Diego Milito believes Roberto Mancini can build a new winning era at Inter, “just as he did for Jose Mourinho.”
The Derby della Madonnina kicks off on Sunday at 19.45 GMT, click here for a match preview.
Milito has been through eight editions, scoring six goals – including a hat-trick – and winning five. Is there any advice for the current Inter crop?
“People said I made my mark on the derby, but above all it was the derby that left its mark on me,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Every time I stepped on to the pitch at San Siro against Milan, I felt something extra within me. It was exactly the same feeling for the last derby as the first, so I never got over it.
“We used to talk about what the fans expected from us. We said there was a season before the derby and another one after it. You don’t play that game, you win it.
“I slept the night before, but it was an anxious sleep. Still now the thing that will tell me when it’s time to hang up my boots is if I sleep soundly before a big game.
“The derby I most fondly remember was my first, winning 4-0 away from home with my goal and an assist. Usually the derby is so tough that you can’t fully enjoy it, but that one was so dominated that we felt light as air. Strong too.”
Currently at Racing Avellaneda, Milito is confident Mancini can turn things around after the Walter Mazzarri era.
“The 4-3-1-2 system will be paradise for Rodrigo Palacio, as he can do the dirty work as a second striker that he loves so much. I am sure he’ll have a great derby, as we spoke on the phone and he sounded much better.
“Icardi is different from me in almost every way: he gives his best inside the box, whereas I got bored in there on my own. Icardi is so impressive for his age and can improve so much more too.
“I’ve seen many of the games this season and my impression is they just need a little time. Mancini knows in some clubs history dictates you must win as soon as possible.
“He does have an advantage, and that’s not just the fact he knows the environment. Above all he knows what it means to be at Inter. He had laid the foundations for a house that Mourinho made perfect, so he can lay the foundations for another great era.”