Thought of the Day

I don't believe in morality, but I believe in ethical conduct as set out by His Holiness the Dalai Lama: "Ethical conduct = a way of behaving that respects others’ right to be happy".

Monday, 10 July 2006

Campioni Del Mondo, ale' oh oh

Mine started as an evening of pains... We were at the Vibe Bar in Brick Lane (London east-end). Three big screens and two curves: on one side the Italians, on the other the French (in majority!). "Allez la France" still echoes in my ears. First half: tense but promising. Second half: very tense and not that promising (I saw it bad for a moment). Extra time: Buffon was extraordinary, but it was not enough. I was feeling sick: was lacking air and had high palpitations. I sat down and breathed very deeply. In the meantime, Trezegue came in, and Alessio whispered to me: "Now we are in trouble..." Hmm. Michela went to the toilet; she couldn't bear the view any longer. The French chanting were escalating. We did reply to them, but it was not the same: we were less and more discouraged. Lofty, who noticed that, told me: "they [the Italians] are having the attitude of losers even though they are not losing". So, he stood up and went to direct the chorus--Lofty, Ultra' leader! Then, Zidanne's shameful "gesture": head butt to Materazzi which cost him the expulsion and possibly the World Cup title. How silly to conclude in such a miserable way a great career! He wrote a page in the football history and, for sure, will stay in the memory of the Italians. At that point our hopes resurrected as a Phoenix. During the penalties we all hugged up each others in a chain. I particularly appreciated the support of two guys: a Brazilian and a Czech who hugged me tighter and tighter at each penalty. I could feel their nerves on my skin and how much, like me, they wanted those goals. And they did arrive: all five for the first time ever! The room magically painted itself of one (tri)colour. Big tears filled my eyes: it was the first release of my nerves. I soon received complimentary messages from Spain (by Melanie), from my English friends Naomi and Claire, from Morocco (by Mahfoud). Vanessa's message from Italy moved me: "I wish you were here with me in this moment". Thanks, Vani. I wished I was there, too. I especially wished to be at Circus Maximum in Rome tonight. A French girl, who had been photographing Giacomo and me all along the match, did hug us at the end, as well.

After the game, we headed to the tube, direction Bar Italia in Soho. Giacomo and I were jumping around Brick Lane while singing, sure not to be understood: "Ma che siete venu? Ma che siete venu? Ma che siete venuti a fa'!", when we bumped into a guy wearing a blue tee who suddenly turned facing us. Giacomo did not realise that he was French at first sight (sadly our uniforms did look very similar!). The guy became green. Just in time, I dragged Giacomo away from the scene. In Soho, big party: all different nationalities were there celebrating: black cab were fraught with Italians, people were climbing the lamps, gallons of Bollinger were sprayed into air. Then down to Piccadilly a parade of Ferrari, cinquecentos and pandas was displayed. Finally in Trafalgar Square Italians (including two gladiators) had invaded the National Gallery's facade. There we met up some friends who we had previously lost on the way...

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