Former Inter and AC Milan right back Thomas Helveg discussed the Milanese derby, the arrival of Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen to Inter and other stars in both squads in an interview with Italian media outlet FcInterNews earlier today.
“The memories from Serie A, fortunately, are for the most part beautiful. With Inter I only played one season and the Derby didn’t go very well, a draw and a defeat. In Milan, however, among others, that 6-0, a game out of the ordinary, immediately comes to mind.”
The 48-year-old Dane then spoke about how he worked under former coach Alberto Zaccheroni at both Inter and AC Milan.
“Yes, at Milan we won the Scudetto with him. At Inter he replaced Cuper, although technically he came after Verdelli’s only game in charge. It’s hard to say what went wrong for us at Inter. Then in the following year Mancini arrived, there was a change, and from there the story changed.”
Helveg then spoke about many of the stars he played alongside in his career.
“I’ve had the pleasure of playing with so many champions. With Inter there was Vieri, Recoba, Stankovic and Zanetti. And although I was only at Inter for a year, I have to say that it was a team made up of some classy players. I defended AC Milan’s shirt for five seasons, so obviously the list of champions is superior, or rather, I could say endless. If I had to name them all we’d stay here until tomorrow. From the top, Maldini, Albertini and Costacurta. To top players such as Sheva, Bierhoff, Boban, Weah, Sebastiano Rossi and Abbiati in goal.”
He also spoke about whether these stars are now missing today.
“I believe that the history of Serie A must be analysed in this respect. When I was playing, it was full of champions. In the following years, many things changed. All the great players moved to England or the other leagues. The Calciopoli scandal also came out in Italy. I’m not saying that the top league was badly seen, but certainly there were years of profound change. So, every team in Serie A had to deal with that reality. It wasn’t just a matter for Inter or Milan. People eventually went to the stadium to see and applaud the stars. And I seem to see encouraging signs of that now, that the top players are going back to Serie A.”
Helveg suggested that Inter midfielder Christian Eriksen was a champion as well.
“Christian is a champion. But he’s different from what some people might imagine. I don’t think he can score 15 goals, ready to go. He’s the kind of player who makes the team go forward and can make a difference. There’s no question about his importance. But be careful, he’s arrived in the middle of the season and it’ll take time for him to get into the Nerazzurri’s game perfectly. Conte may have been almost forced him into it right from the start and it’s not easy. I have no doubt about his value, we’ll just have to wait and see when he can demonstrate his skills. His purchase is also important at a significant level, it’s a strong signal to the league. Like saying, ‘We believe, we want to go all the way and win the league.”
The 48-year-old Dane then revealed that he is an AC Milan fan.
“My heart belongs to the Rossoneri. Besides, we’re talking about five years of my life. But I also follow Inter with interest.”
However, Helveg wouldn’t be upset if Inter did end up winning the league title.
“For the good of Italian football if a team other than Juve wins the league then it would be interesting, a shock to Serie A. So tomorrow I support Milan, the Rossoneri really need a success. And if the Nerazzurri were to lose the derby, they wouldn’t lose the league. I repeat, they have to fight for the Scudetto to the end.”
Finally, Helveg spoke about AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Inter midfielder Christian Eriksen and Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku.
“Look, I’m saying the same things about Zlatan as I am about Eriksen. I’m glad he’s back at AC Milan, and a little surprised, too. We’re talking about a strong signal, a champion who has chosen Italy. With him the Rossoneri can hope to be back on the right track. Despite his age he is in good shape and his team-mates know that he can create something important at any moment.”
The Rossoneri are currently 19 points behind the Nerazzurri in the league table but have started 2020 stronger than their cousins. Inter have earnt nine points in 2020, but AC Milan have achieved 11 points.