Federico Dimarco has made the revelation that he was present at the last Champions League semi-final between AC Milan and Inter as a fan to cheer on the Nerazzurri.
The size of the occasion is not lost on anyone as Inter and Milan will play each other in the knockout stages of the Champions League for the third time in their history, with the previous occasions coming in 2002-03 and 2004-05.
It promises to be a truly global derby and one that puts Italian football firmly back on the map, but it will also mark an eighth meeting since the start of last season in all competitions, with Pioli and Inzaghi’s men getting to know each other well.
Dimarco spoke on the eve of the game against Milan alongside his head coach Simone Inzaghi at the pre-match press conference, with his comments relayed by Calciomercato.com.
On the emotions he is feeling: “Aside from the fact that it’s a semi-final, like all derbies it’s always nice to play them. I’ve also seen many. I’m still happy to play in the semi-final of the Champions League against Milan.”
On the opponent: “I think Milan have shown that they have gone through two difficult rounds, one against Tottenham and one against Napoli, the new Italian champions. They were the reigning Italian champions so we know what awaits us tomorrow, we will try to demonstrate to ourselves what we are worth.”
On his knack for scoring big goals: “For me all goals are important, but apart from personal goals, what interests me is only that Inter win.”
On the journey to the semis: “We knew we had a difficult group on paper. We showed our worth on the pitch. Against against Barcelona we achieved results both at home and away and we showed that we deserved to have come this far.”
On the idea of revenge after the Scudetto race last season: “There is no feeling of revenge. A long time has passed since then. We only think about the present and about ourselves.”
On 2003: “In 2003 I was at San Siro, I don’t have good memories as an Inter fan. But to think that 20 years ago I was there to see it and that tomorrow I’ll be able to play it is an incredible emotion.”
On whether it will be the match of the year: “We can define it as a semi-final of the Champions League, we know what it’s worth.”
On his compatriot and opponent Calabria: “He We’re thinking about ourselves and playing a great game tomorrow. Then we’ll think about the second leg. We’ve faced Calabria many times, we’ve won some derbies, others lost, but it will be a good challenge.”