Fikayo Tomori and Tammy Abraham are best companions, have known each other since they were six, rose through the ranks at Chelsea and are both now in the England squad.
So the fact that they are going head-to-head in the Serie A match this weekend will probably feel quite surreal.
At the Stadio Olimpico this evening, Abraham will lead Roma’s fourth-placed streak against second-placed Milan, which includes Tomori at the heart of their defence.
Italy has not always been a happy hunting ground for English players.
But these two people were rewarded for the courage to make the move, impressing their clubs as well, but also England manager Gareth Southgate, who called them up.
Tomori, 23, has become a key player for Stefano Pioli at Milan after he secured a £25m deal from Chelsea, following a successful loan.
The center back made his debut in January 2020 during the turbulent Coppa Italia match between Inter Milan and Milan, when Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic came face to face in a furious confrontation.
But now, Tomori is a permanent fixture alongside club captain Alessio Romagnoli or Denmark captain Simon Kjeer. If one man knows a good defender when he sees one, he can be said to be the best of them all.
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Franco Baresi made 81 appearances for Italy, played more than 700 matches for Milan and is now the club’s honorary vice president.
Speaking to SunSport, the 61-year-old said: “I watch Milan play every game live and I must say I am positively surprised by Tomori.
“He has important qualities and he has done a good job of getting himself involved in Italian football and the Milan squad – not that easy by any means.
“Physically he is very strong and not afraid of anything.
“It is very important to play in Italy. I would have liked to play with a defender like him, even if it is difficult to compare two different periods in football history.”
Tomori said this week: “I feel completely involved in this exciting experience and would love to live a lot with this group of players.
“Staying in Milan is like being at home.”
Abraham has also settled well in the Italian capital under Jose Mourinho.
He scored four goals in his first nine matches with Roma, but tonight he will be looking for his first goals in six matches.
Things are getting a little tricky for Mourinho, but the pressure eased a bit with the 2-1 win over Cagliari last weekend.
The Portuguese posted on social media a funny picture of himself eating food alone as he was not allowed into the dressing room.
He was serving a suspension after being sent off against Napoli.
Like Tomori, Abraham found a queue in front of him at Chelsea, so he was frustrated and left in a deal worth £38.3m.
Abraham, 24, scored only two goals in the first division, but hit the crossbar three times and provided assists.
Impressed by former striker Francesco Graziani, 68, who played for Roma from 1983 to 1986.
The 1982 World Cup winner said: “I love Ibrahim because he fights hard on the field. Tammy is like me as a player.
“He can score many goals, as he has shown in the past with Chelsea. It will be interesting to see the battle between Ibrahim and Tomori.”
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Abraham was assisted in Rome by former Manchester United defender Chris Smalling, who will miss tonight’s match due to injury.
Having struggled to impress Mourinho at United, history is repeating itself and he is no longer a key player for Roma.
Smalling impressed in his first season in Italy, but unlike Abraham, he may return home soon.