Luciano Spalletti said the Milan Derby “is worth far more than three points. If you want to go down in the history of Inter, you do it in this game.”
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“I think the derby is worth far more than three points for what it brings out in the minds of the players and the enthusiasm of the fans,” said the Inter boss in his Press conference.
“This week we haven’t thought about Barcelona or anything else, just the derby. We knew this would be a packed season with so many tournaments and the derby is a competition all by itself. This game is the thermometer to measure the Inter fever in the city.
“A victory could give us so much more than just three points. We must be demanding of ourselves and expect great things, because that is what this game requires. We won’t stand for any fear, because we are convinced that what we are doing is right.
“Since coming here, I’ve realised that Inter fans are more likely to forget the birthdays of their husbands or wives than they are the date of the derby. There aren’t three tiers at San Siro, but a fourth with all our fans on their couches cheering us on from home.
“If you want to go down in the history of Inter, and not just for the length of your contract, then you’ll do it via this game. People shouldn’t talk about the crowd as the frame to this match, but as part of the painting itself, because no other game can provide the kind of passion that represents a Milan Derby and the city ought to be proud.”
Milan have a game in hand, but a victory would put them only one point behind rivals Inter.
“I compliment Gennaro Gattuso on how his team is playing. He is a young Coach and I admire him, much as I do Roberto De Zerbi, Simone Inzaghi, Eusebio Di Francesco and Marco Giampaolo. Gattuso is in that list of tacticians who can do great things for Italian football.
“Both Inter and Milan try to build from the back, play the ball to feet and have very strong centre-forwards. Mauro Icardi and Gonzalo Higuain are strikers who leave you open-mouthed with their performances. They have slightly different characteristics, but are both fundamental for their teams.”