Straight from the dark heart of Italy
While Ronaldo has been off amusing himself with his cross-dressing friends - something that has finally endeared him to most of the Italian male public - Serie A is gearing up for the Milan derby on Sunday.Let’s get one thing straight, AC Milan against Inter is the best derby in the world.Manchester United-City, River Plate-Boca Juniors, Celtic-Rangers all pale in comparison.Outside Hollywood you won’t see so many stars in such a condensed area when the players take the pitch, both clubs have won so many trophies that they had to give over half of the San Siro stadium just to house them.
Tensions flare up between Seedorf and Cambiasso in 2005
Then there is the San Siro itself: majestic and come 3pm local time on Sunday, packed with 85,000 very excitable souls.There is more than mere city bragging rights at stake this time around. A win for Inter will crown them Serie A champions for the 16th time and no team in Italy has ever won lo scudetto in a derby game.Milan are current European and World champions and a win will keep their hopes alive of qualifying for the Champions League again.It can be said without a shadow of doubt that Milan is the number one city for football on the planet.As Rossoneri owner Silvio Berlusconi said before the first meeting of the season after his side had won the Club World Cup: “Inter are looking down on the rest of Serie A, we are looking down from the top of the world.”As with most of Berlusconi’s sound-bites it came back to take a big chunk out of him as goalkeeper Nelson Dida gifted the Nerazzurri a 2-1 victory.
Inter grab bragging rights after 2-1 victory back in December
In fact, Milan have lost the last three derbies after winning six out of eight between 2002 and 2006.The first derby had an international flavour to it, played as it was across the border in Switzerland in Chiasso on October 18 1908, with Milan running out 2-1 winners.Since then there have been clashes that have hit the heights of sheer excellence but very few to plunge to the depths of utter mediocrity.Here’s a few that Milanese of differing generations hold dearly:6-5 to Inter in 19495-2 for Inter in 19652-0 to Milan in the 1977 Italian Cup final 2-0 to the Rossoneri in 1988 when Ruud Gullit hit a screamer which left Inter keeper Walter Zenga mouthing, “what a **** shot.”3-0 to the Nerazzurri in 1998 with Ronaldo on the scoresheet6-0 to Milan in 2001 3-2 to Inter in 2005
And of course, this Sunday’s match-up: the best is always yet to come when Inter and Milan meet.
Whoa - fighting talk from Italy - As Argentina 's Argy Bargy correspondent I would have to disagree (just cos its fun). But it is also derby weekend here, and even my mum's dog knows this is the biggest game ever. Fireworks, friendly banter (lie), party atmosphere and a city of 14 million people coming to an utter standstill unlike at any other time of the year. Inter - Milan. Pah. Might be the mother country of Argentines, but they've taken it and multiplied it by ten.
...Or maybe not.
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