Milan Down Under

The season only just ended, but Milan are not on vacation just yet. They have taken a trip to Western Australia to play a friendly vs. Roma for the fans in Perth. There are plenty of people of Italian descent in Australia, as well as many more Serie A and Milan fans. This is Milan's first trip to Australia in 30 years, and the fans have been eagerly preparing for the match with fantastic coreo, proving that there are fans around the world who are every bit as passionate as those in Italy. The players have been busy with obligatory Aussie adventures, while fans prepare to watch one more match ahead of the summer break. And even if it is against the team that sent us out of the Europa League this year, it will be fun to watch Milan Down Under.

Learning about the local culture at Kings Park.

With the exit of Pioli, the manager for this match will be the legendary Daniele Bonera, former defender extraordinaire and one goal wonder, who is also reported to be appointed manager of the new Milan U23 team after five years as an assistant to the first team. Perhaps he will have good luck, as the match falls on his 43rd birthday.

Ibrahimović sizing up the kangaroos at Kings Park.

The squad that traveled to Australia included some Primavera players, but not Leão, who stayed in Milano for personal reasons. However, the departing Giroud did make the trip after saying goodbye to Milanello. Bonera and Calabria gave a press conference, promising the fans a great match. A number of fans were able to attend a meet and greet and open training session this week as well.

While Furlani and Moncada stayed in Milano to try to finalize the details of the new manager's contract, Ibrahimović traveled with the team, and did not pass up the opportunity to introduce the local wildlife to himself. Milan made sure to bring Baresi, Massaro, and Serginho, too, who made a special visit to some local children at their football training center.

Three Milan legends at one lucky youth football training center.

Another beautiful tribute that both clubs made was to a former player, Agostino Di Bartolomei, who had played for both clubs in the 1970's and 1980's. Tragically, Di Bartolomei died by suicide on May 30, 1994 at the age of only 39 years old, having suffered from clinical depression throughout his life. Ironically, May is also Mental Health Awareness month. Perhaps in the future, Milan will do something like Wolverhampton has done to help those who are struggling with mental health. Or perhaps at least increase awareness that depression and other mental health issues are very common and you are not alone. If you are struggling, in the U.S, call or text 988, or in the U.K. dial 116 123, or contact the crisis line in your country.

Two clubs combine to remember one legendary player.

For Australian fans, who normally watch matches in the middle of the night or early morning, it will be a treat for them to not only be able to watch a match at a reasonable hour, but for 50,000 of them, they will get to see the teams they love play in person. This includes fan clubs like the Milan Clubs from Adelaide, Sydney, and Melbourne, who are all traveling to Perth for what is likely to be a once in a lifetime event. For many fans around the world, perhaps this is just a meaningless postseason friendly. But for these diehard Aussie Milan fans, this is their chance to see Milan Down Under.

The starting 11 in Perth.

Milan 2, Roma 5

Roma opened the scoring with a Baldanzi goal in the 27th minute, despite the fact that Milan had created more opportunities. Two minutes later, Milan hit the cross bar, but ten minutes after the first goal, Theo equalized with an amazing curvin goal from distance. 1-1 all. Calabria forced Svilar in to a big save, then Sportiello mad a big save at the other end, only for Tammy Abraham to score in the final minute of stoppage time in the first half. Milan 1, Roma 2.

Theo, Giroud, and Calabria having a proper tea celebration.

The second half, Bonera subbed on Thiaw, Okafor, Musah, Bartesaghi, Tomori, and Nava. Okafor took a shot, but Boer deflected it onto the post. Milan continued to take chances, but Roma were makingg more chances. Boer nearly fumbled a shot from Reijnders in the 53d minute, but it was Roma that scored next, witn an Angeliño goal. Milan 1, Roma 3. Then just a minute later, Okafor scored a massive goal to bring it back to Milan 2, Roma 3. 

Okafor thanks Jiménez for his assist.

Dybala finally got his goal in the 57th minute, Milan 2, Roma 4. Then Zeroli replaced Pobega and Terrracciano replaced Florenzi. Jiménez continued to be Milan's biggest threat in the box, but his attempts were continuously thwarted.Simić replaced Kalulu, and Bartesaghi had another shot, but it was wide. Roma put the fifth nail in the coffin with an Azmoun goal in the 77th. Milan 2, Roma 5. Jiménez's shot in the 81st minute was only just deflected, and it still hit the corner of the goalpost, it wa so frustrating. 

Bonera with a less than desirable result in a friendly.

However, at full time, Roma won with five goals to Milan's two. A disappointing result, but we got to see some different tactics an pretty much all of the young players, which is why these matches are played. However, it would have been better to give the packed crowd of 56,000 fans a win, but it was not in the cards. I'm sure it was also a learning experience, but most importantly, it gave all those fans the opportunity to watch their team play live. And those fans were incredible, with many of them having traveled from so far. The team left the pitch disappointed, but I think the fans were still happy.

This post inspired by the music of INXS'
s "Devil Inside"

Our next match is a Friendly
Roma vs. Milan
Friday, May 31, 2024 • 13:00 CEST (7am EDT)
Optus Stadium, Perth, Australia
Stream on the Milan App or on ESPN+ in the U.S.

Milan Down Under Milan Down Under Reviewed by Elaine on 2:09 AM Rating: 5
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