This is Davide Santon’s third season on Tyneside, and the 22 year-old Italian will be playing in his third Newcastle – Sunderland derby tomorrow, and while at Inter he played in three Milan derbies and was on the winning side each time.
Davide Santon – played in three Milan derbies
Davide supported AC Milan as a youngster, but then joined Inter when he was 14 back in 2005, and he played for Inter when Jose Mourinho was the manager there, and Jose converted Davide from a winger into a left back, and he was capped for Italy while he was still a teenager.
Davide made his debit for the full Italian team when he was just 18, in June, 2009 in a friendly game against Northern Ireland played in Pisa, and a certain young Shane Ferguson was in the Northern Ireland side that day, over four years ago when Italy won 3-0.
This is what Davide has said today about the Milan and the Newcastle-Sunderland derbies:
“I have played in three Milan derbies. The Milan derby is good and an exciting experience, but I think this derby is even bigger.” “The lay-out of the stadiums makes a big difference.”
“At Sunderland everyone will be very close to the pitch and that means you can hear the fans really loudly.” “At the San Siro you have 90,000 people watching you but they are a long way from the field so you can’t hear them and the atmosphere doesn’t seem as crazy.”
“You also share the same stadium so it never really feels like you are playing away. It’s a different experience and I definitely prefer this derby because you are more on edge.”
“This game also means more to the fans of the two clubs. The game is so important to them. At Inter, yes the derby is important, but it doesn’t dominate the rest of the season. Here, this game does.”
“I won all three of the Milan derbies I played in. It’s funny because when I was growing up I was an AC Milan fan. It was difficult for me at first to join Inter, but once you join a team you give everything for them.”
“Even though I was an AC Milan I played for Inter and gave everything for them as they were my team. When I was growing up the Milan derbies were always so close, with both teams winning their fair share.”
‘I’ve played in two derbies and I have been here three years now but last year I didn’t play when we lost 3-0 (not surprising he made that clarification). I know all about the importance of this game for both of the cities.”
“I think this time it is even bigger for Newcastle because we all still have the memory of losing. Everybody was despondent and I think some of the fans had to take a week off work to get over it.”
“It was very difficult for them so we know we have to win this game for the city, the club and the fans.”
It was more than difficult for Newcastle fans, if was painful, very painful.
We’re still not sure which team will turn up tomorrow, but we hope it’s the side that had been on display in the last two and a half games, and if that side turns up tomorrow, there’s no reason why we cannot get all 3 points out of this game.
What do you think?