The Italian giants secured their place in the final with a convincing 3–0 aggregate win over city rivals AC Milan, thanks to a solitary goal from Lautaro Martinez in the second leg.
Now, they are waiting to see who will join them in Istanbul on May 29, as City and Real are locked at 1–1 after the first leg of their semi-final.
For Inter vice-president Javier Zanetti, a club legend who won the treble with them in 2010, there is a clear preference: he wants to avoid Real Madrid at all costs.
The Spanish giants have a history of dominating the Champions League, having won it a record 14 times, including five of the last nine editions.
Zanetti told Sky Sport Italia: “I’d like to avoid Real Madrid because this competition seems made for them. However, the most important thing is to have arrived here. It was a difficult path, it’s not easy to play a derby in the semi-finals. I did and I was defeated in 2003.”
Instead, Zanetti would rather face Manchester City, the newly crowned Premier League champions who are aiming for their first ever Champions League title.
City have been impressive under Pep Guardiola, but they have also shown some vulnerability in Europe, having never reached the final before.
Zanetti believes that Inter have what it takes to beat them, especially with their star striker Martinez in top form.
The Argentine has scored eight goals in nine games, and Zanetti praised him for his improvement and importance for the team.
He said: “I’m so happy for him. He improves every year with us. He’s a reference point for the team and we keep him because he’s too important.”
“For now, he stays here, then we’ll see. Let’s enjoy this win. He’s happy here, where he found his home. He’s happy in Milan and I hope it will last a long time.”
Inter have been outstanding in this season’s Champions League, topping a group that included Bayern Munich and Barcelona, then knocking out Porto, Benfica and Milan.
Zanetti credited the team and the coach, Simone Inzaghi, for their incredible achievement.
He said: “It was tough but we’ve done an incredible thing. Credit goes to the team and coach, who reacted well in difficult moments.”
“He [Inzaghi] hasn’t spoken much but proved worthy of the final.”