Domenica 6 Novembre 1949
On the occasion of today's Derby, I took the liberty of translating an article about one of the greatest Milan derbies of all time. My translation isn't spot on as I've made a few mistakes, but the message should be preserved. Online translators are completely useless when it comes to literally works, so I hope I can bring something new to all Inter fans, and I hope we witness a spectacle tonight.
6 November 1949
Inter Milan 6-5:
All the makings of a spectacle
IF THEY ASK YOU point blank, which was the most exciting, richly emotional, and incredible of all games of the World Cup, I think you will respond in a second: Italy vs West Germany 4 to 3, Mexico 1970.
If they ask you which derby between Inter and Milan caused the most heart attacks, then finding the answer is not immediately apparent, and we need to go back many years to find an Inter vs Milan game which finished 6 to 5 (you read that right, 6 to 5); to be precise in 1949.
These were the times when the Calcio Federation had not yet understood that in order to strengthen Italian football, they had to isolate the champions from across the Alps, who came to Italy to teach “our” game the serious life skills, and the professionalism. These were the times when stadiums were filled by the largest crowds ever who came every Sunday to the playing fields, fascinated by this “ugly football”… and misery causing goals, so abudant were these goals that the champions of that year, Juventus, scored 100 (exactly 100) in 28 games, followed by second place Milan who put 118 in, and then a confused and ashamed Inter for having only made 99.
1949-50 SEASON. And so it was a fight between three for the title. Juventus with a huge bench lead the discussion with its formidable attack: Muccinelli, Martino, Boniperti, John Hansen, Praest. Inter and Milan did no fail to respond.
The Nerazzurri had the strong almost atomic attack of Wilkes, Amadei, Lorenzi, Nyers; Milan was famous for Gre-No-Li, the super Swedish trio that burned the grass in all the fields of Europe. And so we came to November 6 of 1949, to the scene at San Siro, which was still not considered the full “Scale of Italian Football”, to the derby.
The Nerazzurri are incomplete. Their star Enzo Bearzot (46 matches in the Nerazzurri shirt, before moving to Torino) was injured in Novara, so we move Aldo Campatelli to the midfield and make room in attack for Fiorini, who was a meteor in the Nerazzurri sky. Milan on the other hand were complete, and things looked bad for Inter. Nevertheless, the teams took the field under the watch of the roman referee Oralndini, in the following formations:
Inter: Franzosi; Guaita, Miglioli; Campatelli, Giovannini, Achilli; Amadei, Wilkes, Lorenzi, Fiorini, Nyers.
AC Milan: Milanese, De Gregori, Foglia; Annovazzi, Tognon, Bonomi; Buriani, Gren, Nordhal, Liedholm, Candiani.
As you can see, the rossoneri brought it on, with a formidable midfield consisting of internationals Annovazzi and Tognon, but their defense was only half-notch, so we expected their dragons upfront to hold the ball for 60 of the 90 minutes, and when evading the heavy marking, to put one and many goals through to reduce the pressure on defense. As for Inter, they also had the Hungarian Stefano Nyers, the first “flying tulip” of world-wide football, along with the slouching walker Faas Servaas who had no equal, and Wilkes, the authentic, unsurpassed, exceptional, and always spectacular sniper.
IT WAS A TRUE orgy of goals (today, a similar game would be stamped as nonsense, as they also criticized us for Italy-Germany, which had too many goals just to satisfy worshipers, but to these critics a game ending nil-nil is the perfection of football).
It starts, and Milan begins. Candiani, a winger not too equipped in terms of class, but with a deadly left foot, goes to make his mark in the goal, twice within the first 6 minutes.
Inter seem dazed: San Siro is simmering with shouts, mixed with enthusiasm, and discouragement. Then Nyers as usual reduces the gap for Inter with a bomb from distance, only to be reconciled again by the gunner Nordhal who shows the rossoneri to the top, breaking ahead by 3 to 1. It seems done, but the best is yet to come.
It continues with Milan in the leader's chair. Now it’s Liedholm who sends one to the bottom of the bag past Franzosi (who was one of the greatest footballers of the era), the fireball makes it 4 to 1 for Milan. The poor Inter fans are at their limit, already thinking in horror about the bet they should payout to their cousins, when suddenly the pandemonium is incited again.
