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Sunday 2 July, Rotterdam - The Netherlands
A bright, sunny day. As that says a whole lot for The Netherlands, I couldn't help thinking it would all be in the favour of the Azzurri. To be able to play in the sunshine. .....

Me and my best friend decided to meet at the Rotterdam Central station at around 15.00 hrs. The plan was to first go to one of the city's local bars. It might sound strange but we just wanted to be there to taste a bit of the atmosphere. We didn't have to go that far. A taste of what we wanted we already got as soon as we came out of the train station. We were surrounded by fellow Azzurri fans. Some French fans hooked up as well, but we instinctively tried our best to ignore them. This was not just a match. Our nerves were literally killing us. We sat on one of the terraces outside the train station and watched the group of Italian fans grow bigger and bigger. It was great to see. Rotterdam becoming Little Italy. They only thing we missed was a good pizza or some nice tagliatelle. We joined some Italian fans who were living in Amsterdam, then some from London came and even one from the US. By the time it was 17.00 hrs, we had a whole group of people sitting together. We chatted, smoked cigarettes and drank the afternoon away. It was like we had known each other for years.

At 18.15 hrs, we took the train to the Rotterdam stadium. The atmosphere there was even more fantastic. And I cannot start to describe how it felt when I was entering the stadium. With trembling knees, shaking hands, my head spinning and nerves running through my stomach it was like a dream come true. I just couldn't believe it really was happening. When we got to the side were our seats were, we almost got a minor stroke. Our seats were not even 3 metres (!) from the dug-out were the substitute players were sitting. My 2 friends and I got ecstatic. I just had to concentrate on breathing as I was letting it all sink in. Right in front of me, the players were doing their warming-up. At our right, the French fans were screaming our ears off. We pointed fingers at them and some very fanatic Italian fans in front of us, kept waving at the French with huge grimaces on their faces. The E-Type guy came on the field to sing his "Campione, Campione" song for the last time. And then....it was the moment we all had been waited for. Longed for, prayed for......

From this moment on, my head has left me a total blank. My nerves were killing me, my friend next to me was holding and kissing her fortune stones. I can just recall the moment when Marco Delvecchio scored. I stood there and died. I fell over some chairs, since I had bruises everywhere when I got up again. I can only remember the Italian guy in front of me jumped on top of me and started hugging and kissing me out of pure joy and happiness. We ALL hugged each other. My throat got stuck, my mouth was dry. My friend kept on screaming : "I'm going mad here ! I cannot believe it !". As the end of the match came closer, we counted the minutes on the huge clock next to the scoreboard. I silently whispered : "3 minutes to go.....2 minutes to go....1 more minute to go....God, this can't be happening...". And suddenly the clock said : "90 minutes". Right in front of us, we saw Inzaghi, Di Livio, Fiore and all the others holding each other. Hands were shaken, big smiles on everyone's faces.....We were convinced that we had finally done it. The cup was ours. It BELONGED to us........

