Inter defender Acerbi names Milan duo among hardest opponents faced

By Oliver Fisher -

Inter defender Francesco Acerbi mentioned a couple of AC Milan players when listing those that he has had the most difficulty facing in his career.

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Acerbi is a player with a past at Milan, given that back in June 2012 the Rossoneri bought Chievo’s 50 percent share of the centre-back, with Genoa retaining the remaining half of his registration rights.

The Italian debuted for Milan in their 3–1 win over Bologna, but he failed to gain a stable place in starting line-up and left the club during the winter transfer window.

Many years later in 2019, Acerbi revealed that during his time in Milan he suffered from depression following the death of his father, and that he had relied on alcohol during the grieving process.

His rebirth has been inspirational and he was actually linked with a return in 2022. He now finds himself at Inter who are top of the league and currently on course for the title.

Acerbi was interview by the page ‘Che Fatica La Vita Da Bomber’ and he was asked about a number of different things relating to his long career, with his comments relayed by Radio Rossonera.

The most difficult striker in this Serie A?

“Zapata, Giroud, strong, physical people who put you in difficulty. If you’re not careful, everyone will get you into trouble.”

Who are the five strongest strikers you havemarked?

“Cristiano Ronaldo, then ThuLa: Thuram and Lautaro are two strong attackers, the first because he defends the ball well and takes 3-4 opponents with him at a time without them being able to take the ball from him and the second because he is strong, he is hungry, he also has the assist; he is a complete player.

“Then I put Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Erling Haaland who is someone who has great physicality and is an animal in the area. The first, however, is Gonzalo Higuain, when he was well he was ten in everything: strength, shot, will. In my opinion the strongest ever in Italy.”

The defender tells his story…

“Football was a passion, then it was almost an obligation. I wanted to stop playing football, I played at 16 in a Promotion team as a midfielder-forward, I had a lot of fun.

“Then I went to Pavia. I started having fun again after the illness, before it was more of a job. My sporting ignorance came out in football.”

Who made you a defender?

“Mr Roberto Clerici. At 7-8 I went to Brescia, after the first training session he put me back because I didn’t do any damage. In the end I thanked him, unfortunately he passed away.”

The best moment in your life?

“The girls, then my rebirth in football.”

The ugliest?

“It’s not about football… When you rely on people you think are friends.”

Nesta or Cannavaro?

“Nesta, because I grew up with him”

Materazzi or Samuel?

“Samuel, they are two animals.”

Puyol or Sergio Ramos?

“Puyol, for me he is stronger”.

Scalvini or Buongiorno?

“Buongiorno. Scalvini has many qualities, but temperamentally I prefer Buongiorno.”

Five players for a five-a-side?

“Dimarco, Barella, Bastoni, myself as goalkeeper, then Mkhitaryan and Thuram.”

Conte or Mancini?

“I had Conte two years before the European Championship, I was in the European Championship with Mancini so I’ll say him.”

Inzaghi or Allegri?

“Inzaghi because he let’s me play, it’s already a long time ago when Allegri made me play those few matches at Milan.”

The worst team-mate you played with?

“My defence at Inter (laughs). The midfield and attack are strong.”

What is your technique for best marking attackers?

“I never look at the attackers. I look where the ball is, I know if he is strong in speed but if he doesn’t kick… I’m very careful about where the ball is, the positioning of the body, what he could do.”

The craziest teammate at Inter?
“Barella, he’s a good fool because he makes me laugh. A very good boy, like Dimarco.”

Most underrated team-mate?

“Me… Or Darmian, the others are young and need to grow.”

Most difficult stadium as an opponent?

“Naploli, Torino. Difficult fields where you don’t win much.”

The provocations of the haters?

“After what I’ve been through, when I feel like I’m finished, do you think I get angry? These things are fun. Maybe even as a fan I once thought that a player should retire because he was playing badly, it must be normal. Who cares”.

Bellingham or Musiala?

“For what he’s doing, Bellingham.”

Speaking of defenders, Alessandro Buongiorno’s former coach believes that the centre-back is very much ready for a move to a club like Milan.


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