The AC Milan Blog

AC Milan related rants, news and more.


The Defensive Midfielder Position – Where Milan’s Scudetto Was Won

Abbiati; Bonera, Nesta, T. Silva, Antonini; Pirlo, Ambrosini, Seedorf; Pato, Borriello, Ronaldinho. No, that’s not the team that lost 4-0 to Man Utd at Old Trafford. On the contrary, that was Milan’s starting line-up for the first official game this season, the 4-0 win vs Lecce. However, people with short memories are more likely to go for the first option. After all, that line-up was almost an exact replica of Milan’s Leonardo. Nowadays, only Abbiati, Nesta, T. Silva and Pato are guaranteed starters on the team, with Pato now occupying his natural position.

What has changed since then? A lot. Ronaldinho and Borriello where shipped out for good. Ambrosini, Pippo, Pirlo, and to a lesser extent, Pato, missed large parts of the season due to injuries. Also players like Bonera and Antonini started to see limited minutes in comparison to the rise of Abate, Boateng, and Yepes. Oh and we signed Ibrahimovic, Robinho, and Cassano too.

Yet there has to be a main difference between the current Milan side and its precedent, right? Leonardo’s Milan was a more attacking version of Ancelotti’s Milan, with much worse players of course. So how could Allegri’s Milan be defined? By a rock solid defense. I think Allegri closely resembles Capello: focuses on defense, very good tactically, excellent man manager, and has a fairly humble and uncontroversial character. With Milan’s transfer deals, some feared that Milan would even upgrade its 4-2-fantasia (only God knows how Milan would have lined-up if Leonardo was still in charge!), and pessimists thought Allegri wasn’t much of a character to handle egos such as Zlatan’s and Cassano’s in the same dressing room. But Allegri, swiftly and confidently, brushed all those doubts away.

Credit to Allegri for transforming a defensively weak team in the best side in the country in less than six months. It might sound cliche, but as usual, good teams are built from the back. Rock solid defense is the foundation upon which any successful football team is built, just ask Capello or Mourinho. Or just look at Leonardo’s Inter to understand that ‘outscoring’ opponents isn’t such a good idea in today’s football.

Yet, as pointed out earlier, Milan started the season as if Leonardo was in charge. Or not. There were some tactical moves and a bit of defensive strategy imposed, but overall there wasn’t much of a difference. A slow midfield that was vulnerable to counterattacks and forwards that didn’t contribute with any defensive effort. Allegri, however, could be excused. After all, Ibrahimovic and Robinho arrived late in the market, after all the pre-season was over and so the team was ‘built’ without them. Also, Allegri had to integrate some players that clearly were more of a liability than an asset – coughronaldinho – uhm, excuse me. Lest we forget, failure to obey Berlusconi is widely believed to have cost both Leonardo and Ancelotti their jobs. And of course, Allegri knew better than to start his stint on Milan’s bench by ignoring his boss’s instructions.

So, Allegri needed time. He slowly but convincingly shaped the team as the season went further. Initially, he tried the Berlusconi formula of Pirlo, Seedorf, Ronaldinho, Pato, and Ibrahimovic in one team, but I guess he did that to prove a point. After the two Madrid games, it was clear that some changes needed to be made. Allegri had made his point, now it was time for work.

The key game for change was the 10th round of Serie A vs Bari at San Nicola. The starting line-up that day was: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Yepes (T. Silva was injured), Zambrotta; Ambrosini, Gattuso, Flamini; Seedorf; Ibrahimovic, Robinho. A 4-3-1-2 formation, clearly familiar to Milan through the Ancelotti-era, but yet a little bit different. Three pure defensive midfielders were used, with the anchor in midfield (usually Pirlo under Ancelotti) a player with defensive skills primarily. Milan would maintain this shape for the rest of the season with great success, and the defensive midfielder slot, then occupied by Il Capitano Massimo Ambrosini, and currently by Mark ‘the Boss’ van Bommel, would remain the key spot for the transformation of Milan from Scudetto hopefuls to Scudetto favorites.

