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Derby Della Madonnina: A City Divided

On Sunday, February 9, the iconic San Siro will host the latest installment of the Milan Derby. With both teams desperate for a win, it’s bound to be a wild one.

Over the years, Inter and AC Milan have faced off 295 times, with Inter having the edge in official matches, but Milan having won more games overall. Andriy Shevchenko holds the record for most goals in this fixture with 14 for the Rossoneri, which is closely followed by Giuseppe Meazza with 12 goals for Inter and 1 for Milan.

Schism & Class Struggle

The rivalry between the two clubs dates back to the inception of Inter. In 1908, following a disagreement on the topic of recruiting foreign players, members of AC Milan who were in favor of such transfer dealings split from the club to form a new entity – Internazionale.

Milan, the Rossoneri, faced Inter, the Nerazzurri, for the first time just seven months after the schism in the final of the Chiasso Cup. The Rossoneri ran out 2-1 victors and, consequently, one of the biggest rivalries in football was born.

Historically, Milan supporters were part of the working class, whereas Inter’s followers were the bourgeoisie. Though the class divide isn’t prominent today, the deep-rooted hatred between the supporters remains.

The Maldini Dynasty

The one player who personifies this fixture more than anyone is Milan legend Paolo Maldini. Now operating as the club’s technical director, the 51 year old was one of the greatest defenders to ever play the game. His illustrious 24-year-long career saw him win five European trophies, seven Scudetti, and countless other cups and personal accolades, all while being the ultimate one-club man.

Paolo’s father, Cesare, a Rossoneri legend in his own right, became head coach following a stellar playing career and led Milan to the club’s biggest ever win against their rivals; a 6-0 beatdown of Inter (video) on May 11, 2001.

Paolo’s son, Daniel, a Milan academy product, made his first-team debut over the weekend in a 1-1 draw with Verona. The young man will have big shoes to fill.

Different Trajectories

Both Milan clubs faded during the 2010s as Juventus became the dominant team in the league (winning the last eight Serie A titles). But with Antonio Conte in charge, Inter is rejuvenated. Milan, meanwhile, is still stuck in a rut and will be looking to revamp the team this summer.

Conte’s men stumbled in recent weeks, with successive draws halting their momentum (Inter is currently three points away from the league-leading Juventus), but following a routine 2-0 win versus Udinese (video) on Sunday, the upcoming Derby della Madonnina is theirs to lose.

Illustration by @inakivector.

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