Nine Life Lessons I Learn As a Football Addict

When a ball is played in a football field by world-class players; when it comes to prestige, win-or-lose philosophy; when it comes to emotional involvement between fans and players or fans with certain clubs or players with specific clubs… about 17 years on, and below are just a few lessons that I have recently drawn out as a huge football lover:

Dream

It starts with one name: Turin. I have always wanted to visit the city that lies in the north of Italy. Juventus, my most favorite club ever, has called me to go there since I was a junior high school student. At some points, I still laugh at the thought of saving money just to go there. But when I really learn about it, no dreams are useless. Turin is only a trigger. A motivation. Studying, working and praying hard to be at the city one day is what it teaches me.

When the time is right a dream will come true. I proved that last year when I met Alessandro Del Piero, the best footballer ever in my heart, in Sydney, Australia. I have been working so hard for about six years. I have saved part of monthly wage without initially knowing how this would end up. When I learned that he was going to be two years in Sydney, I firmly decided to meet him even if that meant I must have spent almost half of my entire saving. I would do it all by myself for the sake of fulfilling my dream as well as giving an early gift for my birthday.

Each time I remember on how I have spent the huge money, how I have patiently managed to go through all visa-passport related stuffs, and most important of all, how I have conquered the anxiety and afraidness, I couldn’t help being proud of myself. So, how the dream has finally guided me! Meeting Alessandro is a goal. Making it all happen with my own efforts is what it’s all about. The end is important but the journey is way more precious. I have become that brave, that amazing, that awesome thanks to the dream of meeting Alessandro. How much have I learned that dreams are the ways of Alloh swt to lead me being a much stronger and grateful I am today.

‘Insha Alloh’ going to Turin is just a matter of time. One day, I will be there. With the consents of Alloh swt, I will go through a hard, long, tiring yet fun process that will take me there just what I went through with Sydney and Alessandro. And it’s going to be so much worth it. Can’t wait to start the journey.

Love

Football players are the people who teach me of loving what they do and stick to that. They don’t regard their likeness as trivial thing. They remain committed to play, follow their heart, inner voice, sacrifice their education and family to pursue their dream of being the best ones.

It is from their seriousness over what people may consider as small one that amazes me. It’s their persistence, their hard training that somehow teaches me about the power of passion.

Faithfulness

I have been a huge fan of Juventus or call me as a Juventini for about 17 years. I have adored Alessandro for more than 13 years. Standing by their side through good and bad times; keeping a strong support during the ups and downs; being sad and joyful when they win or lose; sacrificing all I can for the ones that I love the most all through these years, are so wonderful. How much I can learn about this faithfulness. How much I have grown up over all these times thanks to their models. How much I can apply this attitude to my real own life. And how wonderful this small kind of act can remind me that being faithful, either in the football world or real life, is getting so rare nowadays.

Hardworking

It’s definitely not an easy task to be a great let alone a legendary footballer. With so many talented players going in and going out, love and passion are not enough. Hardworking, raising performance bar, beating self-enemies are keys to always be in the world’s most popular sport. How footballers can play in good shape twice per week; how they can remain in good ball possession even after 90 minutes; how they can remain cool-headed in a world cup finals can only be attained through super hardworking, and may be, just my opinion, intensive motivation sharing sessions. In football or in real life, hardworking is the key of the success. And ever since I have been a huge Juventini, I have applied this principle into my daily life. Sometimes, whenever I get lazy I fancy their faces playing on the field. This works a lot though!

Beauty

I have fallen in love with football since the first time I watched Juventus playing on the field. Can’t remember whose side it was against. All I can recall is that I was completely mesmerized by the teams’ accurate passings. The more I watch the more I get hypnotized. I am a big fan of free kicks. I always look forward to watch Andrea Pirlo shows his magic in each of the free kick that he takes. He’s the prominent player who shows me that football is all about beauty though it is Alessandro who firstly introduces me to that value in his book ‘Playing On.’

