Inter Milan have hotly-tipped Porto striker Mehdi Taremi firmly in their sights as a reinforcement for their attack squad. A beloved figure in his native Iran, Taremi has already achieved the status of a hero among Inter fans, who could get a closer look at the player from the next year.
Taremi has pedigree against Inter’s most considerable rivals, Juventus, and city rivals, AC Milan, especially in his encounters during the Champions League. Here, we unpack his recent performances against them.
The Iranian striker’s first Champions League adventure took place during the 2020-21 season. In the round of 16, his club Porto came nose to nose with Andrea Pirlo’s Juventus. Making a strong impression, Taremi capitalized on a glaringly misplaced back-pass between Rodrigo Bentancur and Wojciech Szczesny, Inter fans reveled in seeing their rival’s error exploited. The 2-1 victory for Porto holds significant importance for Taremi for two main reasons: his first Champions League goal and his prominence as the first Iranian player to score in the competition.
Beyond his exceptional performances, Taremi showcases a perfect depiction of anti-Juventus sentiment in the return match. Displaying immense speed, he openly exploited Juventus’s ill-prepared defence in the 6th minute with a double opportunity. However, it was an unfortunate misjudgement from Merih Demiral that led to the penalty converted by Sergio Oliveira, directing the match in favour of the Portuguese side. All of this was achieved despite Taremi taking two yellow cards for kicking the ball away with the match still in progress. Even down to 10 men, Porto managed to advance to the quarterfinals at the expense of extra time, taking them closer to the crown.
In the subsequent edition, the exuberant player also posed an obstacle to AC Milan. The literally physical matchup concluded with a 1-0 victory at home for Porto. The slick striker, dubbed “Piscinas” by opposing fans for his dives and not exactly kosher craftiness, significantly challenged Milan’s defence. The game-deciding goal came from Luis Diaz, following Taremi’s back-strike to Milan’s Bennacer.
Moreover, let’s not forget last year’s events. After Juventus and Milan, Taremi also encountered his new purchasers, Inter Milan. A last-minute header, miraculously deflected by Inter’s Onana onto the post, allowed Inzaghi to proceed to the quarterfinals on their victorious journey ending in Istanbul. Limiting Taremi’s Champion League contributions to five goals, it was enough to get him noticed by everyone, including Inter’s chief executive Beppe Marotta.
Throughout all these, one thing is clear: Taremi’s skills and performances have caught the attention of the prestigious clubs, especially Inter Milan, marking him as a potential key player in strengthening their attack squad.