Saturday, 26 May 2007

Ambro apologises for Inter insult

Massimo Ambrosini has apologised for holding a banner insulting Inter as Milan staged a huge celebration at San Siro last night.

The club continues its festivities after beating Liverpool 2-1 to lift the Champions League for the seventh time on Wednesday in Athens.

Upon their return to Milan on Thursday, the team paraded through the city in an open top bus and Ambrosini was spotted holding a banner which read, "Stick the Scudetto (Serie A title) up your arse."

"Those who have celebrated straight after a great sporting success know that you can let yourself go and fall into a climate of fun," wrote the midfielder in an open letter of apology on the club’s official website.

"That is absolutely all it was, good natured fun. Football is not just official statements and good manners spoken through gritted teeth. Between lads who play football there is often an exchange of jokey insults that is never meant to be offensive.

"I am perfectly aware that I was silly and apologise to everyone. It was a gesture made in a moment of euphoria and I hope it will not cancel the image of a fair and correct professional that I have always had in my 15-year career."

The rivalry between the ‘Cugini’ rose to new heights this month when Inter figures including coach Roberto Mancini, President Massimo Moratti and captain Javier Zanetti said they would not support Milan in the Champions League and that they would be “irritated” to have their Scudetto party "ruined" by a European Cup celebration.

"All of us Milanisti have an Interista friend and vice versa," continued Ambrosini. "We exchange a few chants at a distance, but that doesn’t mean there is no respect. If anything, the Milan derby has traditionally been the fairest and probably the only game where Milan and Inter fans go to the stadium together. That is how it must remain, without rancour."

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