And I really love salto-driven goals with the salto goal from very far distance by Zlatan Ibrahimovic when his nation, Sweden takes England is the one I remember the most. It’s one of the best goals ever. The most difficult one a footballer can make. For me, watching football games is like watching art performances. The way each footballer creates touches, passings, free kicks, or penalty kicks, especially Panenka kicks, are all artistic.

Intelligence

Again, it’s Andrea Pirlo who amazes me at this point. His passing accuracy, his brilliance in attack mapping shows me that in order to be a great footballer you need brain as much as you need physical strength. And at this point, too, I salute to all playmakers, such as Zinedine Zidane, though I think Pirlo is the best of all (subjectivity may apply).

You can’t never ever forget coaches. Yes, coaches are the core for this point and I can’t say much because I still learn how to understand each attack or defense system; what it means as, for example, defending is the best attack; total football; and other systems. Best coaches are not only smart in translating his tactic into positive outcome but also the ones who can make their players give their best in each of the game.

All I can say here is that my most favorite coach ever is Marcello Lippi, Juve’s best second coach and the last coach that leads Italy winning its 2006 World Cup. He is so damn outstanding; he is not only smart but also is a great motivator for being able to turn the ‘calciopoli’-plagued national team into a world champion at that time. What a truly winner you are, Mister Lippi!

Teamwork

Eleven players with different characteristics, various abilities and mixed experiences all come together as one team. They set aside their egos, their willingness to be the only best within one team for the sake of the victory. How they can translate coaches’ strategies into goals then eventually win the games are mind-blowing. This can be way more incredible if it is a group of ordinary, cheap players who conquer star-studded team. In this instance, I salute to Diego Simeone who lifts the La Liga trophy for the 2013/2014 season with his team Atletico Madrid, beating super expensive teams, Real Madrid and Barcelona. Diego is one of the best coaches in the current football world. I adore him but still, he is well below Lippi.

Friendship

I always feel touched whenever I watch footballers celebrating goals and victories. I learn to look at that attitude as human beings euphoria. The pictures do not only tell their satisfaction of finally winning the games after so many hard trials, say, within 90 minutes or even until penalty kicks. But also, their way of celebration, they closeness through huggings always touch my heart. Eleven players from different nations probably speaking various languages can come into one friendship under one team for one triumph. How beautiful is that!

My most sentimental yet incredible friendship is between the trio of Gianluigi Buffon-Alessandro Del Piero-Andrea Pirlo. They are the 2006 world champions. They play for the same team, Juventus, before Ale leaves the club in 2012. They remain as awesome active players as ever despite their old age. Looking at their pictures when Juve takes on Australian All Stars last August in Sydney, Australia, I am so moved. They don’t only set good examples as footballers but also as friends.

If you are against certain players or coaches and you really hate them you should really think about it. Or reconsider your views. I dislike Zinedine Zidane and David Trezequet but they Ale’s best fellows. I hate Sir Alex Ferguson, former coach of Manchester United, but he is a great fan of Mister Lippi. Conclusion: I still dislike Zidane, Trezequet and Fergie but in lower dossis of hatred. The point is friendship among footballers or coaches, especially when they meet outside the field, is always touchy for they show that they are the same with us when it comes to friendship.

Being my own kind of athlete

Being a sport lover since 1992, a die-hard Juventini since 1997 and a Delperista for 13 years onwards, here’s how I can be my own athlete, my own champion. And I have RECENTLY concluded about this.

No, I don’t have to train several hours per day, racing 100 km/per day to be my own version of winner. All I have to do is trying to get up early during weekends, jogging and doing exercises two or three hours per week. Thanks to sports, I realize that I have to love my body. And I can do this by doing exercises, eating and sleeping well. Jogging while circling Gelora Bung Karno main stadium per week while imagining the faces of the mentioned players, especially Alessandro, has made me a champion.

