Someone once said, “You can change your job, you can change your wife, you can even change your gender, but you can never change your club”. Football loyalty is a highly debated issue and when a player goes from a team to its biggest rival, it generally raises eyebrows and along with it, a plethora of unanswered questions. We, at TheHardTackle, take a look back at the most significant player transfers from AC Milan to their biggest rivals, Internazionale and vice-versa.
Helveg became the most expensive Danish player of all time when he was transferred to Milan for a price tag of 6 million Euros. His transfer from Udinese came alongside Oliver Bierhoff and later, manager Alberto Zaccheroni, both of whom came from Udinese. He started almost every game in the 1998-99 season as Milan went on to win the Scudetto. During his heydays, he was an unchallenged player in his position, but that changed with the arrival of Gennaro Gattuso and the emergence of Massimo Ambrosini. Both the 2001-02, 2002-03 seasons were forgettable for him as he only saw action in half of the matches in 2001-02 and a mere 8 matches in the following season.
Subsequently he moved to Inter where he stayed only for the year 2003-04.
Milan : 105 games ( 0 goals)
Inter : 23 games (0 goals)
He was an AC Milan product who debuted for the Rossoneri in 1976-77 season. A centre-back by choice, he won the Coppa Italia in his very first season and slowly found his way into the first team. His hard work and perseverance paid off and in another year’s time, he won the biggest prize in Italian football, the Scudetto in 1978-79. When disaster struck Milan in the early 80’s, Collovati stayed with the team which was relegated to Serie B in wake of a betting scandal. Coming back to Serie A proved tricky as Milan would be relegated once more.
This time however, he decided to switch ends and joined Inter. While at Inter, he became a mainstay in their defense.
Milan : 158 games (4 goals)
Inter : 109 games (3 goals)
A legend in his own rights, il Divin Codino came to Milan from Juventus, where he spent a successful five years. After winning the Scudetto with Juventus, Silvio Berlusconi pushed hard for his acquisition and he became a red-and-black. Winning the Scudetto again with Milan made him the first ever player to have won the Scudetto with two different teams. During his brief stay at Milan, he scored a total of 12 goals in 51 appearances.
He signed for Inter after the 1998 World Cup, but he fell out with Marcelo Lippi, the Inter coach at that time. This fall-out even caused Baggio to lose his place in the national team.
Milan : 51 games (12 goals)
Inter : 41 games (9 goals)
He too was a Milan product and spent his youth career in Milan. Even though the record goes to show that he was with Milan for seven years, fact is that he was loaned from the third season onwards. His loan spells included the likes of Vicenza, Livorno and Barcelona. He even managed to win two Scudetto while at Milan.
Failure to cement a first team spot saw him being shipped off to Inter in 2002. There too, he failed to make any sort of impact and was subsequently loaned off to Livorno and Torino.
Milan : 56 games (2 goals)
Inter : 26 games (0 goals)
“The Pitbull” started his career in Ajax and after three successful Eredivisie titles, Milan came calling. His appearances for Milan were hugely limited and he only saw action in a mere 19 games. He was sold off to Juventus in 1997, where he went on to have his most successful Italian seasons, winning three Serie A titles.
From Juventus, he moved on to Inter in 2004. Like his playing time in Milan, he failed to make any sort of deep impact while at Inter. During his one year stay, he only played for the Nerazzuri a mere 14 times.
Milan : 19 games (2 goals)
Inter : 14 games (2 goals)
And now few players who came to AC Milan from Inter.
A born forward and a genius of a player if there was one. He revolutionized the game during his time at Inter. Initially being rejected by Milan for being “too skinny”, an Inter scout signed him after witnessing first hand his sublime skills with a rag ball. He was the inventor of “ad invito”, a technique where he literally invited the goalkeeper to charge at him and then calmly dribble past him. His “dead-leaf technique” was another trick which goalkeepers feared. At a very young age of only 18 years, he scored as many as 38 goals in only 29 games in 1928. His goal-scoring spree continued in his very first Serie A season, where he scored a record 31 goals. He scored five goals in a single game on two separate occasions, and even scored as many as six goals in one match against Venezia; such was his domination over defenders at that time. Though his “off-the-field” antics drew ire of players and coaches.
On one occasion, he was quoted as saying –
“Luckily I lived near the stadium, and I managed to get there in a rush. My teammates and the coach looked at me disapprovingly. It was only five minutes before the kick-off, so I quickly changed and joined the team on the pitch. I could hear the Inter directors saying: ‘We’ll deal with him after the match. We’ll find out what he’s been up to.’ Luckily I scored a hat-trick so afterwards no one said a word!”
Sidelined in the 1939-40 season with injury, he was transferred to Milan in 1940, becoming the first ever player to cross the Milan divide. It was even reported that he cried in the dressing room after scoring against Inter in the Derby della Madonnina.
Inter : 348 games (245 goals)
Milan : 37 games (9 goals)
Inter coach Mircea Lucescu, who signed him in the year 1998, first spotted this legendary play-maker of modern-era. His journey with Inter was not spectacular to say the least. He failed to break into the first team and only managed 22 appearances with them. Subsequent loan spells would follow, one in Reggina and another in Brescia before Milan rescued him.
With Milan his career blossomed and he went on to become a world-class player. Even though he started off as an offensive midfielder, then Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti shifted him to a more central role. Thus started his partnership with Gennaro Gattuso in the Milan midfield. He earned the nickname “The Metronome” for being the rhythm-setter for Milan.
Inter : 22 games (0 goals)
Milan : 281 games (32 goals)
This dutch maestro began his playing career in Ajax at a ripe young age of only 16 years. Two Eredivisie titles later, he swapped countries and landed at Sampdoria. His journey took him to Real Madrid and then to Inter. Even though he failed to land any major silverware while at Inter, he became famous among the fans for his long-range efforts.
In the year 2002, he moved on to Milan in an exchange deal, which saw Francesco Coco move in the other direction. The next year itself he won his first ever Coppa Italia and followed it up with a Champions League medal in 2003, Beating Juventus on penalties. In the process, he became the first player to win Europe’s most coveted trophy with three different teams. The next year, in 2005 he won the Scudetto for the first time with Milan. In the year 2007, he won the Champions League once more and the FIFA Club World Cup followed in the same year. The midfield trio of Seedorf, Gattuso and Pirlo started way back in 2002-03 season and is continuing till date.
Inter : 64 games ( 8 goals)
Milan : 271 games (42 goals)
Yes, this is the original Ronaldo, the true “Il Fenomeno”. This legend of modern era came to Inter after Barcelona fluffed up his contract negotiations. Inter bought him for a record fee of 19 million Euros. In his first season, he helped Inter win the UEFA cup, scoring the winning penalty. The talent that was on display during his brief stay at Barcelona blossomed in Inter and he developed into a complete forward. During this period, he went on to win the FIFA World player of the year, the Ballon d’Or and also the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Japan. After the World Cup he got transferred to Real Madrid.
He came to Milan in the 2007 season and formed the much-hyped attacking formation of Kaka, Pato and Ronaldo. They were fondly known as Ka-Pa-Ro. However, recurring knee injuries prevented him form getting regular first team action and when his contract expired at the end of 2008 season, Milan decided not to renew it, thus ending his stay at Italy.
Inter : 68 games (49 goals)
Milan : 20 games (9 goals)