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The Derby Diaries: Derby D'Italia

Derby D'Italia is a mouth-watering contest between two great Italian sides - Juventus and Inter Milan. It all started in 1960s when an Italian reporter described this rivalry as Derby D'Italia.

Akash Shukla
Last updated: 09.10.2019
The Derby Diaries: Derby D'Italia | Sports Social Blog

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Fifteen seconds of action on 26 April 1998 defines the conspiracy that accompanied the Derby d'Italia over much of the next 20 years.

With 69 minutes gone at the Stadio Delle Alpi, Serie A leaders Juventus were 1-0 up against Inter Milan, just a point behind, in a potential title decider match of the season.

Inter, who had played without much sight of goal, suddenly had a move.


A burst into the box from striker Ivan Zamorano, a brief muddle of confusion by the black-and-white clad defenders and the ball falls into the path of Inter's spearhead Ronaldo. The Brazilian swirls the ball into space, but, before he can let fly, he is taken down by a shoulder charge from defender Mark Iuliano.

All eyes move to referee Piero Ceccarini, but he waves play on. Inter midfielders pursue the official and their manager Luigi Simoni being ushered off the ground, Juventus then break upfield.

Edgar Davids pushes the ball to Zinedine Zidane. Zidane swiftly moves the ball into the path of an onrushing Alessandro Del Piero. Inter defender Taribo West chases back furiously and gives a tackle which makes Del Piero hits the floor.

This time referee Ceccarini blows for a spot-kick.

The protests were long and loud on the day. And they haven't really stopped since.

When the Calciopoli Match-Fixing scandal surfaces in 2006, many Inter fans felt that their suspicions over Juventus's treatment by officials had been proven right.

Juventus were relegated to Serie B and stripped off of their last two league titles as a punishment for their overly cozy relationship with the referee’s chief. When Inter Milan was awarded one of Juventus' crowns, the hatred between the two sharpened further.

The name Derby D’Italia was given in the 1960s by an Italian reporter because at that time, they were the Juventus and Inter were the only teams to have won Scudetto.

The rivalry suffered an imbalance in the last few years. Juventus went on to win seven successive titles, while Inter has made the top four only twice.

However, since Chinese retail giant Suning bought a controlling stake in Inter in 2016, they have formed an unlikely alliance aimed at restoring Serie A to the mid-90s glory days when it was home to the world's superstars.

Both have young ambitious leaders. Juventus President Andrea Agnelli has been very much responsible for their rise over the last decade.

Meanwhile, Steven Zhang was chosen as the Inter president in October at the age of just 26.

It is no coincidence that former Juve chief Beppe Marotta, who is seen as the architect of some of their great transfers over the last year and helped bring about their new training ground and offices, is about to take that same position with Inter

Inter know they belong right alongside Juventus, at the center of the footballing universe in a star-studded end-of-season title showdown. The good old glory days.


This season is not going to be anything less than a blockbuster showdown as both the teams have had recent new players and are looking forward to their Derby this time.

When Gigi Buffon admitted that Inter and Juventus will be going head to head for the Scudetto and that they are noticing Conte and company. In that same interview, however, the veteran goalkeeper talked of how Juventus were starting to enjoy their football under their new manager Maurizio Sarri although they were building again brick by brick. It certainly seems that in Turin, ‘The Old Lady’ is starting to become whatever their Coach wants them to be. The danger for Inter Milan is that if it does, it could be mind-blowing.

The Derby D’Italia is next and this time it is at San Siro. This is an opportunity for the Conte and his men to deal a hammer blow to the champions-elect. There would be more than three points, as the clubs are both in the process of changing the tactics of their being. Juventus are wanting to entertain, whilst Inter just aims to win. The game will not just give an assumption of how close the title race could be, it could also signal a changing of the guard, after a long time.


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