Sampdoria Coach Sinisa Mihajlovic will shed a tear when facing Inter at San Siro, “but I hope Walter Mazzarri is crying at the end.”
There are many emotions swirling around the Stadio Meazza on Sunday, as Mihajlovic is a former Nerazzurri player and assistant manager with Roberto Mancini, while Mazzarri was Samp Coach for two years.
It kicks off at 14.00 GMT, click here for a match preview.
“San Siro takes my breath away,” Mihajlovic told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “Every time I step inside, it brings a lump to my throat. I think back on those splendid years and I am moved. It will happen on Sunday too.
“There’s nothing wrong with a man crying. I cry if I watch a sad film and when I told my parents that I was leaving the Serbia job, we all cried. Tears are a sign of sentiments and values.
“I will cry before the game, but I hope Mazzarri will be crying at the end...”
Inter have changed since Mihajlovic left, as new President Erick Thohir has replaced Massimo Moratti.
“He is welcome, but it takes more than jumping up and down to a chant in order to be an Interista. You have to feel the club colours on your skin. Managers are important at club level, but football remains passion, love and rivalry.
“I have seen Moratti celebrate like a child and also suffer real pain for Inter. I hope Thohir can one day feel at least a little of what Moratti feels during a match.”
Mihajlovic is no stranger to passion, as he revealed after Sampdoria were pegged back to a 1-1 draw by Lazio with 10 seconds to go.
“I smiled on the pitch, but I had a volcano inside me that was erupting... I am a Coach to experience emotions, including that volcano. That is adrenaline. This time it was angry adrenaline, but I hope next time I’ll be the one celebrating a goal 10 seconds from the end, even if strokes of luck don’t tend to go my way.
“My first objective is to save Sampdoria from the threat of relegation, then I hope the club will return among the greats, where it deserves to be. It will take time, so I’d be happy just to lay the foundations, which is what I did for Serbia.
“Kierkegaard said the real hero was not the one who got the final result, which is known only when everything is completed, but the one who started it. I started the work for Serbia and hope to do the same for Samp.”
Mihajlovic also joked about Genoa boss Gian Piero Gasperini, who has revived the fortunes of Sampdoria’s local rivals.
“He is doing everything to make me hate him! He was chosen by Inter when I had been contacted, now he’s getting Genoa to win. If he tells me he supported Partizan Belgrade as a kid then it’s a full house!”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's World Cup tipster competition - £10,000 to be won!