Of course some argued at the time that it was only Bari, and for so called ‘football experts’ who follow the games through live text, Milan had won ‘only’ 3-2 so it was nothing to take note of. However, that day, Allegri had finally dared to do what many people wanted to see: using a proper defensive midfielder as the last man in midfield, instead of the flashy but unconvincing defensively Andrea Pirlo. In that game, 30 minutes on the clock and Milan were already 2-0 up. Failure to convert chances, as well as lacking T. Silva, and slacking a bit contributed to the final score of 3-2, but on that day, the result wasn’t the most important thing. That game was the foundation for what was to follow, Milan leading for the Scudetto and bossing title rivals Napoli and Inter by playing entertaining football while remaining solid defensively.

Massimo Ambrosini and Mark van Bommel are the two players who were primarily used in that position since the Bari game. And undoubtedly, they delivered. Undoubtedly, they were better than Pirlo. So undoubtedly, Milan controlled the midfield, and thus, undoubtedly, Milan conceded less. If we compare the two players, they do share some characteristics in common. To put it simply, they boss football matches. However, there is a more detailed explanation for that. Both players are excellent leaders (Ambrosini is the current Milan captain, while van Bommel captains his national team and was Bayern’s first ever non-German captain), both players have great tactical knowledge and are great at reading games and both players are solid defensively while having sufficient technique to control the midfield. They also have a good eye for a decent pass, which isn’t the priority for their position but rather a luxury. Does this mean there’s no room for Pirlo? Of course not, a player with Pirlo’s technique and passing ability could always have room in any team. However, not at the expense of the team’s balance. Pirlo was used mainly this season by Allegri (when not sidelined by injuries), in a more advanced role that seemed to suit him (something I suggested at the beginning of the season).

So I guess the main point of change under Allegri was the use of Ambrosini/van Bommel in place of Pirlo. As mentioned earlier, and as the numbers prove, Milan’s defense is the best in the league and one of the best in the world. And what is the reason for that? Nesta and T. Silva were starters last season, so was Abate towards the end. And while dropping Antonini contributed a bit, there is no doubt that the main reason for Milan’s success is the use of a proper defensive midfielder in front of the back four. Gone are the days of conceding for fun, like vs Man Utd or Inter last season; nowadays Milan dominate games, or let me rephrase that, Milan boss games on a weekly basis. A nice reminder of that is the games vs. the so-called Scudetto rivals, Napoli and Inter, who were both brushed aside 3-0 and outclassed and outplayed everywhere on the pitch. Grazie for that Allegri, Ambrosini, and van Bommel.

Mark Van Bommel – A Dutch Tank With An Italian Philosophy

Mark van Bommel

Mark van Bommel

Mark van Bommel brings extreme reactions from every single football fan. His critics have mostly been those on the receiving end of things, while his supporters have close ties with the teams he has played for – PSV, Barcelona, Bayern, the Dutch national team, and now Milan. For the rest of the world he is a thug or a disgrace for the sport which might have stemmed from the analysis of Sky pundits having a direct impact on the fan base in south East Asia and India. So this is a post dedicated to all the fans that enjoy continental football and its diverse style. I hope you folks stop for a minute and read this without any bias.

Milan has been struggling for a long time in midfield, even though we have a battalion of defensive midfielders who pack a lot of aggression but with little tenacity. With the shrewd business of gold tie Mr. Galliani, we brought a world class anchor in place of technically gifted but physically frail Pirlo. I am not a big fan of Andrea and Ancelotti’s deep lying midfield position covered by aggressive midfielders, but I will leave that topic for some other day. Milan’s policy of bringing in old washed up champions may look very cheap and pathetic from outside but I am all for hard working, dedicated professionals – regardless of age – who add some value to the starting line-up. Over the years this has given me the opportunity to admire, watch and like some world class players whom otherwise would have gone unnoticed in my book. For example Stam and Beckham who hail from Manchester United, a club that brings the absolute worst in me in footballing philosophy. Then there was the ever smiling Cafu who joined us at the ripe age of 34 and played for some good years. So I was very much excited for MvB’s transfer especially when our most consistent player of the past couple of years, captain Ambrosini, was sidelined for rest of the season, leaving Flamini, Gattuso and Strasser for the job.

