Milan’s metro looks like someone has dropped the plastic tubes from Kerplunk on the floor. It’s all green, red, purple and yellow lines. Midmorning in Milan this Sunday, and the Derby della Madonnina is still hours away. But the city has been up thinking about it since dawn, and although kickoff at San Siro isn’t until 8:30 p.m., you’d think it was imminent judging by the colours on display. A guy across the train has a red and black scarf tucked into his back pocket. His jersey is under a hoodie. He looks like he should have a pint in his hand. Instead, cheap nike nfl jerseys china he’s taking a finely wrapped tray of pastries to nonna’s.
Others are out for a passeggiata, your quintessential Italian stroll, around Piazza Duomo under the golden glare of the Madonnina after whom the derby takes its name. For a city renowned as one of the four fashion capitals of the world, its residents think nothing of dipping in and out of the high-end shops on via Monte Napoleone with polyester stripes over cashmere sweaters. The Interisti are the most conspicuous in this well-to-do part of town. It is their turn to host, after all, and some strut around like Conor McGregor, playing up to the idea of them as Bauscia, local dialect for posers who think they’re all that. But who can blame them? Luciano Spalletti himself said on the eve of the game that he walks around his neighbourhood “chest out, hands behind my back,” proud to represent the Nerazzurri.
For all the style Milan are associated with from the Arrigo Sacchi and Carlo Ancelotti years, the catwalk looks of Paolo Maldini and the wealth and power incarnated by former owner Silvio Berlusconi, this club’s traditions lie in the working class, the blue collar, offering an explanation for the nickname Casciavit, Milanese for screwdrivers.
At Porta Garibaldi, where passengers on the green M2 line change onto the purple M3 for San Siro, supporters mix without the whistles that have greeted the players who have swapped one club for another over the years — the Ronaldos, the Giuseppe Meazzas, the Zlatan Ibrahimovics, Andrea Pirlos and Christian Vieris. A woman in her 30s, dressed in the shirt Inter wore in Jose Mourinho’s first season at San Siro, is having a go at a man of the same age in a Milan jersey. This isn’t tribalism. It’s a domestic, your typical husband-and-wife tiff, and that’s about as tense as it gets on route to the stadium.
A non-aggression pact has existed between the ultras with the odd interruption since the Mundialito in 1983, and as you walk out of the metro station and are confronted by San Siro as dusk falls, fans spiralling up its towers as if it were a city on a sci-fi planet, attention turns to what the Boys and the Irriducibili have got planned in the Curva Nord, where the Inter ultras jump up and down.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal
It’s blowing a gale at San Siro. The banners in both ends are fluttering and at one stage a monitor in the press stand is pulled from its sockets by a gust. “The symbol of the Milanesi,” captions the Nord’s choreography showing a devil, the emblem of Milan, scrambling away from a huge snake, the spirit animal of the Interisti. The reply of the Sud, where the Fossa dei Leoni, the Nativi and Brigate Rossonere make a noise is instead of two hands snapping a serpent in half.