Tuesday , April 23 2024

Real and Atletico coaches to renew rivalry in Milan

When the San Siro hosts the Champions League final on May 28th, it will also play host to two ex-Serie A players squaring off on the touchline.

Both Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane and Atletico boss Diego Simeone played in Serie A during the late 1990s, with the former for Juventus and the latter at Inter and Lazio.

Gazzetta World report that the first time they played one another at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza was on January 4, 1998 as the Nerazzurri defeated their Turin rivals 1-0 thanks to a Youri Djorkaeff strike in the 47th minute.

At the time, La Gazzetta dello Sport gave Zidane a five for his performance in the match.

“A disappointment,” read the rating. “Started with some good touches and then lost it; the rhythm of the match overpowered him.”

Meanwhile the Argentine scored better, receiving a solid six.

“Ran all over the pitch, looking to give support to the attack but often dominated by the physical strength of [Edgar] Davids.”

Simeone was in his first season with the club at the time, while Zidane had been with Juventus for a year and already won a Scudetto.

The next Derby d’Italia at the San Siro a year later was a more even affair as the two sides battled to a scoreless draw.

In the ratings it was almost as even, with Zidane edging Simeone with a 6.5 compared to ‘El Cholo’s’ six.

Throughout his career Zidane hasn’t been terribly successful when playing at the San Siro, drawing six times, losing twice, and winning only once; scoring the second in a 6-1 thrashing of Arrigo Sacchi’s AC Milan.

During his time at Inter, Simeone scored 10 times, eight in the league and twice in Europe.

The most decisive goal was the winner against Strasbourg in a 3-2 aggregate win in the UEFA Cup on December 9, 1997, and a brace in the Milan derby en route to a 3-0 win on March 22, 1998.

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