Flamini was not ready to give up his EPL style and as large as Gattuso’s heart might be he can’t compensate for his small stature, which plays a huge role in the aerial game as an anchor. He is an aggressive ground soldier and excels in that role, there is no point in retraining an old pitbull. So we were looking for an Ambrosini type of player and from out nowhere on the last day of the winter mercato our vice president brings in the captain of Bavaria, who in the past year has captained his teams to both a Champion League and World Cup final and without a shadow of a doubt was the most important player of those teams. So what conclusion should I draw? A Dutch team dragged to final by an anti-footballer; he achieved something similar to the great Cryuff. I am not naive to compare an absolute football master to MvB but you cannot ignore his effectiveness for your prejudice.

When he came and played a few games I realized how good he was. He is a leader of men, who tries to impose his will on the game and like a true traffic police man directs the flow with so much authority. His best act is the legendary stop sign – when he puts that up no opponent moves. If they have the testicular fortitude for violating that rule they end up paying some hefty fine in the form of a clean tackle, bruised ankle, a shoulder push or maybe a red card for Milan. With two godlike but mild CB’s, there wasn’t enough aggression towards the opposite number 10 trying to breach our defense, but with the coming of MvB, I can sleep peacefully knowing that we won’t concede unless the Boss personally thinks otherwise (see games against Palermo and Bari).

People following him since his Barcelona or Eindhoven days say he doesn’t do anything special these days and that he is simply the van Bommel of yesteryear, but I decided to watch his performances with zero animosity. So I am enjoying this phase of the Scudetto race, a solid defense protected by an insane destroyer, the Boss, and the entire thing masterminded by a prudent Italian tactician. Like every championship team we are building from the back and we sure have a hell of a war head with Cassano, Ibrahimovic, Pato, and Robinho. So we only need a set of technical CMF’s (Pirlo and Seedorf have served Milan well over the years, but it’s time for some fresh blood) to finish the entire product and we are ready to rumble again.

Van Bommel is a very likable man within his teams’ fans. You should see the affection crowds showed him when he danced with the German title in Munich. He never talks or does anything detrimental in training or off the pitch; all his tactics or dark art revolve around winning another inch for the team, by any means necessary to defend the flag, or in the voice of English commentators he is a lionhearted player who is willing to fight ’till death. He is a master in reading the game, having won 7 titles in the Netherlands, Spain and Germany and being now on the verge of conquering another one in the peninsula. He has some coaching badges and his prowess is on display in a live game while he is instructing/guiding inexperienced players. His ability to pick Antonini or Abate from way deep shows he is not just a physical player, he is ready to move forward and control the tempo of the game according to the situation (and he has a bomb of a right foot, which can be unleashed against any team but we Milan for some unknown reason never ever rely on a long ranger). The media is the one who created this image which is costing Milan a lot of cards because he is getting booked for normal fouls. His reputation precedes him in Serie A, not as a champion but as a bulldozer.

For a tough man he does have a true heart. He is loyal to the teams he’s played for and he is so instinctive with his passion. As an example, he showed his Barcelona heart when Madrid was dumped by him in the 2006 CL campaign. He cried like a baby when Bayern sold him to Milan and he feels like home in Milanello thanks to his promptness to learn and adjust along with the family atmosphere in our dressing room, which is under no imminent turmoil even though we pack some of the most volatile elements in the game.

I think it’s time to test the limits by bringing Balotelli. People often compare MvB to Materazzi because they experience the beautiful game through commentary. You should watch the games once in a while without bombastic and over the top biased reviewers. Materazzi is a butcher whose aim is to hurt an opponent regardless of footballing advantage. The Dutch master brings in every single trick in the book to gain advantage which only coincides with the state of play. He is a true professional and plays for his employer. For example, his tough tackling game against Messi and Wesley Sniejder (his ex team mates) show he might be friends with them but that friendship ends when you cross that white line and you don our jersey, an admirable quality.

Every single player who played with him or against him applauds his importance. Ibrahimovic (who you might remember had an altercation with the Dutch skipper) said he is a player I would hate to play against and welcomed him to Milan. Sneijder who was man handled in the derby begged him to join the blue part of Milan. This is a kind of signing Milan needed to help us in the Champions League and gives an opportunity to further groom young Strasser in that role. An experienced leader on the field and a gentleman off the field, with absolute knowledge of the game is a perfect fit in the cynical and tactical world of Calcio. He is not going to hang here as deadwood, he will perform at his best until he can and most probably play as a mentor in the future or leave us to his native place.

