Legendary former Inter midfielder Nicola Berti feels that the charged atmosphere of the Milan derby only made him more motivated to give his best.
Speaking to InterTV for the “Careers” series, via FCInterNews, Berti reflected on what the derby meant to him as a player and how it’s changed now for him.
The Milan derby has always been one of Italian football’s showpiece occasions, as was certainly showcased during the season just gone when the four clashes between the Nerazzurri and the Rossoneri across Serie A and the Coppa Italia were all heated affairs with major ramifications for the season.
This was certainly the case when Berti was a player, and the former midfielder feels that if anything it was even moreso in his playing days, and that this was a significant motivator for him when he faced the Rossoneri in the derby.
“I was always insulted because in the midst of the era of that truly stellar Milan team, I was the only one who bothered,” he said of facing the Rossoneri early on.
“I enjoyed it because I was always insulted by the AC Milan fans,” he continued. “When I heard them making chants directed against me during the Coppa matches I turned up the volume and said to my friends: ‘Listen, they’re thinking about me.'”
“I took this as a challenge, it made me more fired up,” Berti went on.
He noted that “Now the AC Milan fans like me, but at one point it was dangerous to go out in Milan, I’d encounter people who, when I saw them, I had to change direction.”
“I felt like a god in Milan,” he added, “I was a bit of a mess but hey, I was twenty. Today they keep you more protected, but it wasn’t like that then. In those days in Appiano Gentile there was little protection.”