The Italian derby: two ideas, two worlds. Around a ball


Here we are. Here is the game that is more than a game. It is the challenge between two worlds, two ways of being, two pieces of Italian history, not just football. It's Inter-Juventus, beauty. It's called the derby of Italy, a term coined by the great Gianni Brera. On what really pushed Brera to this definition, there is still debate. Since 2006, we cannot cite, as an explanation, the challenge between the only two teams that are not relegated, a record that for only thirteen years, in Italy it is only up to the Nerazzurri. It certainly has to do with the fact that Inter and Juve boast the greatest number of fans scattered around the boot, the great rivalry typical of a derby has to do, even if in different cities and regions.

It is therefore a derby of Italy. For many Interisti, including the former president, but always present Massimo Moratti, it is worth more than the challenge with Milan. Net of the interests of the standings, against the Rossoneri the victory is preparatory to the teasing at the bar, at school or at work the next day. Winning the stracittadina in Milan is the pleasure of being able to flaunt the superiority to the neighboring city up to the derby that will come. Winning with Juve, on the other hand, takes on multiple connotations. Let's face it, even with a good dose of rhetoric, the average Interist thinks that the three points with the Bianconeri cancel injustices and arbitration abuses for a night, one is convinced that the good defeats evil. This evening at the Meazza is played in front of more than 70 thousand spectators. They arrive in the Temple fresh from the eighth consecutive championship, a sporting enterprise that Juventus fans placed in the guest sector will remember several times at the rest of the stadium. But they also arrive fresh from the elimination of the Champions League quarter-finals, with Ajax we witnessed the umpteenth failed attempt to take that Cup and then, in this case, we imagine the show that will set up the Nerazzurri Curva Nord to remember the event. Hurray, on both sides, the healthy one teased, in the face of the very Italian hypocrisy where everyone should cheer for everyone.

Inter-Juve maintains its ancient taste despite, over the years, some ingredients of the great challenge have been modified. In the Nerazzurri home there is no longer a Moratti in command, while at Juve there is still an Agnelli. The Chinese are now facing the Savoy family which guarantees Juventus continuity, financial strength and a sense of belonging. But then it is really an Agnelli who breaks the traditions dreaming of the super Champions that would ditch the national championships, endorsing however, for next season, a jersey that will not have the traditional black and white stripes and will remember, very much, the palio of Siena. Contradictions of the so-called modern football.

Beyond what Inter-Juventus has always meant, it is important to underline how important the match for today's Nerazzurri rankings is today. In case of success, Inter would have a foot and three-quarters in the Champions League. In case of defeat, instead, a dangerous mischione could be recreated with four starting still to be disputed. The last performances of the team led by Luciano Spalletti make sense, the Nerazzurri "almost always" play the game, but, apart from the transfer to Frosinone, the difficulty remains in throwing it in and so it did not go beyond the same in internal races with Atalanta and Rome. Virtually two missed match-balls.

Those who think that Inter will have an easy life this evening are wrong because in front of them there will be a Juventus without the need to do a result. The Scudetto won last week with Fiorentina makes them lighter, the blow taken in the Champions League remains, but eight consecutive championships are not won by chance and just in the house of the "enemy" they will want to reiterate their superiority. The many points of detachment, let's say so many so as not to discourage one another, but they haven't seen each other in the last two matches, even if we have to record two defeats. The challenge of the second round in last season at the Meazza, was disputed in an almost epic way by Inter, capable, in 10 men for the absurd non-expulsion of Pjanic after that of Vecino, to be ahead up to a handful of minutes from the end. Then, the natural collapse after so much effort and questionable changes decided by the technician, made the Bianconeri rejoice that really risked losing that championship in favor of Sarri's Napoli. This year, first leg, another great Nerazzurri test in the first half played at the Allianz Stadium, but a Gagliardini post and the usual concreteness of the opponent, have decreed a 1-0 for Juve difficult to accept. But the camp said it could be done. And this evening must be done, with a dedication to Giacinto Facchetti.

Lautaro or Icardi? Icardi or Lautaro? Until the end of the season it will be a torment. But Mauro, when he sees Juve, often scores. Who knows …


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