Oct 7, 2012 at 7.45pm UK at ​San Siro
AC Milan
Inter Milan

Mexes (34'), De Jong (38'), Pazzini (82'), Montolivo (85'), Yepes (88')
Ambrosini (90')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Samuel (3')
Juan (11'), Nagatomo (23'), Ranocchia (83')
Nagatomo (48')

Interview: Former AC Milan striker Joe Jordan

Interview: Joe Jordan
© PA Photos
Sports Mole discusses the Derby della Madonnina with former AC Milan frontman Joe Jordan.

Very few players from the British Isles have had the chance to play in the Milan derby.

Former Scotland, Leeds United, Manchester United and AC Milan striker Joe Jordan is just one of a select few to have experienced the Derby della Madonnina inside the San Siro.

With the bitter rivals due to meet on Sunday evening, Sports Mole caught up with the 60-year-old to discuss the encounter, what it meant to play for a club like AC Milan and how good it felt to find the net against Inter.

Having played for big clubs in England like Leeds United and Manchester United, how comfortable were you with making the switch to AC Milan in 1981?
"I was comfortable from the way that I was brought up playing for Leeds and the pressure that was on that club in every game you played. Then, going to United was an incredible experience for me. So going across there it was not like I was hit or landed with something that I was unfamiliar with. The only thing that was different was there was a lot more pressure because I was the only foreign player there. It was a big responsibility because of that alone.

"Milan are a huge club and when I went there I think they were averaging even more [supporters] than Old Trafford at the time. There was a big focus on you as an individual because I was the only foreign player there. There was also a focus on you because you were a football player and the way that they looked at football players there was slightly different to England. That took a little bit of getting used to, but you just go with the flow and that was my philosophy on it. Whatever the routine was and the programme, I just got on with it."

Was it difficult to adapt a new way of life?
"The new way of life, no. From getting up in the morning until you went to bed you were a Milan player. Your job didn't have clocking in and clocking out. You represented that club for the day no matter where you were. You have to respect that club, that badge, that jersey and I quickly realised that. It was a fantastic way of life but a big demand. You worked for the club and you had to respect that, which I did. The media demand was an awful lot more. On a day-to-day basis, not just after a match. Every day there was training and there wasn't many days off like there is this country because of the amount of games that you play here. I can't recall an official rest day after a game other than at Christmas. That sort of routine and programme was something that you had to get synchronised into. The way of life though was not a hardship, it was terrific."

Had it always been an ambition of yours to try your luck abroad?
"Yes. I think it was in 1975 and I'd played against Bayern Munich in the European Cup and they made an approach to Leeds United to buy me and it got turned down. That put a seed in my head because I wanted to go. They wouldn't let me go and we had a bit of a fallout over that. It was different in those days though because the club held your registration and you couldn't go, even if your contract had expired. Even before that I fancied playing abroad and I wanted the challenge. I lost that chance and then the Milan one came up. Things had changed a little bit by then. The registration business didn't apply so much because they couldn't hold you. That was my opportunity. There were a number of clubs in England and a couple from abroad that wanted me but I wanted to go to Milan. Playing at a club like that with their tradition, I grasped it because I took it as my last opportunity. It wasn't easy to leave Old Trafford because I'd done well there and they were a club that I had always wanted to play for. It was just a chapter that I couldn't let go and something that I wanted to do."

What was it like playing in one of the biggest derby matches in the world? You scored against Inter once didn't you?
"I scored on my debut against them. It gave me a lot of brownie points because I had a difficult start there. Like all Milan derbies the stadium was full. It was a night match and a fantastic experience. It's one of the biggest games that I've ever played in. It's important to not get too wrapped up in it though because it is huge. Two great clubs in one city. All derby matches are great matches because of the people in that city. They are two powers of European football so to play in a game with so much focus on it was fantastic for me. I'm going to the game because of the break that I am currently on. They're great games and I can't wait to see what the new Milan and Inter have to throw at us."

How did that match compare to other big matches you've played in? Man United vs. Liverpool for example, or even England vs. Scotland?
"Every bit. I've played for my country and in other big games but I would say that they don't come any bigger. Because of the size of the clubs, what they've achieved and the size of the stadium as well - I think it's the best stadium in Italy by a mile. The modern stadiums that we have in this country are fantastic, but the San Siro has got history. What players have played there, what teams and what occasions. I took my two lads to watch a European Cup final there when they were younger because it is a one off. It's a must for anybody. If you're fortunate enough to play in it, enjoy it."

Joe Jordan was speaking ahead of ESPN's live and exclusive coverage of AC Milan v Inter Milan at 7.15pm on Sunday 7th October. Visit espn.co.uk/tv for details.

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