Monday, March 19, 2012

Football: Where Were You Moments?

For every sports fan, there are those moments that you always remember. The moments that made you cry, the moments that made you fall in love, the moments that made you fill alive. You can never exactly explain why you care so much, why you think about them years later as if they were yesterday. These are main:

1998 World Cup: Argentine vs England

Most people remember this round of 16 game with Beck's red card. I don't! I recall only Michael Owen's goal. That goal, that very moment made me fall in love with football. I had seen other games before but I never cared about them. Michael's goal made me care. I cried when England lost on penalties because it was too much to bear. Such beauty and such a loss. I have never stopped loving football ever since and I will never forget that goal because the first cut is the deepest. Every time I look back I know exactly how I felt that night and I sense it all over again. I know Michael is not the same player anymore, not for the last 10 years, but this one goal is so brilliant that it defines an entire career. Thank you, Michael for making me dream!

2003 Champions League: Milan vs Ajax

It was in the quarterfinal of the Champions League. Milan had not won it since 1994. Pippo Inzaghi had a great season in the league that year but this is probably his most important goal/assist (it is not clear if Thomason's touch at the end was before or after the goal line). That night Milan were on the bring of going out if the tournament. After 0-0 in Amsterdam, minutes before the end the result was 2-2 and Ajax were about to advance on away goals. Before this goal scored in the last possible minute to help the rossoneri stay in the CL. It just had to be Pippo - no other forward burns in the game as much as him.

2003 Champions League Final: Milan vs Juventus

Milan was playing against arch rival Juventus in the first (and only) all Italian final in the league of champions. A disallowed goal at the beginning and a heavy evenly matched 120 fight meant that the final would be decided on penalties. Dida did a good job to save three before Shevchenko stepped up for the fifth penalty for Milan. The result was 2-2. Andriy had to score - and he did. I still remember this look of complete determination in his eyes. I knew that no matter what he will score that penalty and give Milan the European Champions crown for the sixth time. Simply magical! It's not Sheva's best goal but it was definitely his most important one.

2006 World Cup Final: Italy vs France

I really hate penalties (mostly because of England-Argentine). It is so strange that this other great moment was also during penalty shootout. Fabio Grosso was the Italian to take the fifth and last penalty for the Squadra Azzura in 2006. After their lost on penalties in 1994, the Italians were determined to never let it happen again. So before Grosso all four players scored for Italy. I did not see Grosso's penalty live - I saw many replays after that. It was just too much to bare so I looked away and then I heard the noise - Grosso SCORED, Italy WON. I am not an Italian but I do not think I could feel more love and happiness than I did in this moment. This is how I imagine nirvana - complete and absolute calmness - the moment when all your dreams come true and you know that you cannot possibly want anything more.

There have been so many other great and happy moments in football for me but those are the ones that I go back to whenever I fell let down or disappointed, whenever I have doubts. I know that my feelings towards these moments will never change. I will never be lost.

No comments:

Post a Comment