A Rossoneri great hopes the pair “have reflected” on their confrontation during the last Derby della Madonnina
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romelu Lukaku have a “responsibility” to football, according to Clarence Seedorf, who doesn’t want two “giants” of the game to come to blows again when Inter and AC Milan face off this weekend.
Serie A leaders Inter are due to come up against local rivals Milan at San Siro on Sunday afternoon, with only a point separating the two teams in the Serie A standings.
Ibrahimovic and Lukaku were involved in a heated confrontation in the last Derby della Madonnina, which Inter won to progress to the Coppa Italia semi-final, and Seedorf has urged the two men to conduct themselves more professionally when they lock horns again this weekend.
What was said?
The former Milan midfielder told Gazzetta Dello Sport: “I hope they have reflected: they are two giants of football, they have a responsibility to promote it in the best way.”
What happened between Ibrahimovic vs Lukaku?
Inter beat Milan 2-1 in their last-eight Coppa Italia encounter on January 26 thanks to a stoppage-time free-kick from Christian Eriksen, but Ibrahimovic and Lukaku stole all the headlines after a heated first-half exchange which saw the contest stopped for several minutes.
Lukaku reacted angrily after a foul from Milan defender Alessio Romagnoli, and Ibrahimovic squared up to the Belgian as he attempted to remonstrate with the referee.
Both players were given a yellow card each, but tensions threatened to boil over after the half-time whistle was blown as Lukaku was heard accusing Ibrahimovic of insulting his mother.
The Swedish frontman, who opened the scoring with a trademark finish, was sent off for a second bookable offence early in the second period, while Lukaku grabbed Inter’s equaliser from the penalty spot before Eriksen’s moment of magic.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romelu Lukaku went head-to-head 😳 pic.twitter.com/8U7nMpH4kH
— Goal (@goal) January 26, 2021
The bigger picture
Ibrahimovic and Lukaku would both be wise to heed Seedorf’s warning as they bid to help their respective teams secure a victory that could have a huge bearing on who wins the Scudetto in 2020-21.
Inter and Milan both have the chance to end Juventus’ stranglehold on the Serie A crown come May, with the Bianconeri currently sitting eight points off the pace in fifth place – albeit having played a game less.
Milan can return to the summit if they win the derby, but Inter can open up a four-point lead in first place if they come out on top, and Seedorf is expecting the title race to go right down to the wire.
“Being first is always better: you’re wrong and you’re still there, if you’re second you can’t make mistakes,” he said. “But they both have such confidence that today it doesn’t change much: they are still very close.
“Milan must always feel like winning the Scudetto: it must be normality. The other leagues say so too: Atletico are in command in La Liga, Leicester is still having a great season this year.
“How can Milan not be ambitious?”