With that said, there are a few limitations. His mobility is not world class but far better in his age bracket and when compared to the existing champion senators in Milan. He has to get more adjusted to this team as he has conceded a few goals with Milan showing some communication breakdown while defending in the box.

In conclusion, if you look at him closely without any premonition about his game or style you might witness a master at his very best, reading the game, breaking the opponents’ play, passing the ball to players pushing forward and guiding the troops under extreme pressure. Immovable object with a fair sense of attacking game, I’m in love with him. A true great who oozes Italian style of play (substance over style). I am a self proclaimed samba fan boy but when you witness complete players you can’t stop yourself from admiring them. Complete players with the least of limitations is a dying breed in today’s era. I might think so because I personally rate the football of the last decade any day ahead of the physical play of today.

Thanks to: The Red & Black Forums – for admiring the Boss over their personal hate for the love of Milan, to Cristina who proof read the article and restructured it to something nice (which originated as an incoherent rambling) and to a bunch of DM lovers from Brazil and Scotland. Finally to all the fanboys and fangirls of Boss like fara/sage/wild/fiero/congo.


Video by Cristina.

Calciopoli – Italian Football’s Graveyard; Who’s Responsible?

A Journey Through Calciopoli Outside The Regular Walls

Calciopoli was an Italian football scandal that involved some of Italy’s elite football clubs. The scandal erupted when a few telephone interceptions showed a relationship between team managers and referees. The teams were accused of manipulating games by selecting favorable referees. As a result of these accusations trials took place and each of the teams involved were punished. Juventus were relegated to Serie B, were stripped of the 2005 and 2006 Serie A titles. They also had 9 points deducted. (they started in Serie B with a point tally of -9 and not 0). AC Milan had 8 points deducted from their 2006/2007 Serie A season. They also had 30 points deducted off their 2005/2006 Serie A campaign but still managed to make it to the Champions League. Fiorentina, another team that was punished, had 15 points deducted from their 2006/2007 Serie A campaign and were out of the Champions League. Lazio and Reggina had point deductions as well. As a result of the punishments, Internazionale Milan was awarded the 2005/2006 Italian Serie A trophy.

Perfect picture, eh? No. There’s much more about Calciopoli than the above would suggest. From illegal activities that lead to the discovery of some shady phone calls to the appointment of pro-Inter people in organizations related to Italian football, to the fact that Inter eventually turned out to be the only party that benefited from the scandal raises questions that SHOULD be highlighted and answer. We’ve decided to take the time and let you know what has been forgotten or what was meant to be buried with time.

Inter – Only Team To Benefit From Calciopoli

Anyone who watches series like C.S.I would know that the number one suspect of a certain crime would be the one with the biggest motive and evidence that connects him to the murder. Well, it’s sort of the same story. Who had the biggest motive to destroy Juventus and AC Milan? I’ll let you come with the answer yourself. Why would Inter want to destroy Juve and Milan? Well, the only way to make it back to domestic success would be with the top 2 teams out of sight. Before Calciopoli, Inter Milan hadn’t won the Scudetto since the 1988-1989 Serie A season. During that period, Juventus and Milan dominated Serie A. Both teams had won a combined 11 Serie A titles since Inter’s last. These facts clearly show that Inter were a relatively “weaker” team than AC Milan and Juventus in Serie A. That was of course before Calciopoli. Now if one takes a look at the titles won by Inter after Calciopoli, the record is crazy. Inter won 5 consecutive Serie A titles, with no real competition in 3 or 4 of them. Inter also went on to become a team that attracted a lot of great players like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was vital for most of these 5 titles. Coincidence? Don’t think so, but that’s just a piece of the puzzle. Please, continue reading.

Telecom Italia – FIGC – Gazzetta Della Sport – Moratti

Putting the “Inter benefited the most” argument aside, one must take a look at the parties involved in the “development” of the Calciopoli case. How were they connected? Was Inter again involved in a rather sarcastic way? Sarcastic it is, as conflict of interest doesn’t come out of nowhere.

