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The Difference Between AC And Inter Milan - Explained

Updated: Mar 18

Italian football, renowned for its passion and history, boasts two iconic clubs that have left an indelible mark on the sport – AC Milan and Inter Milan. While both teams call the city of Milan home and share the iconic San Siro stadium, the differences between them run deep. In this article, we delve into the distinct characteristics that set AC Milan and Inter Milan apart, both on and off the field.

Club Origins and History:

The current AC and Inter Milan traces its roots back to an old Milan club known as “Cricket and Football Club of Milan” in 1899 founded by an Englishman Herbert Kiplin. He was also the team’s coach and key player during the early days of Milan.

difference beetween AC and Inter milan - Herbert Kiplin Image

Italian Politics however entered the scene as the growth of nationalism meant people wanted a club that only resonated with Pure Italian. Thus the Club was born which is now known as AC Milan. This caused a split between the ruling club members. The primary point of contention was the decision to allow foreign players to participate in matches, a move that did not sit well with certain members of the club.

As a result, those who opposed this decision, led by Giorgio Muggiani, decided to break away and form a new club. On March 9, 1908, Football Club Internazionale Milano, commonly referred to as Inter Milan, was officially established. The name "Internazionale" reflected the club's inclusive and international approach, embracing players of different nationalities.

This split set the stage for the enduring rivalry between AC Milan and Inter Milan. The Derby della Madonnina, the highly anticipated fixture between the two clubs, became a symbol of the city's footballing divide. Over the years, the rivalry has evolved into one of the most intense and passionate in Italian football, transcending the initial reasons for the split.

While the specifics of the split might seem distant in the context of modern football, the historical foundations and the subsequent divergent paths of AC Milan and Inter Milan continue to shape the identity and narratives of these two iconic clubs in the football landscape.

difference between AC and Inter Milan

Inter Milan went on to win trophies with their team but AC Milan did not win trophies for quite some time, AC Milan did win the Scudetto after a long wait in 1951 but only after the inclusion of foreign players to their squad.

With that AC Milan, officially came to be known as Associazione Calcio Milan, which was founded in 1899. Throughout its illustrious history, the club has garnered many domestic and international honours, including seven UEFA Champions League titles and 19 Serie A titles. The red and black stripes of AC Milan are synonymous with success, and the club has been home to football legends such as Paolo Maldini and Franco Baresi.

On the other hand, Inter Milan, or Internazionale Milano, was established in 1908. With a history equally rich, Inter has earned its own share of glory, securing multiple Serie A titles and three UEFA Champions League trophies. Inter Milan is recognised by its iconic blue and black striped jerseys, and the club has been graced by legendary players like Javier Zanetti and Giuseppe Meazza.

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Team Identity and Style of Play:

One key difference lies in the distinct footballing philosophies of the two Milanese giants. AC Milan is renowned for its stylish and attacking brand of football, often characterized by flair, creativity, and a commitment to offensive play.

Over the years, the club has produced some of the most memorable attacking partnerships, contributing to its reputation as an entertaining and high-scoring team.

In contrast, Inter Milan has often been associated with a more pragmatic and defensively solid approach.

The club has a storied tradition of disciplined defending and counter-attacking prowess. This tactical identity has been ingrained in the fabric of Inter Milan's success, leading to victories built on relentless defence and clinical counter-attacks.

Rivalries and Fanbase:

While both clubs share the iconic San Siro stadium, the atmosphere during their home matches is notably different.

AC Milan's fanbase, known as the "Rossoneri," is passionate and vocal, creating an electric atmosphere during home games. The club's historic rivalry with Juventus adds to the intensity of their matches.

difference between AC and Inter Milan - Iconic Milan Derby Image

Inter Milan's fanbase, the "Nerazzurri," is equally fervent. The club's fierce rivalry with AC Milan in the Derby della Madonnina is one of the most anticipated fixtures in Italian football. The clashes between these two Milanese powerhouses transcend football, reflecting the deep-seated passion of the supporters.

Recent Success and Challenges:

In recent years, both AC Milan and Inter Milan have faced unique challenges and triumphs. AC Milan, after a period of rebuilding, has been striving to reclaim its past glory, with a mix of promising young talents and experienced players.

On the other hand, Inter Milan, under the management of Antonio Conte, secured the Serie A title in the 2020-2021 season, breaking Juventus's nine-year dominance.

AC Milan winning the SERIA A Title in 2022


In conclusion, the difference between AC Milan and Inter Milan extends beyond the colours of their jerseys. These two footballing institutions, rooted in history and tradition, embody distinct styles of play, team identities, and passionate fanbases.

Whether it's the attacking flair of AC Milan or the defensive solidity of Inter Milan, both clubs continue to contribute to the captivating tapestry of Italian football, ensuring that the city of Milan remains a powerhouse in the world of Calcio.

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