August 31, 2009
One city. Two teams. One victor. The day I mark on my calendar months in advance. Tense anticipation crept up on me a few hours before the starting whistle. I tried desperately to find anything to console my nerves. Thinking of Inter's first seasonal outing versus newly promoted Bari surely helped.
The Nerazzuri, a team brimming with world class stars that failed to outclass a squad that has been bouncing back and forth between Italy's top two leagues for the past several seasons.
Then there was Milan, who the previous week played an impressive game against mid-table ranked Siena. It seemed obvious, we were on form and Inter were still gelling as a unit. I brainwashed myself to believe we were the favourites. And for the first 20 minutes of the game, it sure seemed that way... But then...
August 26, 2009
Only a few days before the famed city derby, (also the same day the entire city of Milan temporarily shuts down) Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi has once again undermined the tactics of one of his coaches.
At the end of a disappointing campaign last year, the Italian Prime Minister unleashed a scathing attack on former coach Carlo Ancelotti, blaming him for Milan's failures, and pointing out that the current Chelsea boss did not play the seemingly unmotivated and overweight Ronaldinho nearly enough. Also mentioning that the fans paid their tickets to see the former Ballon d'Or winner gracing the pitch rather than the bench.