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Derby d’Italia – The real football rivalry!

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Growing up in the United Kingdom I was accustomed to the build-up and excitement about derby day. Be it a heated Old Firm affair between Glasgow Goliaths, Celtic and Rangers, or the short trip over to Stanley Park to see Everton face Liverpool or any of the London Derbies.

In my mind, a derby was contested within a city, of course there were rivalries such as Manchester United Vs Liverpool (prior to Manchester City’s rise to power). However, it wasn’t until I moved to Italy that I truly appreciated the intensity and rivalry between teams from different cities, even from different regions. Derby D’Italia sees the capital of Piemonte go head to head with the regional capital of Lombardy, in the form of Juventus and Inter.

A power struggles existed between the two cities going far back. In 1861, before a modern united Italy, Turin was the capital, while Milan has long been a fountain of creativity, commerce and culture.

It was inevitable for this struggle to pass from business, politics, culture and society to football. There have even been times when the two crossed, most infamously the struggles and accusations between the mighty Agnelli and Moratti families.

The term Derby D’Italia was coined by the journalist Gianni Brera (where the Arena Brera in Milan’s Parco Sempione bears his name – incidentally a former home to Inter before moving to the Meazza) and used to describe one of the most contested match-ups in Italian football. Tomorrows match being the 234 official meeting between the teams. If ever the phrase ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ it is sure befitting of this match up!

Tomorrow sees a developing Inter take on a Juventus team that remains undefeated, but remember, this is more than a match, it is a battle for supremacy in Italy and the bragging rights that ensure.