Diego Milito has been at the heart of Serie A success, Champions League glory and other trophies for Inter – but scoring against Juventus appears to be a taboo.
Inter have often come short in recent seasons when facing the team from Turin. With another impending Derby d’Italia fixture tonight, the South American footballer has yet to arrive at a certain destination on his journey – he has never breached Juventus’ defence while sporting a black-and-blue kit.
Milito recently played his 100th Serie A game for Inter, scoring in the process in a 3-1 victory over Bologna last weekend. Arriving at the club in the summer of 2009, the veteran striker has played in 150 official games and found the back of the net 71 times, an imposing ratio of 0.47 goals per match or nearly a goal in every two appearances.
However, the ability to beat goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and Co has constantly eluded him, despite runs of impressive form, since he made San Siro his home. The two teams have met seven times – six in Serie A and once in the Coppa Italia – with Il Principe featuring in five of those matches, but he has been unable to put one past their eternal rivals.
Even when you consider the Trofeo TIM preseason tournaments, which involve 45-minute matches between Inter, Juventus and Milan, the Argentine has only damaged Juve in the event of a post-match penalty shoot-out to break the tie over the course of four editions.
The 33-year-old himself admitted his Achilles heel last season and has seemingly even become frustrated by it.
“I have never scored against Juventus so far for Inter and I will do my utmost to end this streak in our encounter,” he said in March, before the Bianconeri won 2-0 and Claudio Ranieri was subsequently replaced by current Coach Andrea Stramaccioni.
In fact, the last time Milito struck against the Old Lady was from the penalty spot for Gian Piero Gasperini’s Genoa, a consolation effort in a 4-1 loss during the 2008-09 campaign.
Going into Saturday’s match at the Juventus Stadium, the former Real Zaragoza star is in a rich vein of form with five goals to his name in 10 League games in 2012-13. His club are also undergoing a purple patch of six victorious League games on the trot.
Milito already has a place in the hearts of Inter’s tifosi and the club’s history, scoring crucial goals to claim silverware. His crowning moment thus far was when he conquered the Santiago Bernabeu by putting a brace past Bayern Munich to claim European glory, but if he strikes a devastating blow to Juventus and terminates their 49-game unbeaten streak, then the club’s fans will have another historic moment to remember him by and Milito will have reached another milestone in his ongoing treasure hunt.