Wilkes moves forward. The ball crumbles rapidly and goes to the defender, the diligent (but meager) Bonomi, but his pass is thrown to Amadeo Amadei, "The Chorus of Rome", the son of a baker from Frascati, who came just a year ago to the court of Inter president Carlo Rinaldo Masseroni. And when Amadei was supplied in the goal zone, he did not fail to deliver. In short: Amadei scores twice in rapid succession. Nyers fights his way to a penalty kick awarded by Orlandini for a foul against Amadei as well... and then Lorenzi finds the net.
And Inter, incredibly, has the advantage for 5-4.
But Milan is not surrendered and immediately returns to the attack. A ball is crossed long by Liedholm, a header by Gren: Franzosi, the nerazzurri keeper keeps it out, but it goes to Annovazzi, who chests it and with his right manages to get the balancing goal: 5-5.
A momentary score. The reversal is striking. Just one minute later, Campatelli grabs the ball striking the upright. It’s a melee, and Amadei bursts forward to find the goal and the advantage (6-5), the definitive advantage. Then Milan has to chances to make it even: first with Gren (and, perhaps, Franzoni blocks with the ball already in) and then with Candiani hitting the crossbar. In short: 6-5 for Inter.
Eleven nets in a single game: As many as we get today, if they defend often, in a full day of championship.
FROM THAT TIME, the derbies were galores, always tense games, exciting, but rarely honored by the game. There was too much bureaucracy behind them, and too many interests at stake not to stifle the technique. However we still remember a rich 3-2 for Milan in the “house” of Inter during the ’71-’72 championship which was won by Juventus atop the rossoneri to a single point of advantage (the number of goals during the season had already come down to self-governing quotas, 48 for the bianconeri and 36 for the rossoneri, and the foreigners were all but gone, with only the last of the Mohicans remaining such as Karl Heinz Schnellinger, the surviving striker). Milan gained the net with a goal from Bigon and one from Giannino Rivera, which Inter’s Ghio and Boninsegna answered. A good game where Milan ended with a victory, but that victory rhymed in everyone’s head with the rossoneri giving the title to Juventus and relegating Inter to a very close third place (1 point away - Inter just needed to draw this home derby to win the scudetto).
Then there was the match of November ’77. Still Milan's game, with 3 to 1 they beat Inter, and are ahead to win the league, but Juve were just two points behind and leapfrog them to take the lead and leave Milan falling behind to fourth place. However, as time passes the rossoneri move on to gain the tenth star of the scudetto just the next year.
Campionato 1949/81 - 10a giornata
Domenica 6 novembre 1949
San Siro, Milano
INTERNAZIONALE - MILAN 6-5
Reti: 1' e 7' Candiani II, 10' Nyers, 14' Nordahl III, 19' Liedholm, 39' Amadei, 40' rig. Nyers I, 50' Amadei, 58' Lorenzi, 59' Annovazzi, 64' Amadei
INTERNAZIONALE: Franzosi, Guaita, Miglioli, Campatelli, Giovannini, Achilli, Amadei, Wilkes, Lorenzi, Fiorini, Nyers I - All.: Cappelli
MILAN: Milanese II, De Gregori, Foglia, Annovazzi, Tognon, Bonomi, Burini, Gren, Nordahl III, Liedholm, Candiani II - All.: Czeizler - DT: Busini III
Great game indeed. What a match that was....
It must have been something. The article says the crowds were greatest ever. What would the numbers be like?
But one thing for sure, I would hate to see such a game today.
The capacity of San Siro at that time was 125,000. And of course you have the fact that there was no television broadcasting to speak of, so every single Inter fan had to go to the stadium... I can easily see it being full.
Great stuff Ehsan. You can speak/read Italian bro?
I'm learning the basics.. I'm level 1, but translating the above with a dictionary helps me pick up new words.
It's a shame, that we can only read about that match, but can not watch it It would be absolutely astonishing, if we can view that game. Btw 6th of November is my birthday
PS: The present team of milan must have been in the reserve squad back then ? *rolleyes*
Great article, great match .