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Trofeo Berlusconi Preview: Milan vs. San Lorenzo

Honestly, I don’t even know why we are playing this match. San Lorenzo is the Pope’s team, and Milan are the Devils, and we all know how that matchup ends: not good for Milan. Despite the fact that San Lorenzo could have a decent case of jet lag, morale at Milan can’t be good after that horrifying display on Sunday. So if it’s true what they say about mind over matter, then having a poor mindset is worse than jet lag. No matter which way you look at it, it’s not looking good for Milan midweek.

A lifelong fan and card-carrying member of San Lorenzo's supporters club and namesake for their new stadium

The Trofeo Luigi Berlusconi is a friendly football match that Silvio Berlusconi founded in honor of his father. Originally intended to be Milan vs. the Champions League winners, it has ended up instead being contested between Milan and Juventus 19 of its 22 years. However with Milan having won it 12 times and Juve catching up with ten wins, this year they moved it from its typical preseason date and instead invited San Lorenzo, the reigning Copa Libertadores champions. I am quite sure it was originally planned to be played during a Champions League week to distract from the fact that Milan aren’t in the competition this year, but after Sunday’s performance, it’s just really really sad.

First the Pope, now Aragorn is also on their side?

San Lorenzo hails from Buenos Aires, Argentina, which is also where our own President of the Curva Sud America, also known as the Other Pope, currently resides. San Lorenzo boast another big fan in actor Viggo Mortenson, who spent part of his childhood in Argentina and recently held up a San Lorenzo flag at the Venice Film Festival in September, just two weeks after the club's Copa Libertadores win. He was also questioned by airport security after celebrating an important San Lorenzo goal back in May, and is a very passionate fan of the club in general. However, I have it on good authority that at least The Other Pope will be supporting his beloved Milan over his secondary club on Wednesday (thanks, p3trarch!)

I will also of course be supporting Milan, as usual. But it will be painful considering that Milan’s former defender Mario Yepes is in the San Lorenzo squad called up for tomorrow. Even before Sunday’s three minutes of hell, he has always been my favorite Colombian defender on and off the pitch. And he and his teammates will have that mental edge, coming off of a big defeat of Boca Juniors on Sunday.

Please don't hurt us, Mario

I’m not gonna lie, I am not looking forward to this match. I’m sure Inzaghi will give some playing time to those who have had little or no time yet this season. That is good because they will be hungry to prove themselves, but poor because there’s a reason they haven’t played. After Sunday, it seems difficult to fathom a performance that would be more humiliating, even if it is absolutely possible. So I would like this squad to incur no new injuries. That is the bar that I am setting for this match: no injuries. And I hope that the Pope enjoys the match and that San Lorenzo have room for a meaningless trophy on their flight home.

This match inspired by my good friend Eeyore

Trofeo Luigi Berlusconi
Milan vs. San Lorenzo
Wednseday, November 5 • 20:30 CET (2:30pm EST)
This match will NOT be shown LIVE in the U.S.
Check comments ahead of match for stream links