APPIANO GENTILE – He’s a man who knows quite a bit about derbies, having played in and decided a fair few of them in his time. He remembers them all too. Speaking exclusively to Inter Channel’s Alessandro Villa, Dejan Stankovic flicked through his personal derby photo album, then trained his lens on Sunday’s showdown at the San Siro.
What comes to mind when you think of AC Milan v Inter?
"Lots of things, wonderful memories and a few we lost too, but mostly great memories. It’s a special game, a game I think every footballer would like to be involved in, out there on the pitch. It’s an emotional ride, a real spectacle. You never know how a derby is going to go: you can have a really strong team and lose it, or vice versa. There are no rules, what matters is that it’s a great derby, an honest derby, played intensely. A game that can show the world what football is like in Milan."
You’ve scored all sorts of derby goals. Which one do you cherish most?
"You cherish any goal you score in the derby. In my first one I scored from a corner, then in an important derby that we won 2-1, then a 4-3, a 4-0, a game we totally dominated. They were lovely goals: some of them beautiful to see, others important. If I had to choose one, perhaps I’d say my goal in that 4-3 win. Lovely, one touch to control and then I just let fly. That was also with Milan at home. In two away derbies we put eight goals past the Rossoneri. Not bad."
Who do you think can make the difference on Sunday and be the man to build a team around?
"I’ll keep saying Mateo Kovacic. It’s true that he’s still a boy but he’s just so talented. I hope he can break his duck, we’re all waiting for him to get that first goal. If he plays on Sunday, perhaps it will even come for him in the derby. It would be a reward for him, something to spur him on going forward. Inter have been a bit up and down this year but they’ve looked very solid and compact recently. I’m pleased for Handanovic too, he’s having another amazing season and I’m pleased for other young players who are having a say in things like Icardi, and then Ranocchia, who’s on top of his game again, and others who have done well again. It’s a team that with the president’s planning, the help of the management and the coach can become a great side for the future."
In January Inter went and signed Lazio’s best player, and when we buy Lazio’s best player in January we go on to have nothing but success…
"If that’s the way it is then it would be great, Inter wouldn’t need to worry about the future. We’ve signed a real heavyweight in Nemanja Vidic, a superb player. We met up and he’s raring to go, he can’t wait to get his teeth stuck into a new challenge."