When you’re in desperate need of capital, every Champions League win matters.

Inter Milan has qualified for the Champions League round of 16, but the Italian soccer team will need much more success in the world’s most lucrative annual sports tournament to get a coveted $1 billion valuation in either a complete or partial sale that’s being led by investment banks Raine Group and Goldman Sachs.

That’s because the team is losing tons of money. In 2022 and 2021, Inter Milan’s parent company, Group F.C. Internazionale Milano, posted losses of $140 million and $246 million, respectively. The team’s balance sheet is also a mess, with a $408 million bond loan with a 6.75% interest rate and a negative net worth of $87 million.

Winning matters. If Inter Milan fails to advance past the round of 16, its Champions League earnings will be less than $30 million. If it can win its fourth Champions League, it could pocket around $90 million.

RedBird Capital Partners led the $1.28 billion acquisition of Inter Milan rival AC Milan in June. That has an impact on the sale of Inter Milan. One sports banker familiar with the team’s finances told Forbes, “The way RedBird scratched and clawed to put together expensive capital for AC Milan is going to make it difficult for Inter Milan.” Inter Milan doesn’t look very good by comparison. AC Milan announced its 2021-22 financial results last week and is in much better shape financially. AC Milan lost just $30 million last year and has only $28 million in net debt versus $354 million for Inter Milan.

Inter Milan’s chairman denied the team is for sale recently. Either way, another $60 million or so of Champions League money would certainly come in handy for Inter Milan.