Saturday February 20 2021
Ibrahimovic and Lukaku meet again

Milan vs. Inter is a Scudetto battle, a local derby and the first time Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romelu Lukaku have crossed paths since their ugly brawl.

The Derby della Madonnina kicks off on Sunday at 14.00 GMT, click here for a match preview.

There are many elements to the game, not least that only one point separates the new Serie A leaders from the team that had been top of the table since the start of the season.

It is always a fiery affair when the two Milan giants face off at San Siro, but it went over the top last month in the Coppa Italia quarter-final.

Ibrahimovic and Lukaku went head-to-head – both literally and figuratively – and began trading vicious insults that go back to their time together as teammates for Manchester United.

Zlatan had already said in interviews that he’d offered Lukaku a cash reward if he managed a good first touch in training, because he was so frustrated by the Belgian’s lack of quality.

This is why he called Lukaku a “little donkey” during their row in January, as donkey is a common British football term for a player with limited skill.

Both were booked for their row, although Ibrahimovic did later see red in the game for a second bookable offence.

Christian Eriksen went on to win the tie 2-1 deep into stoppages with a direct free kick.

An investigation was also opened into the argument, but despite all the coverage of it, the two participants have remained almost exclusively silent.

The only comment Ibrahimovic made was to say “there is no room for racism” in his world, amid suggestions his “go call your mother, do your voodoo s***” was a racist stereotype.

It was based on a precise anecdote in the British media, when a former Everton director had claimed Lukaku refused to sign a new contract because he received a phone call from his mother who had been sent a sign during a voodoo ritual.

The sign was that he was supposed to sign for Chelsea, but the Belgian international actually signed for Manchester United that summer.

Lukaku has repeatedly denied the story and threatened to sue Everton shareholder Farhad Moshiri.

Meanwhile, the moment of the Ibrahimovic-Lukaku clash has been committed to eternity just outside the stadium where it happened, as a mural was painted of their head-to-head.