Dida: “Playing and winning a derby is very important, my fondest derby is that of the 2004/05 Champions League”

Dida talking to MilanTV. (@acmilan.com)

Nélson Dida has spoken to MilanTV ahead of the derby, saying ‘my superstitious routine was being more focused in the dressing room’.

Milan play Inter tomorrow at Stadio San Siro and former goalkeeper Dida spoke to MilanTV to share his thoughts of the Derby and memories of the past games.

“What is it like to play and experience a Derby? The match is more important for us players because we know what it means to play in a derby, especially between the two important clubs in Milano,” the Brazilian said. “We know how difficult it is. Even your concentration is put to the test because the fans and everyone else talk about the game as Matchday gets closer. The players know they have to do everything possible to win it. It has always been like this. In all my derbies playing for Milan, I was always sure of giving my best and being victorious.

“The derby that I remember the most? My fondest derby memory is that of the 2004/05 Champions League season. It was an unforgettable moment for us all. We won the first leg 2-0 thanks to goals by Stam and Shevchenko. In the second leg we were leading 1-0 before the smoke canister fell on me. That game was important because we were all fired up, we were playing well, in the lead and fully concentrated.

“My relationship with the fans? I had a fantastic relationship with the fans right from when I joined Milan. Before every game at San Siro, during the warm-up phase, the fans would be waiting to cheer me on and it was breathtaking because I had immense support behind the goalpost. My relationship with all the Rossoneri fans was fantastic during my 10 years playing for Milan. It was always thrilling during warm-up to feel the fans’ support.

“Pre-derby rituals and superstitions? Well, I felt more focused because playing and winning a derby is very important. It is a derby match after all and my superstitious routine was being more focused in the dressing room, studying my opponents, knowing their strengths and weaknesses. You have to focus more in order to perform better for the team.

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