Ibrahimovic and Lukaku have a responsibility to football, insists AC Milan legend Seedorf

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Romelu Lukaku Zlatan Ibrahimovic Inter AC Milan
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A Rossoneri great hopes the pair "have reflected" on their confrontation during the last Derby della Madonnina

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romelu Lukaku have a "responsibility" to football, according to Clarence Seedorf, who doesn't want two "giants" of the game to come to blows again when Inter and AC Milan face off this weekend.

Serie A leaders Inter are due to come up against local rivals Milan at San Siro on Sunday afternoon, with only a point separating the two teams in the Serie A standings.

Ibrahimovic and Lukaku were involved in a heated confrontation in the last Derby della Madonnina, which Inter won to progress to the Coppa Italia semi-final, and Seedorf has urged the two men to conduct themselves more professionally when they lock horns again this weekend.

What was said?

The former Milan midfielder told Gazzetta Dello Sport: "I hope they have reflected: they are two giants of football, they have a responsibility to promote it in the best way."

What happened between Ibrahimovic vs Lukaku?

Inter beat Milan 2-1 in their last-eight Coppa Italia encounter on January 26 thanks to a stoppage-time free-kick from Christian Eriksen, but Ibrahimovic and Lukaku stole all the headlines after a heated first-half exchange which saw the contest stopped for several minutes.

Lukaku reacted angrily after a foul from Milan defender Alessio Romagnoli, and Ibrahimovic squared up to the Belgian as he attempted to remonstrate with the referee.

Both players were given a yellow card each, but tensions threatened to boil over after the half-time whistle was blown as Lukaku was heard accusing Ibrahimovic of insulting his mother.

The Swedish frontman, who opened the scoring with a trademark finish, was sent off for a second bookable offence early in the second period, while Lukaku grabbed Inter's equaliser from the penalty spot before Eriksen's moment of magic.

The bigger picture

Ibrahimovic and Lukaku would both be wise to heed Seedorf's warning as they bid to help their respective teams secure a victory that could have a huge bearing on who wins the Scudetto in 2020-21.

Inter and Milan both have the chance to end Juventus' stranglehold on the Serie A crown come May, with the Bianconeri currently sitting eight points off the pace in fifth place - albeit having played a game less.

Milan can return to the summit if they win the derby, but Inter can open up a four-point lead in first place if they come out on top, and Seedorf is expecting the title race to go right down to the wire.

"Being first is always better: you're wrong and you're still there, if you're second you can't make mistakes," he said. "But they both have such confidence that today it doesn't change much: they are still very close.

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"Milan must always feel like winning the Scudetto: it must be normality. The other leagues say so too: Atletico are in command in La Liga, Leicester is still having a great season this year.

"How can Milan not be ambitious?"

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