But then ...... somewhere, in the middle of the 93th and the 94th minute, our dreams got shattered. Our hopes cruely taken away. The French hit their equalizer in our net. We stood there in complete disbelief. With all the French (and the Dutch) fans screaming at us, we felt absolutely disgusted. Some of us were just staring at the field, eyes big of panic, faces white of deep horror. I kissed my Italian flag.....some Italians started to scream : "Italia ! Italia !".....we joined in, cheered all together for our team. But somehow, deep down inside, a sickening feeling told me it was not going to be a happy ending. I stood on my chair, my friends kept jumping up and down, endlessly shouting at the guys to give them some extra power. ...... It didn't help. Where referee Frisk whistled 2.345265439854658, 765859373 times against us, (failing to pull the same trick as his co-friend had already done in our match against the Dutch), it was David Trezeguet who gave the final verdict.
My whole world crashed. I was feeling dizzy, felt like I was going to collapse. I just couldn't stand it for one more minute. I know that maybe we should have stayed, but all we could think about at that very moment was to just get out of the stadium as fast as possible. As if we could pretend it wasn't really happening....We ran out, straight to the train station in front of the stadium. We sat down in the train wagons in deep silence. Totally devastated. It was there that my feelings towards the Dutch changed forever. The hatred way they looked at us. Some of them cynically laughing while saying : "See ! Now you know exactly how we felt after you robbed us on Thursday ! Serves you right !". That was so low, so below the belt, so very, very mean.....I wanted to punch them, scream at them, but my body was paralysed. All the way to Rotterdam Central Station we had to listen to their hateful comments. "Ciao, ciao macaroni heads", "Arriverderci to the catenaccio", etc, etc. It was there and then that I decided to NEVER EVER go and visit a Dutch soccermatch again. Never in my life a train trip from only 10 minutes felt this long. I can't even remember how I got home. I must have done it on some automatic pilot because the whole inside of me was totally numb. Feeling sick and with a tremendous headache I managed to get myself home. After taking a quick shower and a glass of water, I had to throw up. Not once, not twice, no, it must have been 4 times at least. Until my stomach was so empty that it hurted like hell. It must have felt the same as what the Azzurri felt on the field. And then I cried. What I couldn't do in the stadium, just because tears couldn't express the huge dissapointment and the pain that I then felt, came out in the surrounding of my own appartment. I cried for ages. I cried for the Azzurri, for the whole Italian nation..... and most of all out of anger. Why ?....Why ?..... How could this have happened ? Why did it have to be this cruel ?.... What on earth did we do to deserve this ? .......

I have refused to read a newspaper ever since. I watched just the ending of the match on tape last night, but the look of a devastated Francesco Totti, Alessandro Nesta's stammering comments, a crying Fabio Cannavaro and Demitrio Albertini, made me throw up again.

We've made some great friends during this last match. And one consolation is that we can at least talk about it with each other. We all share the same experience, the same pain. I'll be sick for at least another week. Food just doesn't attract me anymore. I cannot sleep at night, see flashes of the game over and over again.
I try to keep going, but it's so very, very hard.

I know, all of you must have died as well, in front of your TV. But I can assure you one thing : this sickening feeling that we had (and will have for quite some time), these wounds of being there and watching it right in front of you, will leave definite scars that will last for a long, long time......

......

The Miss

p.s. Today, Dino Zoff resigned as Italy's head coach. Thankx to Silovio Berlusconi's hatred comments and criticism, a well respected man, someone who deserves all our support, felt he had to go. Another smack in the face of much Italians. Dino Zoff has done a great job in this Euro 2000 tournament. I've chosen to give him a special place in my heart. And Berlusconi ?...... He should have thought before he pulled his hateful comments in the national press last night. And realizing that this decision doesn't only concern Dino Zoff but also the whole Azzurri team ..... as if they hadn't had enough on their plate already.......
 

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arivederci to catenaccio

Miss no offence,but I think there isnt something more pathetic than not supporting your country on football.Especially when you have such job where you know most players personally,since the majority of them have played for Ajax.How can you not support Holland?

Serves you right I would say...
 

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I watched the match on TV with some fellow German students that I do not know very good. They were quite neutral, cheered for every team, but prefering Italian a little bit. I was very nervous about this match, very pessimistic. After the first half I was astonished by the match of the Italians, becoming more optimistic. Then del Vecchio, we cheered a lot (especially me :) ).
I am getting more and more optimistic as the time passed by. When the 90th min passed, I was sure, we did it, no one could stop us now. But then... equalizer, my fellow students cheered (well, they were neutral, was not angry about them) and I was just sitting there, waiting for the ref to annulate that goal, no matter for which reason, just annulate it. and then I realized, we lost. it was just the equalizer, but I knew it, it was done, France has beaten us.
I read your thread, Miss, tried to imagine how you felt, but I guess I cannot, this is not comparable.
But I am looking to the future and I hope that sometimes I will be witness of a victory like France did for my team Italia. Just imagine, you think you loose the great final, and then, in the very very last second you make the goal. This is soccer, joy and pain, so close. And do not bother about the Dutch fans. The fact that they hate us now so much (although we beat them in a fair way, no referee help, no unfair things, just beat them) just show how much it must hurt them. do not let us down on their level, lets be better loosers

FORZA ITALIA
 

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Amo, what you've just said, is what I would call p-a-t-h-e-t-i-c!
Which (national) team one supports, is one's own personal choice. You've got nothing to do with it and you shouldn't be judging it either.
Please, just stick to talking football... It fits you better.

