Mourinho claims AC Milan against Inter is not a ‘big, big derby’

By Oliver Fisher -

Jose Mourinho has made the bizarre claim that the derby between AC Milan and Inter is not a ‘great derby’ and that Inter-Juventus is a more tense affair.

Mourinho spoke for the first time since being sacked by Roma, revealing that he was ‘hurt’ at the way things ended. The Portuguese coach won the Europa Conference League with the Italian club in 2021-22, and got them to the Europa League final last season.

However, Roma’s owners Dan and Ryan Friedkin decided to sack him in mid-January with the Giallorossi sitting ninth in the Serie A standings, with top four qualification and a return to the Champions League a clear objective for the leadership.

Mourinho spoke on a podcast with Rio Ferdinand that was released this afternoon, and in the first part he spoke about the rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona when he coached the former, as well as some of the battles in Italy.

“England I believe is with more discipline but the rivalries are of course very strong. In Latin countries, you can feel more the emotion of it – even on the negative side and with some aggression and violence before and after matches,” he said.

“I believe England is a much more structured nowadays, without this level of problems. I would say my times at Real Madrid, the three years were years of a huge rivalry with Barcelona.

“It was not just the cultural and historical rivalry, but also the moment. I don’t want to say the best players in the world, because of course England had incredible players but maybe in that that moment there [we had] the best Cristiano [Ronaldo], the best [Lionel] Messi, the best [Karim] Benzema, the best [Gonzalo] Higuain, the best [Andres] Iniesta, the best [Angel Di Maria] – everything was there.

“We had Barcelona, the best team in the world and Real Madrid trying to change that perspective. In the same season, league matches, Super Cup matches, cup finals, Champions League quarter-finals.

“I felt in that period the world stopped for Barca-Real. One season Barcelona wins it then Real Madrid wins it, it was beautiful.

“In Italy? Inter-Juve, more than Inter-Milan. The first derby I played, Inter against Milan, I remember clearly.

“I was in the bus and there were people together, with Milan scarves and Inter scarves. Really nice, really friendly.

“I didn’t feel it as a big, big derby. When it is Inter-Juve is when you feel that something is not going historically well between them.”


Tags AC Milan Jose Mourinho


  1. Tell me you were once Merda coach and you still know nothing about Italian football, without telling me you were once Merda coach and you still know nothing about Italian football.

    Guy is slowly but surely losing his marbles.

    1. Slowly? Hasn’t that happened years and years ago though? The Special One? LOL!!! The Past One perhaps. Or The Most Overrated One. Pathetic loser with a suiting finish to his career.

  2. I dunno. I don’t think he’s wrong. I think what we have here is perhaps an English as a second language issue. What I think he means is that it’s not as vitriolic a derby as others. Of course it’s a big derby and the respective fan bases want to win it, but he’s right in that Inter and Milan fans don’t engage in the same hostility as fans in Inter vs. Juventus, Roma vs. Lazio, Madrid vs. Barcelona, or River vs. Boca, for example. In Madrid vs. Barca there is even an added political dimension that further increases the tension. I’ve been to a Derby della Capitale and a Derby della Madonnina. I can tell you the level of intensity (and my wariness of the fans) was MUCH higher in Rome. Of course the former was in 1999 and the latter in 2017, and Italian football changed a bit in between, so that may have had an effect, but the difference was notable.

    1. Thank for this Vero. Was about to post the same. I think ppl on this site become upset either too quickly because of the headline and/or fail to read what exactly Mou is saying…also because he’s a disliked figure. But he has experience and it’s legit experience. I think the same, a real Barca or Lazio Roma game are more heated than Milan Inter by miles. I dislike Inter more than Juve. However I also see both inter and Milan fans together in the same crowd on derby days. This doesn’t happen in other derbies like Rome (or maybe I don’t see it). My recollection of Rome derby in the late 90s to 2000s were guaranteed red cards lol 😂

  3. Even tho Mou’s coaching career is sinking, this time I think he is right. Milan Derby has lost it’s international appeal with a very predictable result. Hopefully with a new coach and added ambitions, that will change in the future.

  4. He’s absolutely wrong. Milan x Inter is by VERY FAR the biggest Italian derby, and second place is Milan x Juventus, no Inter x Juve.

  5. The headline doesn’t reflect the quote.

    He’s measuring the derby by reference to the hatred/heat generated.

    Milan v Inter is not near the most heated derby in Italy. It is the biggest in terms of its demographic and prestige but its a football rivalry.

    Roma and Lazio want to kill each other, for example.

    Madrid and Barcelona is as political as it is about football. It’s part revolution and part derby.

    It’s actually a good thing.

  6. In fact, I would say that Milan v Inter isn’t even the most heated derby in Lombardy.

    You can hardly put the Brescia and Atalanta fans in the same stadium together.

    There is a story going around that when Nesta arrived in Milan he asked Maldini where he could go to hand out, because as a Lazio player he couldn’t go to certain bars, etc.

    Maldini’s response was to laugh and to say something like ‘don’t worry it’s not like that here’.

    You don’t need Mourinho to tell you how big the derby is. Just look at the San Siro before and during the match.

    Unlike many derbies, Milan v Inter is unusually good natured.

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