First Party: Gazzetta Della Sport

Gazzetta Della Sport is an Italian sports newspaper that is known by the name “ Gazztta Dell’ Inter” by rival fans. The newspaper is owned by Carlo Buaro, vice president of Inter and a self-proclaimed Interista. How is the newspaper related to Calciopoli? It all started when the newspaper itself performed an ILLEGAL ACTIVITY and published transcripts of Luciano Moggi’s telephone conversations. Those transcripts however didn’t make their way to any incriminating party involved. However, Gazzetta Della Sport’s involvement doesn’t stop there. The media frenzy that resulted from these transcripts forced FIGC (the Italian football federation) to open an investigation.

Second Party: FIGC

Carlo Buora

Before Calciopoli evolved, Adriano Galliani was the president of FIGC. Due to the scandal, Galliani was forced to resign from that job since AC Milan were one of the clubs accused of involvement in a certain type of cheating (“certain type” will be discussed further on in the research). His resigning from the presidency of the FIGC was no controversy but actually a step forward toward “a better trial”; or at least one would have hoped so. The person that was appointed to replace Galliani was Guido Rossi. He was a director at Internazionale Milan from 1995 to 1999. He is also a self-proclaimed Inter fan, a shareholder in the club, and a friend of Massimo Moratti. As part of his first assignment Rossi would be in charge of Calciopoli. Interesting, eh? Well, here’s another interesting thought: Guido Rossi handed the 2005/2006 Serie A title to Inter after Juventus were relegated. His relationship to the case doesn’t stop there. He later on resigned from his position as president of FIGC and became president of TIM (Telecom Italia).

Third Party : Telecom Italia (TIM)

Telecom Italia (TIM) was the company that recorded the conversations that lead to the scandal. That doesn’t mean that Inter were part of all this or even that Telecom Italia “purposely” involved themselves indirectly in the case. However, the following issue does raise some suspicions. On the board of TIM were both Massimo Moratti and Carlo Buora. The connections between the many parties involved in Italian football and Calciopoli don’t end there. Inter’s second largest shareholder after Moratti, Mario Provera, is the owner of Pirelli, which owned TIM at the time and is the official shirt sponsor of Inter Milan. So in a nutshell, all parties involved were connected in every possible way.

Calciopoli: The Trial

Luciano Moggi

This “circus” doesn’t stop there. What was Milan and Juventus REALLY accused of? Well, in a nutshell, “having an exclusive relationship with the referee designators”. That relationship itself was seen to have given both teams an advantage. Milan were accused of having that relationship with referee designator Pairetto. Meanwhile, Juventus were accused of having that same relationship with another referee designator, Bergamo. The teams violated a rather minor infraction – unsportsmanlike conduct. One can say that both teams deserved to be punished. But what was the punishment for such violation? A fine. The punishment never exceeded that. How did it reach titles stripping and point deductions? Well, our friend Guido Rossi comes up again. He decided to make “contacting a referee designator” an infringement (wasn’t against any rules before that). He managed to group all the calls together and sprinkle a little magic, “enough” to accuse the clubs of “match-fixing” when there’s no evidence whatsoever of that. So basically he grouped a series of minor infractions to create a rather major one.

During trial, 171000 phone calls “magically” missed from the court documents and were not taken into consideration when Juventus, Milan and the rest of the teams were punished. The calls that were taken into consideration were the ones that seemed “perfect” enough to incriminate the clubs and parties punished. What about the rest of the phone calls? Couldn’t these phone calls have helped brighten Juve and Milan’s picture? Or even accuse a certain club of cheating? Say, Inter Milan? Some of the phone calls eventually came out and the Inter presidents were overheard speaking to referee designators.

Either Punish All, Or Punish No One

The facts stated show that Calciopoli may as well have been invented by Inter to incriminate other teams. If Juventus did wrong by having an exclusive relationship with the referees then why were all phone calls involving Inter ignored? Moggi himself said it: either all should be punished – or none. And since many were, then Inter should have as well. They should be punished upon the same standards that Juve were punished on.

 

Sources: wikipedia.com, acmilanblog.net.

