REMINSCING ON THE MILAN DERBY(for football fans only)
I stumbled on the Milan derby some minutes ago on TV and all I could do was shake my head. As much as I tried, I could only recognise Icardi for Inter and Bonucci for Milan. Shows how much degradation the serie A has undergone and how much value it has lost probably due to poor management. The Milan derby used to be the holygrail of worldwide derby fixtures between 2000 and 2011! Back then, It was a more important fixture in the footballing world than even the El Classico. Football lovers could name the starting eleven for both clubs back then but I doubt if that’s still the case now. That was when Milan had Dida between the sticks, the legendary duo of Nesta and Maldini in defence supported by the no-nonsense Jaap Stam. Genaro ‘Pitbull’ Gatusso manned the defensive midfield position and Rui Costa(and later Kaka&Pirlo) pulled the strings in attacking midfield. The lethal Andrey Shevchenko was their point man upfront and was often supported by the very prolific, offside-prone, goal scoring legend, Filipo Inzaghi. Not forgetting Clarence Seedorf who also called the shots in midfield.
Inter Milan for most of that period were the underdogs(underachievers) until Mourinho came in around 2008. That doesn’t in anyway mean their team wasn’t well equipped with stars. In defence, they had the athletic Ivan Cordoba, the legendary Cannavaro, the never ageing Zannetti and the annoying giant- Matterrazi. In midfield Stankovic and Patrick Vieira are about the only players I can remember. In attack, they had the prolific Christian Vieri who often prefered being partnered with Obafemi Martins. He was later replaced by Adriano. I also think Panucci starred for Inter at some point.
The Milan derby was always a tactically oriented cracker. Close your eyes for one minute and a goal was scored or a penalty was created almost out of almost nothing. I remember one Milan derby where Obafemi Martins ran riot and created so much problems for the Milan defence that Maldini was forced to declare after the game that Martins was the striker he feared the most in Serie-A. I remember clearly that he kept committing Stam who ended up bringing him down twice in the 18 yard box winning him two penalties in the process. I also remember another Milan derby where Ricardo Kaka tore Walter Samuel’s cruciate knee ligament via a quick series of his trademark in-cutting dribbles…such were the things that happened on a typical derby night at the San Siro. Lest I forget, the atmosphere was always electric! I can’t remember any other game in the footballing wordl that had such a contagious or should I say, palpable atmosphere. Alas, those were the good-ol-days of the pre-2011 Milan derbies.
As a matter of fact, I couldn’t even stand the quality of tonight’s derby, I had to walk out on it.