On May 5th, 2002, three teams were still battling for the Scudetto with only 90 minutes to go. Inter, leading the ranks with 69 points, were due to play Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico. It was supposed to be an easy win for the Nerazzurri, in view of their long-lasting friendship with the Roman side. But Lazio’s midfielder Karel Poborsky had a different idea…
When they met for their second Derby di Milano in the 1981-82 season, Inter and Milan were facing two opposite situations. With 10 games left, the Nerazzurri were only four points behind the leading duo Fiorentina-Juventus. Milan, on the other hand, lied in the penultimate spot of the league table, and were desperately struggling to avoid relegation.
In the long history of the Serie A league championship, there was one single occasion where a playoff was necessary to determine the Scudetto winner. It happened at the end of the 1963-64 season, when Fulvio Bernardini’s Bologna found themselves at top of the league with 54 points, together with the title holder – Helenio Herrera’s legendary Inter squad.
On April 1st, 2000, the Delle Alpi Stadium in Turin hosted a match that could determine the Scudetto winner, between capolista Juventus and pursuer Lazio. Both clubs lined up an impressive collection of star players, including Zinedine Zidane and Alex Del Piero on the part of Juve, Diego Simeone and Pavel Nedved for Lazio, and the Inzaghi brothers on different sides.
There is something that Cristiano Ronaldo shares with Diego Maradona, when it comes to his Serie A debut. Just like for the Argentinian legend, CR7’s first match in Italy will take place at the Bentegodi Stadium in Verona. Juventus will play Chievo in their Serie A 2018-19 opening match, whereas Napoli traveled to Verona to face Hellas in the 1984-85 season.
If the Roma-Juventus feud characterized the first half of the ‘80s in Italian football, there is no doubt about Milan-Napoli being the most exciting duel towards the end of the decade. The match that set the beginning of this rivalry took place on January 3, 1988, when Ruud Gullit – who had just been awarded the Ballon d’Or for the year 1987 – drove the Partenopei nuts, and inflicted them their first seasonal defeat.
Between coach Giovanni Trapattoni’s unstoppable Inter of the 1988-89 season, and their 13th Scudetto, there is just one obstacle left: The home match against direct rivals Napoli, scheduled for May 28, 1989. With just five rounds to go, the only side that can still reach the leading Nerazzurri are Diego Maradona’s Napoli, who are seven points behind. A free kick by Lothar Matthäus will solve the problem for the “Inter of Records.”