L3-0nardo’s 18 Step Guide To Coaching

In celebration of this week’s one-sided brilliant derby victory, as well as our city rivals shock 5-2 humiliation on home turf vs. the 10th placed club in the Bundesliga, we EXCLUSIVELY present you an extract from L30nardo’s new book expected this summer, titled “Goodbye Milano: L30nardo’s Guide to Coaching”. The books’ publishing company, 3 Derby Defeats ®, has put a price of 30 Denarii on each copy.

L30′s Guide To Coaching

1. Use 27 strikers/match.

2. Extensive attacking training, but peaceful attacking. “Attacking” is such an aggressive word, brings negativity, don’t want to spread that around the world.

3. Soft defending. Don’t press your opponents too much or it might irritate them. Remember, Karma is a bitch. What goes around comes around.

4. Happy positioning. Players should be positioned in a way as to create a smiley face. This way, it would bring a positive vibe to the team and help them win.

5. The art of conceding. Because games aren’t fun unless the total goals are more than our number of strikers.

6. Group hugs after conceding. It would help strengthen the teams’ spirit and morale. Also it would ease crying into each others shoulders. Remember, crying kicks the boo-hoos out.

7. No tackles while defending, it might hurt the opponents and this is not good sportsmanship.

8. Leave gaps in defense. This way the opponents get more chances, the football fans get entertained, and Julio Cesar earns his paycheck. Therefore, everybody goes home a winner.

9. Special bonus for Chivu after every red card. The bonus is bigger if it’s 2 yellows. and even bigger if it’s 2 games in a row.

10. Only maximum of 3 players have to be in the team’s defensive half. The rest of the players should attack (peaceful attacking) every area of the opponents pitch. Remember, offense is the best defense.

11. If the team can’t produce something useful with the ball, then give it to the opponents and open wide gaps so that the audience receive value for their tickets.

12. Never defend a lead, because comebacks are worth experiencing. Even if it’s for the opponents. Wish others what you wish upon yourselves.

13. Extra yoga and massage sessions after defeats. Helps relax the state of mind and gain positivity.

14. If the team wins, they deserve to be praised for winning. If the team draws, they deserve to be praised for trying. If the team loses, they deserve to be praised for participating.

15. Never shout.

16. Only shout if the score ends 0-0.

17. Scratch #16. Only shout if the game ends with less than 5 goals, each.

18. Each player is obliged to have at least 5 daily hugs from me. Makes it easier to smell the hair.

Also there’s a tutor video to help with the look on the touchline. It shows the ‘Hand on the Chin’ gesture to simulate being lost in thought. As well as the brand new ‘Fake Yell’ and ‘Talk To The Bench’ to pretend taking part in the game. Finally we have the good old ‘Follow The Ball With Your Eyes’ trick to help look interested.

We leave you now with photos of this week’s derby hero, Alexandre Pato:

Credit to Cristina and Jasper for inspiring this article.

Credit to Cristina for all the media.

Fans About The Derby – Part III


Video made by Cristina.

This is the last and final part of our special derby preview. Enjoy and don’t hesitate to share your thoughts with us in the comments!

3. Do you have any local Inter rivals? If yes, are there any special ways you tease them or vice versa based on the result?

Jasper: The teasing goes on all year for any negative result opposition recieves. But derby talk is always part of the gloating. Above just jumping to their face(Chi non salta nerazzurro e e) I’ve made T-shirts before the game lately:

Applausi Per Ibra T-Shirt

Applausi Per Ibra T-Shirt

Ti Amo Ti Odio T-Shirt

Ti Amo Ti Odio T-Shirt

Cheap to make and though their quality is sort of ‘use-only-once’ they come very handy if your local interista goes to the same football practice as you.

DugiNesta: As the football in my country its not in a good condiction most of the people here have a favourite foreing team and I know many people here that are Inter fans and many that are Milan fans. There are more who are Milan fans, one of the reasons might be the colours of Milan jerseys red&black which are the same as our flag.

From my closest friends i’ve got only one friend who’s a die hard Inter fan, but I got three others who are DIE HARD Milan fans. But the thing is that my other friends, Barcelona, RealMadrid, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea fans they all are against Milan bar ManUTD fans. So whenever I watch a Milan game with them it doesnt matter the opponent they all the time are against Milan.

