Gullit sends strong message: “Inter cannot celebrate the title in a derby at Milan’s home!”

By Oliver Fisher -

Former AC Milan man Ruud Gullit has urged the squad to put absolutely everything into the derby in order to avoid allowing Inter to celebrate the league title tonight.

Gullit is a player who certainly knows the Derby della Madonnina well and knows what it takes to be the top dogs in the city. He joined Milan in 1987 for a world record transfer fee from PSV Eindhoven, and formed part of a Dutch core at Milan which included Marco van Basten and Frank Rijkaard.

Gullit won three Serie A titles and two European Cups with Milan and then in 1995 he signed for Chelsea before being made a player-manager. He won the Ballon d’Or in 1987 and was named the World Soccer Player of the Year in 1987 and 1989, so there are few who know the game like him.

Gullit gave an interview to La Gazzetta dello Sport which was released on the day of the game, and they began by asking him about the derby. The Dutchman snorted and laughed.

So, the derby…

“Let’s say that at Milan they would have preferred a different match, let’s say not a decisive one, but given the situation I am sure that they will do everything not to lose. Inter cannot celebrate the title in a derby at Milan’s home!

“Having said that we must admit that Inter are playing very well and not just today, last year they reached the Champions League final, they are an excellent team. And I say something that I never wanted to say: they are favourites to win this evening, that’s how it is.”

And Milan?

“They have been trying to climb back up for a few years. And it’s not easy. For me it was a surprise that they won the title two years ago.”

Were you surprised by this year’s difficulties?

“Relatively. It is normal that in a growth process there are ups and downs. The Italian teams don’t have the money that there was in my time. Now the money is all in England, the great champions today go elsewhere.

“And then you have to have great inventiveness, a bit like Inter did, or Juve two years ago, or even Napoli, but look at the difficulties they are facing this season. It’s difficult to keep the level high I go around looking for little diamonds and making them shine, and the competition is huge.”

And Pioli?

“He did a great job.”

But he seems very close to being sacked…

“I don’t know, I’m reading that. But I think he did a great job at Milan.”

In Europe, Milan were eliminated by Daniele De Rossi’s Roma. Surprised?

“No, and do you know why? Because Daniele is a curmudgeon, and curmudgeons are great coaches. I think of Fabio Capello. People are always irritated, angry, a coach has to be like that. I always smile, I look at the positive side of life and that’s how it is difficult to coach. If you smile people think you’re not serious, it’s ridiculous but that’s how it is.”

There is one who always smiles, Carlo Ancelotti…

“Okay, Carlo is a world apart. For me he is a legend. It seemed he was going to go to Brazil, but things were going so well that Madrid offered him a new contract. He belongs to a team like Madrid. When he coached Everton he couldn’t convey the same things he can do with Real or did with Milan. I’m very proud of him, we were room-mates, I love him very much.’

You have always worked against racism, a plague that is difficult to eliminate…

“Yeah, it’s really hard to fight. For me the worst thing is to see someone take sides, speak up and hear people criticizing them for raising the problem by making it public. Those are the worst, the ones who don’t want things to change.

“We need to talk and try to do something, always. Then in Italy you also have the problem of the division between north and south… You can see that the economy is going badly, because when it’s like this people need to point the finger at someone, and that’s a really bad thing.”

Tags AC Milan Ruud Gullit


  1. And some people here think Inter winning the title on our ground is no big deal. It must be the same group that doesn’t mind all of the derby losses Pioli has accumulated. Just another game among thirty-eight they say.

  2. The derby itself if slet motivating. That it could mean Inter wins the Scudetto is just added impetus. Imo our guys should be extra extra fired up!

    1. Do our players have what it takes though? We have a lot of foreigners to whom this might just be another game… I hope there’s extra motivation tonight to show up against Inter.

      1. Even foreigners can attach themselves to the club…Ruud here in the article, Seedorf, Kaka to name a few. Me lol 😅 If I was playing I’d die on the field before Inter win a Scudetto derby (at least mentally that’s my MO). I dunno 🤷‍♂️ maybe I think differently. When it’s derby time, all my focus is on beating that scum of a team

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