Inter Milan pennant

Links With The Past: Gifts From Inter Milan & Real Sociedad

Thursday’s UEFA Europa Conference League Round of 16 second leg tie against Rennes is Leicester City’s 36th match in European competition.
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However, over the years, the Club has played in friendly fixtures against many other European teams and the Club’s heritage collection contains plenty of gifts and pennants from these fixtures.

On 25 July, 2005, for the second time in four years, after visiting Filbert Street in 2001 with Fiorentina, Roberto Mancini brought another Italian side, Inter Milan, to play a pre-season friendly against City, who, managed by Craig Levein, were to finish 16th in the Championship that season.

This pennant is a memento of the occasion. The star on the pennant above the Inter Milan crest was added in 1966 to commemorate the Club’s 10th Italian title. A second star will be added as soon as the club win their next title, which will be their 20th.

This season, the crest, which was designed in 1908, has been simplified and updated by the removal of the letters FC. In the season which followed their match against the Foxes, Inter Milan won Serie A, the first of five successive titles. They also won the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana.

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Real Sociedad gift
Real Sociedad gift

This silver plate was offered to the Club by Real Sociedad.

Inter’s stars included Adriano, Edgar Davids, Juan Sebastian Veron and Esteban Cambiasso, an Argentine international who won a record 19 trophies in his career and who was to become Leicester City’s Player of the Year 10 years later. Sadly, none of these stars played in this match.

Inter Milan won 2-1. They scored two first half goals and Chris O’Grady scored a penalty two minutes from time.

A year later, on 28 July, 2006, Leicester, managed by Rob Kelly, entertained Real Sociedad on Filbert Way. Their manager was Jose Maria Bakero, who had won 30 caps for Spain and who had been a team-mate of Gary Lineker at Barcelona, where he also won the European Cup.

Appointed towards the end of the previous season, Bakero had managed to save Real Sociedad from relegation from La Liga. After the match, which was a 0-0 draw, the Spanish side presented Leicester City with this silver tray. 

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