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Milan Derby History - One Of Football’s Great Rivalries

The Milan Derby is a clash that continues to capture the imagination and attention of football fans around the world. Not only is it Italian football’s greatest rivalries but one of the world’s greatest rivalries alongside the likes of El Clasico, the North London Derby and the Manchester Derby. Find our below why we think the romance of the Milan Derby makes it one of the very best derby matches around.

Recent Clashes

The last couple of years have been kind to the Milan clubs as both Inter and AC have landed a league title after a nine-year domination by Juventus. 

Inter achieved a much-needed Scudetto in 2020/21, whilst AC claimed it in 2021/22. The reintroduction of these sides as domestic and European powerhouses has been welcomed by even casual fans, and it finally looks like Italian football is coming back in-vogue. 

Older fans will remember when Serie A was home to the best players, teams, and coaches on the planet. Whether it was the Rolls-Royce-esque grace of Paolo Maldini, the goalscoring mega-talent of a young Ronaldo Nazario, or the perpetual coolness of Andrea Pirlo, it seemed the whole world looked upon Serie A with envy. 

Demise Of Serie A

Some say that the 2005 Champions League final, where AC Milan crumbled to Liverpool, was the moment that the Italian league fell off the radar. There were some bright points, including Milan’s revenge in the final in Athens two years later and Italy’s win at the 2006 World Cup, but it was quickly becoming obvious that  Spanish football was taking the centre-stage in world football. 

Both Inter and AC Milan endured a barren patch in both domestic and European competition. A new generation of fans grew up only reading about their past exploits in the history books, and the new breed of players could only listen to their elders to hear about the clubs’ rich histories. 

This is a shame given how iconic both clubs are. However, rivalry is about a lot more than just mere football. Ask anybody in the city’s metropolitan area and they’ll tell you the same thing - the fixture is steeped in history, politics, and storylines so complex that it seems they were written by someone in Hollywood. No other derby in world football features two giants whose stadium just happens to be shared, after all. 


Birth Of The Derby

AC Milan was founded back in December 1899. Like many football clubs, the institution was founded by a group of English expats who were hoping to spread the beautiful game overseas. 

However, the newly-founded club split in two just eight years later, as opposing philosophies on signing foreign players came up to the surface. Internazionale, named after their desire to attract players from abroad, were subsequently formed in March 1908. 

The Derby della Madonnina was born. The first recorded meeting occurred in January 1909, where AC won 3-2. 

The ensuing decades saw both clubs attain massive success in their domestic league, however it is AC with the larger European pedigree. 

The red-and-black side have won 7 Champions League titles to Inter’s 2, in addition to 5 UEFA Super Cups, 3 Intercontinental Cups, 2 Cup Winners’ Cups, and one FIFA Club World Cup. 

Players To Represent Inter And AC

Players to have represented both AC and Inter include:

  • Roberto Baggio 
  • Andrea Pirlo 
  • Patrick Viera
  • Ronaldo 
  • Leonardo Bonucci
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic 

Representing both AC and Inter Milan doesn’t carry the same stigma as it would for other rivals, though, and that’s due to the unique nature of the rivalry and its relatively- peaceful nature. 

There’s a misconception that the derby is fiery and has the tendency to spill over into violence, however that is simply not the case. Ultras of both clubs signed an agreement in 1983, promising that tension between the two sets of fans never spills over into all-out carnage. In fact, the Milan derby is considered strangely serene for such a large rivalry - a testament to how much respect the fans have for one another. 

That’s not to say that there isn’t plenty of on-the-pitch drama, however, and the Derby della Madonnina remains one of the most famous fixtures in world football. As both Inter and AC rise from the ashes, it looks as if the glory years of this unique, passionate rivalry are set to return. 






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V: 1.37.0 All rights reserved. August 2021