ROMANI...SI! ROMANISTI...MAI!
 

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Ofcourse you've got the right to THINK whatever you want... But next time, just don't WRITE it down!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thankx Pauline .....

Do not bother, Lazia.

Amoroso has no clue what he's talking about. His view on this is just very short-minded and based on stupid reasons.

Every word more on him is wasted when it comes to this subject. He'll never know nor understand what you and I have shared......

The Miss
 

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Stupid reasons? you are dutch,you support Italy against Holland,and I'm stupid? this makes sense...:rolleyes:Of course I acceopt that I'll never understand.I tend to understand normal and sensible things,not madness...
 

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why not? If I were Dutch, I guess I would prefer Italy, too :D :D
seriously, why do you support Italy, Miss? any relations to Italy?
 

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Miss: Thank you for your heart-felt entry. It took a lot of energy and emotion just to read, so to write it must have been brave. Ignore Amoroso. He's just a jealous turd that wants to land on Italy all the time. All you have to do is review his posts from Euro 2000 to realize he's just an instigator, not a fan - the worst kind.
 

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Amo, As much as I respect your knowledge on soccer, I must say that some of your comments re: other people's preferences/feelings are not called for. I grew up on Italian soccer, so naturally when I see the Azzurri play I support them 100%. You should sometimes keep your comments regarding an individual to yourself.
 

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InterOz,you are right.

The Miss,mea culpa.I should say this but I just couldnt help thinking it.I'm sorry.To me,it still seems weird that a Dutch person supports Italy with so much passion,even against Holland.Sorry,not logic in it...However,its your choice etc etc.

I'm sorry again...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Accepted !

Amoroso, Apologies accepted.

I guess it indeed is a little strange for you to understand, just all in once. Anyone who knows me a it better than you do, is not surprised by it. Yes, I have been working for Ajax and yes, I know half (or almost 2/3rd) of the members of the Dutch national team in person. But no, I do not feel close to them. Not enough to support them in any way.

A lot has changed this tournament. Holland had suddenly 14 million fans, but half of them celebrated just like it was some sort of carnival but in reality had no clue of what was going on. It has always been like this.

Psycho, I have Latin blood. I was born in South-America, the continent that still booms when it comes to soccer. Although I grew up in Holland, I have never felt totally Dutch. I guess, the older you get, the more you realize how often you get back to your roots. I have all the signs of being a pure Latin woman. It's in my genes and I guess that's why I have never been able to completely adapt to the Dutch, their habits and their tastes. I have followed the Italian league and the Primera Division in Spain. I've lost count of all the matches that I went to see in those 2 competitions.....

Therefore, I have felt so emotional this tournament. Since I sensed it would have been able......
Like all Latins did....

Best regards,
The "Latin" Miss
 

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Ah, I see
Well, a little bit (but just a little bit) the same with me. Born in Germany, German mother, only speaking German (but I will change this soon :)), but feeling closer related to Italy, the home country of my father. Southern Genes seems to be dominant in comparison to nordics :D
 

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i understand

yes I do, I ignored the newspapers, the tv news and even the internet for a week, I rather mend my broken heart alone, I'm not strong enough to face the cruel reality.
I just hope italy win something major in my lifetime. Please God!
ciao!
 
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River the sun will rise again under Trapattoni....WORLD CUP 2002..................
 

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Whoa AMo apologised?.....FRAME THAT POST PLEASE!!!!!!!

Well i guess i live all the way down in the caribbean and i am far from being latin farless European/white.

And i was in terrible pain when Wiltord scored because i knew who would win from the time it went in.

So i guess according to Amo's reasoning i am even more irrational....hahahaha

FORZA AMOROSO although i disagree with the name calling.....it is irrational in the true sense of the word.....IRRATIONAL means not rational its as simple as that.....anyway Missy i also agree with your point....

One more thingee guys.....

FORZA ITALIA!!!!!!!
FORZA ZOFF
FORZA INTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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