th in Shenzghen and AC Milan at the Nanjing Olympic Sports Center, home of Jiangsu Suning, on 24 July 2017.
There is also talk of a third tour match, possibly against Inter’s sister club Jiangsu Suning.
Inter last toured China in 2015 when they played Real Madrid and AC Milan, where the Nerazzurri lost 1-0 to their city rivals and 3-0 to Real Madrid.
Inter’s participation was announced at a press conference in Shanghai attended by club legend and Inter Forever star Walter Zenga.
“I was here when Inter became the first Italian club to visit China in 1978,” the former Italy goalkeeper recalled.
“It was Sandro Mazzola’s last game and I got called up to the first team – having just won the Primavera Coppa Italia – because Ivano Bordon was with the Italy squad preparing for the World Cup in Argentina.”
Inter’s ties with China stretch back almost 40 years but this summer will be the team’s first visit to the country since Suning Holdings Group acquired a majority stake last year.
The tournament is another opportunity for Inter to reach out to the 163 million Nerazzurri fans in the Asia-Pacific region while our Chinese supporters in particular will have the chance to experience a Milan derby on local soil.
Inter’s relations with China have become even stronger in recent years with the opening of several new Inter Clubs as well as three Inter Academies (Yitao Shanghai, Jiangsu and Beijing) and an Inter Campus centre on the outskirts of Shanghai.