Our AC Milan fan reporter Christian Volpati reminisces about a past encounter with his side’s age-old rivals – possibly to take his mind off the nervous run-up to their latest clash
I have been having mixed feelings during this long and tense wait for the semi-final against Inter. On the one hand, I believe in my team and the way they play these kinds of games in a competition where we have historically been very successful. But on the other hand, I am afraid that we might be made to pay for our unforgettable qualification for the 2003 final, when we managed to get past our cousins, Inter, with two draws.
I remember those matches very well, especially the return leg, when a goal by the great Andriy Shevchenko allowed us to play the final against Juventus in Manchester, where we would eventually win the title. In addition to that goal, I remember my heart pounding after Inter’s equaliser. I experienced the most difficult moments as a fan of the Rossoneri in those few minutes, in a stadium packed to the brim with the Inter faithful because it was an “away” game in our stadium. I still have goosebumps when I think about Christian Abbiati saving with his legs from Mohamed Kallon in the final moments of that game.
I remember counting the seconds until the final whistle and I couldn't even lookup, fearing a fatal late goal from our cousins to take the lead. I was only able to raise my head when I heard that it was really over and I saw my team cheering and sprinting towards the legendary Curva Sud, the only stand in the San Siro with AC Milan colours that night. In that moment I couldn't contain my joy; those are emotions that only victories against our eternal rivals can bring out.
Now I expect to be able to hold my head up and watch the two matches at the San Siro in their entirety, fully enjoying the show. Thanks to stars like Rafael Leão, Mike Maignan, Theo Hernández and all our other heroes in red and black, I am confident that we can do it again!