Some of Italy’s A-listers will be present at San Siro on Sunday night as AC Milan host Juventus in what is still THE biggest rivalry in Serie A. It’s a fixture that down the years, has seen some of the world’s greatest players (and Ian Rush) go head to head and it’s still an encounter that captivates a nation, along with millions of others watching around the world.
The Rossoneri has only won one out of the last 11 meetings between the two sides and Milan fans have had to watch Sunday night’s opponents dominate Italian football for almost a decade.
Whilst television networks around the globe concentrate on where this latest clash will be won and lost, let’s take a look at five alternative things to look out for at San Siro this weekend.
We’re all now familiar with the young mascots walking out hand in hand with the two teams before any top-flight game and Italy is no exception. As the two adversaries line-up to the tune of the Serie A anthem “O Generoso,” try to spot the poor sod whose had his hair done just like Cristiano Ronaldo specifically for this game, only to be told on his arrival at the ground that he’s got to dress up in Milan kit; it’s a scenario which could scar him for life.
Up On The Catwalk:
Milan has a contract with Italian clothing giant Diesel who are the club’s official outfitters, kitting out the players and staff on matchday. Rossoneri Coach Gennaro Gattuso must be on an extra incentive to show off as much of the brand’s collection as possible, whilst stomping up and down his technical area reminiscent of the rhino in the movie Jumanji.
Come rain or shine the former midfield enforcer will start the match in black sports jacket, black jumper and shirt teamed with a pair of black skinny fit jeans. By the end of the 90 minutes, the 2006 World Cup winner has usually discarded a third of his wardrobe, showing off the best of the brand’s 2018-19 Autumn/Winter collection. Don’t be surprised if Sunday sees him leave the pitch modelling Diesel’s latest underwear range.
His opposite number on the touchline, Massimiliano Allegri, has a tendency to trash his technical area during moments of frustration in games. The normally cool and calm Tuscan tactician has already been spotted laying into a case of bottled water in Empoli this term, and who could ever forget his astonishing outburst in Carpi in December 2015, when he attempted to beat himself up forcing onlookers to go rushing for cover.
Allegri, who was the last coach to lead Milan to the Scudetto, knows how important it is to get one over his former employers, so don’t be surprised if we see more Bruce Banner impersonations on Sunday.
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly:
Keep your eyes peeled for the inevitable shots of the Tribune D’Onore, where the directors of the two teams will sit within spitting distance of each other. Look out especially for how former Milan legend, now club something or other, Kaka, has metamorphosised into seventies heartthrob and world’s most famous Mormon, Donny Osmond.
One of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2008/09, now has molars so white they make Roberto Firmino look like a 30-a-day man.
Next to him will be Paolo Maldini, now the club’s – *checks notes* – “Sporting Strategy & Development Director,” currently serving a month’s ban for questioning the referee’s parentage at the end of a recent youth team match. Then we have the club’s Sporting Director and another Rossoneri legend Leonardo, second only to former Inter stalwart Javier Zanetti in the fact that he has had the same hairstyle for the past 20 years.
Not to be outdone of course are Juventus, who can proudly claim to have, in former midfield dynamo Pavel Nedved, one of the few ex-professionals who still use a basin to cut their fringe. The 46-year-old, who made 247 appearances for the Bianconeri, looks like he should be at the court of King Arthur or fronting up Madchester favourites The Inspiral Carpets, rather than on the board of directors at Italy’s most decorated club.
The Vain Game:
Although you won’t find odds on this website, why not add your own excitement by running a pre-match book on what part of his anatomy Cristiano Ronaldo will display should he score at San Siro. When he netted his first Champions League goal for the Old Lady against his ex-lover Manchester United on Wednesday, CR7 teased us by giving us a quick sneak preview of the most famous six-pack in football.
Was this a pre-cursor for more erotic posing on Sunday, or has the Portuguese superstar decided that November in northern Italy is not the time to be stripping down to your buster browns.