Former Milan hero Hateley recalls derby goal

Former Milan striker Mark Hateley recalls his historic goal against Inter, claims he was a better header than Zlatan Ibrahimovic and predicts a win for the Rossoneri on Sunday.

Hateley spent three years at the Diavolo between 1984 and 1987 and ahead of this weekend’s important Milan derby, he spoke to The Italian Football Podcast the goal against Walter Zenga in 1984.

“I always get reminded of it,” he told The Italian Football Podcast. “I’ve got it in my study at home. I have it in black and white and in colour.

“One angle is from the near post and the other angle is from the far post. Underneath that photo I have a picture of myself at 6 years old doing a diving header playing with my school-kids.

“There must have been about 90,000 fans in the stadium that day. The reason it is always remembered is because Milan had gone through some hard times then.

“And Fulvio Collovati [who Hateley out-jumped] jumping ship when Milan got relegated. And he signed for our biggest rivals. It couldn’t have been more poignant.

 “We hadn’t won versus Inter for something like six years before that game. It was like all the stars and all the planets had aligned that day for that goal.

“It is an iconic goal. I think it was voted one of, if not the best ever Milan derby goal. I’m happy that I could achieve that.

“It’s great to be remembered not only for that goal but for the many great times I had at Milan with the players. I’m still in touch with Franco Baresi and Paolo Maldini, they helped me with a book I’m writing on my career.

“That goal will live with me forever. It’s good memories.”

Hateley said he expects goals this weekend too and predicts a win for the Rossoneri, who he fancies in the Scudetto battle this term.

“There’s going to be goals in the Milan derby. I’m going to put my neck on the line and say a 2-1 or 3-2 win for Milan.

“I think Milan can win the Scudetto. They started great, go the momentum going. They have had their little blip and recovered.

“Now they have their biggest rivals – Inter and Juventus – chasing them on.

“They are top of the table, it’s up to the rest to catch them. I think Juventus with their experience will push them but I think Milan can do it. It’s a really exciting title race.”

And Hateley was not in doubt when he was asked who was better in the air between him and the current striker Ibrahimovic.

“Without a shadow of a doubt me!”

There has been a lot of focus on the clash between Romelu Lukaku and Ibrahimovic this weekend, after the controversial brawl in the Coppa Italia last month.

The Football Italia Podcast asked who Hateley believes would have won a fight between the two centre-forwards.

“I think it would be a really good fight,” he replied. “People would pay to watch that.

“We could open a stadium for it. Both very powerful personalities. Romelu is a very powerful man.

“Ibra is the technician. I wouldn’t like to call it. It would be a very tought fight!”

Image credit: @MarkHateley10