Happy derby d’Italia to those who can afford a Tuesday in Lisbon

Happy derby d’Italia to those who can afford a Tuesday in Lisbon
Happy derby d’Italia to those who can afford a Tuesday in Lisbon

Portugal, you again! This is what was decreed by the Nyon polls, which in the late morning of two days ago established Inter’s next opponent in the Champions League: Benfica is. A sigh of relief for all the Nerazzurri who in the next step of the top European competition would have gladly done without their cousins, historically bitter rivals in Europe, and whom Patrick Kluivert instead ‘picked up’ to Luciano Spalletti’s Napoli giving Italy a great possibility, or that of having at least one semi-finalist in the competition and the 75% of the chances of having a representative of the Bel Paese in the final. And if Milan, Inter escaped in the quarterfinals, Benfica (and Napoli) permitting, could meet him in the semifinals. But beware of jumping for joy, because before thinking about a possible Milan derby or tricolor in the semifinals, Inzaghi’s team must first overcome the Portuguese obstacle that is anything but simple. Anyone who thinks that the draw in Nyon has ‘pardoned’ the Nerazzurri by pulling a team out of the hat that puts the road to the next round downhill is clear that someone hasn’t properly calibrated the potential, quality and above all pitfalls that Schmidt’s team possesses and he can present to Inzaghi’s boys that right in Porto, where they managed to earn the match against Benfica, they put their beauties and uglinesses on paper.

Last Tuesday, net of the multitudes of pressures that crushed them, the Nerazzurri managed to find compactness, solidity, hardness and stability perhaps as never before, showing themselves impeccably mature in adapting to an opponent against whom it was only a the key at their disposal: resilience. Resisting the attacks of the home men to protect the advantage that San Siro had ‘given’, resisting to exist. And so it was. With nails, teeth and a pinch of ‘eyeball’ – to repeat Caressa’s words in the commentary – the Milanese managed to get by in the middle of the storm, depriving Coinceicao’s team of merits and possibilities, dragging themselves towards the shore called qualifying with textbook defensive probity. However, irreproachability which they did not show in the opposite phase, demonstrating cynicism and labile ideas in the offensive maneuver, almost never really well articulated and capable of instilling fear in an opponent who has not suffered great lunges from the guests, too concentrated on containing and breaking through . A double face of a coin which, thinking of the other Portuguese, those yet to be met, makes us fear more than something. But this is a matter that Inzaghi and co can and will have to face later. Certainly not today that waiting for the ‘best eight in Europe’ discussed here is another great pitfall. The most all of the opponents: Juventus.

Team and opponent for which everything is needed except presentations. And in fact we are not here to present it: against the aforementioned squad who will be coming from Turin to San Siro in a few hours to demonstrate that they deserve that second place (at least until now, unless otherwise taken away) which is now the prerogative of the hosts, Inter will simply have to refresh the most important of the characters of the repertoire displayed between Porto and Riyadh: pride. In fact, against Max Allegri’s team all you need is to do what was not done in the first leg, remembering why those 75,000 in the stands wearing the Alfa Romeo shirt wear black and blue hearts, blood and skin rather than black and white. Recalling why the second place, at the moment, is not disputed with the Old Lady, because since 1960 the rivalry between the two teams has definitive and unshakable connotations, or simply because being an Inter fan means never being a Juventus fan.

Presentations or motivational speeches some help to push the accelerator of the stimuli of the eleven tomorrow on the pitch, the derbies of Italy are played with one and only one ambition. But if there’s a phrase, for very understandable reasons, that we won’t say here, it’s the one you’re thinking about… sofas and to those who suffer and will suffer in the hope of debunking the taboo of the post-big match…

Happy Italian derby to those who are already thinking of Lisbon (but on Tuesdays), to those who still play the Champions League, to those who count the points for those dictated by the standings… Happy derby d’Italia, Interisti.

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