Porto and Inter Milan: History of the Clash of Titans

Porto and Inter Milan represent Portugal and Italy when it comes to competitive rivalry in Europe. This article is intended to provide valuable insight into the rivalry between two famous Southern European football clubs. There have been many competitions in the last few decades that have given birth to unforgettable important moments. Want to know more about FC Porto vs Inter Milan timeline? Keep reading!

They are kings of their respective landscapes and FC Porto may not face as stiff competition as FC Internazionale Milano. However, the club has always been a dark horse in European football competition and its peak was perhaps when it won the 2003/2004 edition of the Champions League. At that time Porto was commanded by the legendary Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho. Overall, Porto has managed to win the Champions League twice. What about Inter? The club was slightly more successful on FC Porto vs Inter Milan timeline with three championship titles and interestingly, Inter won their last title when they were coached by Jose Mourinho, Porto’s coach when they won the 2003/2004 edition of the Champions League.


Porto was founded in 1893, 130 years ago, while Inter was founded 15 years later. They have both won many domestic titles in their respective countries and even though they are not yet at the same level as Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, they are always in the top competition.

Their initial meeting of FC Porto vs Inter Milan timeline was in the 50s, specifically at the 1956/1957 edition of the European Cup. It was the quarter-finals and Inter was ahead of Porto. Since then they have met more frequently and in the early years, Inter tended to have the upper hand. Porto’s biggest challenge at that time was Inter’s difficult layered defense system. On average, most of their meetings end with Inter advancing to the next round.

Turning point

Perhaps the turning point in their meeting on FC Porto vs Inter Milan timeline was when they met in the last 16 of the 2003/2004 edition of the Champions League. At that time Porto was coached by a controversial young manager, Jose Mourinho, and Inter was coached by Alberto Zaccheroni. The two-legged match finished with an aggregate of 1-0 for Porto. Deco became a hero at that time and since then Porto was no longer a subordinate of Inter. And when the Portuguese team beat AS Monaco decisively, it seemed that Inter was gradually moving away under the shadow of Porto. Suddenly the prestige of the Portuguese teams rose to rival their Italian competitors.

Inter’s progress in the following years

In the following years, Inter tried to raise the level of their game. The club’s efforts were increasingly looking serious with the recruitment of players such as Diego Milito, Wesley Sneijder, and of course the controversial manager Jose Mourinho! These efforts bore fruit with the 2009/2010 edition of the Champions League title. 

A glimpse of Jose Mourinho who has coached both teams

He is a Portuguese professional football manager and former player who is currently the head coach of the Italian Serie A club Roma. 

Here is a look at his managerial career

Benfica (2000)

The opportunity to become a top manager arrived in September 2000 when Mourinho moved from his role as assistant manager at Benfica to replace manager Jupp Heynckes after the fourth week of the Primeira Liga.

União de Leiria (2001 – 2002)

Mourinho found a new managerial position in July 2001 with Uniao de Leiria. 

Porto (2002 – 2004)

Mourinho returned to Porto in 2002, this time as head coach. Not long afterward he succeeded in bringing Porto to become champions of the Portuguese League, Portuguese Cup, and UEFA Cup in 2003. Even greater success came in 2004 when Mourinho led his club to become champions of the Portuguese League again and won the most prestigious title in Europe, namely the Champions League.

Chelsea (2004 – 2007)

Mourinho moved to Chelsea the following season and managed to win the Premier League title 2 years in a row in 2005 and 2006, along with other domestic titles. He was named the best manager in the world by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) for the 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 seasons.

Inter Milan (2008 – 2010)

After falling out with Chelsea officials, he moved to Serie A and signed a 3-year contract with Inter Milan in mid-2008. Within 3 months, Mourinho managed to win the Italian Super Cup as his first title in Italy. He finished his first season in Italy by winning the Italian Serie A League title. Later, he continued by winning the 2009/2010 edition of the Champions League.

Real Madrid (2010 – 2013)

Mourinho then continued his work in the Spanish League with Real Madrid. With Madrid, Mou presented the Copa del Rey trophy in his first season followed by the La Liga trophy in his second season. Unfortunately, the unhealthy relationship between Mou and the players meant that the Portuguese coach had to end his collaboration with Los Blancos early in 2013 and return to England to manage Chelsea.

Chelsea (2013 – 2015)

In June 2013, Mourinho was officially confirmed as Chelsea manager for the second time at a press conference held at Stamford Bridge. In December 2015, after losing 9 of their 16 Premier League matches, Chelsea announced that they had parted ways with Mourinho by mutual consent.

Manchester United (2016 – 2018)

In May 2016, Mourinho signed a three-year contract with Manchester United, with the option to remain at the club until at least 2020. After starting the 2018–19 season with just seven wins in the first 17 Premier League games, leaving Manchester United 19 points behind the league leaders, Mourinho was fired by the club in December 2018.

Tottenham Hotspur (2019 – 2021)

In November 2019, Mourinho was appointed as manager of Tottenham Hotspur on a four-year contract, replacing the sacked Mauricio Pochettino. In April 2021, Mourinho was sacked by Tottenham Hotspur after seventeen months at the helm of the club.

AS Roma (2021 – present)

In May 2021, Mourinho was appointed as head coach of Roma from the start of the 2021–22 season, replacing compatriot Paulo Fonseca. Mourinho reached 1,000 games as a manager in a win against Sassuolo on September 12, 2021.

Important players

Porto and Inter are home to great players and on the Porto side, we can perhaps take Deco and Sergio Conceicao as examples. Meanwhile, on the Inter side, we can find Javier Zanetti, Wesley Sneijder and Diego Milito.

The impact of their rivalry on the progress of European football

The competition between Porto and Inter of course has a significant contribution amidst the competition between other big clubs. They may not be at the same level as Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, or Manchester United, but both have provided great competition over the years with great players in their ranks.

Ultimately, the FC Porto vs Inter Milan timeline reflects the ups and downs of a football team. Not always a team is at the top and vice versa, not always a team is at the bottom. There is always an opportunity to change, develop, and improve things. Players and coaches come and go, but a club’s history is not easily forgotten.

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