In 1955, the Inter-Cites Fairs Cup, the forerunner of the Uefa Cup/Europa League began, and its USP was that each city could only enter one team.
Many, including the finalists Barcelona and London, fielded combination sides, but Internazionale carried the Milan flag in each of the years that this stipulation was present. However, a combination side (often called ‘Milan Inter’ to avoid confusion) has played 23 games, the last in 1982.
We don’t have to hand the kits from all 23 games, but here are some of the outfits worn.
1949 v Austria Vienna
This was a game to mark AC Milan’s 50th anniversary, but they charitably allowed some of their rivals’ players to take part.
The shirts were a thoughtful combination of both clubs’ colours, with white a logical choice for the base as the pair used it as an alternative.
1965 v Chelsea
The Duke of Edinburgh Cup – we’re unaware of other editions – was the occasion and this time the red cross from the city’s coat of arms provided the central design element. This look would be resurrected by Inter for the 2007-08 season.
Coincidentally, later in this 1965-66 season, Chelsea would be drawn against AC Milan in the Fairs Cup, with a replay required after the teams finished level on aggregate. When that was also drawn, Chelsea advanced after a coin-toss.
1980 v Bayern Munich
In the wake of the Irpinia earthquake, a benefit game against Bayern was arranged.
This time, the amalgamated team wore a patriotic blue, produced by Inter’s kit manufacturers Puma and featuring the trademark formstripe, with the coat of arms used as a crest.
1982 v Poland and Peru
To date, these two friendlies in the latter part of the 1981-82 remain the last games played by a united Milan side.
By now, Inter had switched from Puma to Mec Sport and they provided the kit. Blue-white-blue was worn against Poland (who wore red-white-red), with all-blue against Peru.
Could we see this in the future? Given the way social media has ramped up rivalries, there would probably be fan ourcry, while the fact that the clubs have different kit-makers is also probably a big obstacle. We shall see.