In my family, my younger and only brother who’s 16 years old is an Inter fan. So most of the derbies we watch at home, lateley he’s been winning which wasnt very good for me. We won the first game and I would break most of the things in my house, if we win against them and securing almost the tittle against the team who won the treble. And we beat that team twice, that’s would be like a dream. Until the next derby I would be one of the happiest persons in the world.

Sven: They’re mostly childhood friends and now I live far from then, so it’s all phone calls and internet. I exchange e-mails almost daily with one hardcore Interista, but no word at all about football since the Palermo game. Same goes for the others, my friends are always like that, the fear of what you say will be used against you after the result. Pretty sure the winners will send e-mails, calls and text messages the losers after the atch though. It’s alway like that.

inomilan: Since my country is just starting to love football just now, (thanks to, finally, good coverage of the world cup last year and the fact that the national team is actually improving) there are rarely, if any, other serie a fans since only EPL games are shown. So it’s more of me trying to defend Milan against those epl lovers. The fact that they rate Tottenham above us was just plain disgusting. So by beating Inter, at least it shows that Milan is really one of the best, and I can shut up those people who doubt us.

Sage: I dont know any Inter fans, but I know juventus fans and roma fans, and I never ridicule them, I just dont like making fun of someone and expect them to shut the fuck up when they beat us, so whenever Milan beat juventus or roma, I just tell them “hard luck” and same happens when their teams beat Milan.

There is simple making fun between us, but mutual respect as well.

seveners: I don’t have any local Merda rivals as far as I know because they know Merda is just a piece of shit. But since the got the treble i saw some kids wearing their shit jersey, but i don’t care.

If I got the options to choose to watch the game live in the stadium between the derby, CL final and World Cup final I certainly will choose to to watch the derby, i don’t care CL and WC final, bring me the DERBY!!!

Cristina: No, thank god. Although, there is a Man Utd fan and a Barcelona fan that like to make fun of me when things go bad. After the 4-0 game last year, my god. Ofcourse any win will do, but it would be great if we can pull a dominating and memorable win this Saturday.

Congo Powers: all my friends (including inter fans) from my youth live around the world….never see them again. sometimes we’ll email/facebook (n/h) afterwards. games were better back in the day (n/h)

Sod-Lod: Unfortunately yes, and I’m try my best to deal with them as they belong to illusions hypocrisy team.

Pedro: No. Though I have been teased at times when Milan lost the derby. No any rivalry or so though.

Giova21: I only have one true fellow Italian fan but he supports Napoli, and with his vehement detest of all things Inter, Napoli are my second team. He says as much as a Milan loss helps Napoli with scudetto hopes he still wants Milan to win so there is mutual respect. I know this is somewhat immature but I couldn’t see myself getting along too well with someone who supports Inter as passionately as I do Milan.

diehardmilanist: Yes,there are lots of friends of mine who are Merda fans,I am sorry because even some good friends of mine turn into attackers when I talk about Milan(like I say we have won 7 Champions Leagues,we are the most succesful club in the world,that lots of our players won Ballon D’or,we had a lot of legends and still have,they have less :P ) and all I hear from them against all this,is that our players are gay and that they are the first Italian team to have won the Tripletta :P f*** them,pathetic,mediocre people,fans of a pathetic,mediocre,MERDA Club. I hope we win the derby,am really optimist for it.

Charbel: Not really.

Senatore_M84: One of my best friends is an inter fan. Yes, since we met in college, i believe he became an inter fan for 2 reasons, 1. he had an obsession with argentina and thus zanetti (he ended up moving there for a while) 2. because he liked to annoy me.

Watch most derbies with him. It gets heated. But for me it’s much worse since Inter rose. When they weren’t as good, even if they won it was like meh, look at scudetto standings, who’s still in ucl etc. etc. Now, not so much….

Last couple years it’s been very intense, and usually loser wants nothing to do with person for next day or two.

Dwa Milan: Yes, have few close friends that are Inter rivals. sadly there’s not much hate between us regarding the club we support the teasing only comes in the last few seasons, simply because we were no where near challenging them(but it wasn’t really an annoying tease).

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