It was a turn for Milan and Inter on Wednesday after Barcelona beat Real Madrid 3-1 in the Spanish Super Cup in Riyadh on Sunday. The same trophy hangs at the Lombard Derby, also held in the Saudi capital.
The current Serie A champions Rossoneri hope a trip to Saudi Arabia will mark a turning point after a difficult World Cup round.Two draws kept Napoli out of the top spot, while their Coppa Italia defeat to Torino was reduced to 10 men (1-0 in extra time).
“Even if we win, I’m always nervous. We’ll be ready for the Super Cup,” promised coach Stefano Pioli on Saturday after a 2-2 draw with Lecce.
Inter, current Cup and Super Cup champions, are facing a trip to Riyadh as a small revenge against their great rivals after a disastrous defeat in the 2022 ‘Scudetto’ race.
A true finals man, Nerazzurri coach Simone Inzaghi can reach a record they share, winning his fourth Super Cup in four appearances at the age of 46. Fabio Capello and Marcello Lippi.
Inzaghi lifted the trophy twice with Lazio (2017 and 2019) and once with Inter (2022).
2011 was the only time the two great Lombard rivals met in the Super Cup.Milan then won with a goal from Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Ibrahimovic will miss Wednesday after undergoing knee surgery in May.
Between the Spanish Super Cup, which was won by Barcelona, and Thursday’s friendly, where Al Hilal and Al Nasr of Saudi Arabia’s two best clubs, Cristiano Ronaldo, were selected, the kingdom hosted its third Spanish Super Cup.
The first two cases, filed in January and December 2019, were preceded by disputes over respect for human rights and women’s rights in the country.
Serie A returns to the Arab world after being held twice in Italy due to the pandemic. Italian football does not have the recognition it needs, as evidenced by the difficulty of finding broadcasters for matches in the region.
Former broadcaster beIN Sport did not participate in the final contest of 2021, accusing Serie A of precisely sponsoring Saudi Arabia.
A Qatari group has accused Saudi Arabia of aiding a sports broadcast hacking system.
A year after free Serie A matches were offered in the region via YouTube, the championship reached an agreement with the Abu Dhabi Media Conglomerate in June for the next three seasons.