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Milan vs. Juventus Preview: The Curse of the Trofeo Berlusconi

It’s a preseason friendly. Which means that is shouldn’t mean anything, right? It doesn’t really. Except for the curse. Yes, the legendary curse of the Berlusconi Trophy. The curse that whichever team wins the trophy does NOT win the Scudetto that year. That’s not a good way to start off the season.

The curse continues


In 21 editions of the Trofeo Berlusconi match, Milan have won the trophy 12 times. In 18 of those matches, the trophy was contested between Milan and Juventus. However, from 1992 through 1994, three other teams played vs. Milan. And two of those years, 1992 vs. Inter and 1993 vs. Real Madrid, Milan won both the Trofeo Berlusconi and the Scudetto that same season. The curse came with Juventus. And that is where it should stay.

In the 18 editions where Juventus and Milan played for the Berlusconi Trophy, each team has won the trophy nine times. And none of those victories resulted in a Scudetto win that same season. Add Italian superstition, mix well, and that is one hell of a curse. And so it becomes a match where you actually don’t want your team to win. And fans are generously offering each other the victory. Which is a nice change from the acrimony of last year, but perhaps just as ill-willed, to be honest.

Milan could hand over the goods (Champions League trophy not included,
sorry no refunds, keep Berlusconi at your own risk)

So we all know about the curse, I thought that this year we would raise the ante a little bit. You see, Silvio Berlusconi created this trophy match in honor of his father. And to be sure, regardless of his political motivations or intentions, he has bankrolled Milan for 25 years. But other than that, he’s been a bit of a curse himself, particularly lately. When he’s not being a terrible politician, sleeping with underage women at his notorious Bunga Bunga parties, indulging in horrible business practices and other unethical behaviors that cause him legal troubles, he’s trying to tell his coaches how to coach and buying primadonna strikers like a coke addict. Personally, I’ve had enough. So this year, I’m offering not only the trophy to Juventus, but also the son of its namesake. You’re welcome, Juve. Enjoy the Bunga Bunga parties.

Not that Juventus aren’t embroiled in a bit of scandal of their own with the Calcioscommesse scandal that will keep both Conte and his assistant coach away from the match until they can appeal their bans. But to be fair, their problems are simply inherited from other clubs and other times, and with Pepe and Bonucci being cleared of charges (pending an appeal that starts on Monday,) at least the impact should be minimal. I would say that Vucinic’s pornstache and Pirlo’s Chuck Norris beard have had almost as much effect on the team, and I can only hope that they have both thought better of it by Sunday night.

Ummm.... no, Mirko. That 'stache is a curse on your face.

Meanwhile, on the Milan front, our first team has been decimated by losses and also decimated by their replacements. (Did I just type that out loud?) But truly, it is well known that Milan have lost both quality and quantity this summer. With Max Allegri apparently asking for the return of Borriello, it seems that he, too, is trying to undermine the team this year. So we shouldn’t even have to appear to throw the match, we should lose quite handily to the well-reinforced Juventus, who have shown in friendly matches and the Supercoppa match so far that they can in fact find the back of the net. (Maybe it was all of the facial hair?)

Sorry, Berlu, sorry, Juve.
Trophy girl not included.

Both teams will be desperately seeking to end the 90 minutes without injuries, which effort should be aided by the brand spanking new pitch at the San Siro. And with neither team wanting to give their Scudetto hopes away before the season kicks off, perhaps it would be nice to offer the trophy to Inter. However, they are not invited to this party, this is a night for champions.

So we’ll see a good effort from both teams, I’m sure, even if it may be a bit timid for fear of injury. Despite the curse, both teams will want to take this last opportunity to tune up before the season kicks off next weekend and play well. But I offer once again, that the winner take all: not just the trophy, but the corrupt owner who has caused more harm than good lately. And with that, I say: May Juventus win. Forza Milan!


This post inspired by the music of Ella Fitzgerald


Trofeo Berlusconi
Milan vs. Juventus
Sunday, August 19th • 21:00 CEST (3:00pm EDT)
This match will be broadcast on ESPN3 in the U.S.