Supercoppa Final • Milan vs. Inter: Consolation Prize

There was a time when winning trophies was about the best teams competing in hard-fought matches to entertain fans. Now, football is all about money. Milan and Inter, as well as Serie A, will be ridiculously compensated for playing the Supercoppa Italiana Final in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Despite the fact that the focus on human rights violations switched to Qatar this past year, Saudi Arabia is still one of the worst violators of human rights in the world today. Not to mention the values that Milan claims to stand for. Will it be a great match? That is not very likely, if you look at both teams' recent form. Despite Milan winning the Scudetto and Inter winning the Coppa Italia last year, that was eight months and a bizarre and unprecedented World Cup break ago. So this trophy is more like when they hand out trophies to youth teams no matter what, more of a consolation prize.

Sparks usually fly in the Derby, but this one could have a lot less fire

Of course, it is still a Derby. For fans, no matter how poor the performances have been, the blood pressure rises and nausea sets in just thinking of having to see those hideous snakes. Unlike Milan, they have managed to actually pull off wins in two of their three matches this week, even if they maybe did not deserve them. They were saved in the Coppa Italia against Serie B side Parma by a former Milan player and lifelong Milanista, Francesco Acerbi, who scored the winner for them in their 2-1 win in extra time.

Sunday, Inter beat 19th place Verona 1-0 by scoring an early goal, but only had two other shots on target in the whole match. For that one, The Other Inzaghi lined up: Onana; Skriniar, Acerbi, Bastoni; Darmian, Gagliardini, the Turkish Traitor™, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco; Lautaro Martinez, and Dzeko. The Other Inzaghi recovered both the never-Scudetto Calhanoglu and Barella for the Verona match. Lukaku also trained partially with the team on Monday and is expected to return for Wednesday's match. Of course, that may be more help for Milan, with his recent performances. Handanović and Brozović are both out with muscle injuries, but as of this writing, are not expected to be fit for the Supercoppa.

Saudi Arabia is the perfect place for a team like Inter, who lack all morals

Pioli could potentially have his injury list down to only five players out, the lowest number of missing players since we faced Salzburg in the Champions League at the beginning of November. This is due to the fact that Rebić returned to training on Monday, and Tonali returns after his suspension in the league on Saturday vs. Lecce. Still missing are Ibrahimović, Maignan, Florenzi, Krunić, and Ballo-Touré. There are also uncertainties for the mentality of the entire team, as well as the health and safety of the fans worldwide. We would all love to see the tenacity and ferocity from our players that we saw in our Derby win in September, but I kind of wonder if they even remember what that felt like.

When the contract for these Supercoppa matches was drawn up in 2018, the concept was buying big matches and bringing them to the region for entertainment. That notion, that football is simply for sale, regardless of the welfare of the players or fans, is also the focus of the new documentary that is out now on Apple TV called "Super League: The War for Football." That war is not over, and Milan's continued need for income blurs the lines of football morality that Maldini strives so hard to uphold.

With Tonali back, Pioli may recover just enough mentality to pull this one off

Too often now, clubs are forced to play for money rather than sport necessarily. But this time, the joke is on these ultra rich Saudis. Both teams come into this one in poor form. We will be lucky if this matchup is played well and the expected entertainment level achieved. Which is fair, considering there is no level of human decency expected, either. Just be careful what you post on Twitter. The losing team only gets a little less money than the winning team, which is hardly motivation for playing one's best. That is why, in spite of it being a Derby on paper, this trophy is more of a consolation prize.

This post inspired by the music of The Smiths' "What Difference Does It Make?"

Our next match is the
Supercoppa Italiana Final
Milan vs. Inter
Wednesday, January 18, 2023 • 20:00 CET (2pm EST)
This match can be streamed LIVE on Paramount+ in the U.S.
or can also be seen LIVE on CBS Sports in the U.S.

Supercoppa Final • Milan vs. Inter: Consolation Prize Supercoppa Final • Milan vs. Inter: Consolation Prize Reviewed by Elaine on 11:00 PM Rating: 5
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