​​Inter and ​AC Milan have teamed up with DAZN to stage the first-ever virtual Derby della Madonnina on Pro Evolution Soccer, with the one-off event set to kick off on Friday afternoon.

With all football currently suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, two of the biggest clubs in Italy have come up with a new way to engage with fans who are likely to be missing the weekly buzz of top-flight ​Serie A action.

At the controls will be Milan’s Portuguese forward Rafael Leao and Inter’s striker Sebastiano Esposito, selected for their self-confessed expertise on video games.

“We can’t physically be on a football pitch right now, so it will be quite fun to represent my team and play against Sebastiano (Esposito) on PES,” 20-year-old Leao ​said.

“This is a derby after all and I want to win, but most importantly this is a way to be a little closer to our fans in these difficult times.”

DAZN commentator Stefano Borghi will be providing expert commentary on the match, while sports reporter Diletta Leotta will be serving as host and covering interviews with the two players after the final whistle.

Fans will be able to tune in to watch the match on Milan’s official app, or via the Club’s Facebook and YouTube channels.

The virtual derby is part of a series of initiatives organised by Milan to unite fans during the COVID-19 pandemic that has hit northern Italy especially hard, resulting in thousands of deaths. The campaign has so far raised over 600,000 euros ($651,840).

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