The city of Milan, commonly referred to as the fashion and design capital of the world, renowned for having a global impact on art, literature and music. But one thing that always springs to mind when it comes to this particular city is the Milan derby. Two teams, one stadium, one massive rivalry – AC Milan and Inter.
With a rivalry spanning over 100 years, the Milan derby is seen as one of the biggest games in world football, involving two of the most decorated clubs of all time. Amazingly, the San Siro stadium plays host to both teams and is more often than not filled to its 80,000 capacity on most occasions. Built in 1925, this footballing coliseum has played host to a number of major finals, including the 2001, 1970 and 1965 Uefa Champions League finals and numerous Uefa Cup finals. Notable league encounters between these two giants include: a 6-3 drubbing of Milan by Inter in 1926, Milan going down 3-4 to Inter in 2006 and a 10 goal thriller which this time saw Milan come out 6-4 winners in 1965. The national team also hosts occasional friendleys at the San Siro and the ground was a key venue when Italy hosted the world cup in 1990.
The arguement as to who is the better of the two sides goes on, with a total of 34 league titles between them, 17 going to Inter and 17 to Milan. But it’s neither club who leads the way with only four games to go in Serie A. Milan seem out of the equation, six points adrift of top spot, with Inter just a point behind the leaders Roma. Milan’s rich domestic and European glory has made them one of the most feared sides in world football. However their blue and black striped rivals have come up on the rails in recent years, especially under the guidance of ’the special one’ Jose Mourinho. A league title last year could soon be followed by a league and European cup double this season, as they take a healthy 3-1 lead to Barcelona for the Champions League semi-final second leg. This season’s Milan derbies have lived up to their reputation as the most anticipated matches of the Serie A season, but it’s been Inter who’ve earned bragging rights in the city on both occasions. The first in August saw Inter incredibly brush aside Milan by four goals to nil in front of a full house and another packed arena saw Inter prevail with a comfortable 2-0 win in their home game at the turn of the year. Milan fans remain disappointed at their poor season domestically and in Europe, especially with their most hated rivals ruling the roost in the city.
Many legends have graced the San Siro in the famous red or blue jerseys. Inter boast a number of footballing greats over the years, including Zanetti, Altobelli, Baggio and Bergomi, who still holds the club record for most appearances, with a staggering 758 over 19 years at the club. The current crop consists of both fresh young talent such as Ballotelli as well as vastly experienced players including Eto’o, Toldo and Lucio. It’s fair to say Milan are much more widely renowned for fielding giants of the game; especially Italian stars such as: all time favourite and highly capped Paulo Maldini, current Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti, the Dutch master Marco Van Basten, Seedorf and Shevchenko, the list goes on, as Milan continue to produce and nurture the games’ very best.
One thing is for certain, the coming seasons will provide even more competition and classic encounters between these two greats, as money, success and fan demand continues to play a big part in shaping each club’s future. In a city famous for fashion, it’s fair to say that neither club has or will go out of trend any time soon.
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