Being a champion at heart is as important as well. Putting high respect to all people, even to the ones I dislike is the highest lesson learned from my unlikeness to Zidane, Fergie or Mourinho. Another value of life is looking at the inside not from the outside whenever I fail. Just like whenever Juve loses the games, never ever blame external factors, even if they may have their say on the defeat.

The last and the best point that I would like to write here is keep on improving myself. I specifically learn about this from Alessandro who keeps on playing even if he turns 40 years old today. He teaches me to always beatnegative destructive thoughts, keep on raising my life bar and there’s no age limits to do what I love.

How abundant! And this post is way much longer that I initially expected! Thank you Alloh swt for making me loving football for I don’t know how to live without it now. Thank you football. I owe you a lot!

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Grazie Azzuri

 

image source: sportsection.info

Yeah, rite! This kind of expression has become one of my favorites. Oftentimes, I use this word to shortly stop other people from further saying things I dislike. And currently, I say this even more often than ever during Euro Cup 2012. I know this is a democracy era where people can say things as they like, positively or negatively, bombastically, or whatever. In football, this what makes games more colorful. The war of fans. The battle of opinions. The grudge of teams. Anything. A funny caricature depicting certain players or a pun can be look awesome and I know that’s entertaining sometimes. But I’m getting sick of it lately.

I reached my impatient on this when Portugal was beaten by Spain in the semifinal phase of the tournament. I dislike Cristiano Ronaldo but I can’t tolerate the fact that many people mocked him after the lost. Even one big online media in Indonesia highlighted his 50s hair style at the end of the media’s story ahead of the final game with exaggerated language. What a dull article! Even as an opinion, the writer must use neutral words to avoid any hatred from his fans or a person who even dislikes Ronaldo.

The rise of Twitter and Facebook brings more channels for football fans or those who happen to like soccer because of the tournament to say what they like. May be I’m taking too much on what they say but I still find it very ridiculous how one of my friends mocked Italian striker Mario Balotelli due to his poor performance then praise him for just another wonderful match. I was displeased with his initial performance but I did not humiliate him in an open public discussion and I did not use harsh words.

And I hate football commentators now. Not all of them are wrong but I just hate they sometimes can not set aside their subjectivity while commenting on games. I now blacklist a commentator who once said Italy has only mediocre defending players. Hours after that, Italy won against England. I am a huge fan of Juventus and can’t accept his statement due to the fact that those defending players have been successfully safeguarding the team from a defeat in 42 games in this season. That’s a amazing record for an Italian football club.

The trend is always gonna be like this. When you win, lots and lots and lots of media publicity will blow your mind away. You will receive dozens or even millions of praises from people around the world because of your achievement. You will only be a very few inches from God’s feet. But when you lose, get ready for massive negative comments that may downgrade your spirit. Take how people humiliate for what you do despite hard efforts you have done before. There will be few comments that will boost your spirit. That exactly what happens to football. Worse thing is it’s so damn hard to avoid bombastic words to “sell” your stories and poor me who still defends that philosophy. In the name of fairness, until now I prefer not to use bombastic words to describe a story even it’s for sports. The reason is simple: I always try to avoid any subjectivity as long as I can in news.

With Italy’s defeat in the final, all I’m going to do is trying to close my eyes from news about Euro Cup 2012. I am expecting global media will highlight how disappointing Italy was and how great Spain was. Bla and bla and bla. You name it. And yes. I am really sad with such anti climax performance from my most favorite team ever. Never thought they would surrender 0-4 beside the fact that Spain was playing very well.

May be this reason is gonna be ridiculous but the time between semifinal and final game is too close. Italy only had two days full to get some rest after undergoing a match against Germany. But yeah, I admit Italy played poorly and Spain possessed more balls during the game. What I’m trying to cope right now is the big score. That sucks! But let gets this all passed. That’s why I avoid any news related to football and discuss the game with friends, if possible. Shut and shut them all. What weighing down on my heart sometimes not about the defeat itself but more on how people, especially those with bitter comments, react. Why don’t say something more neutral when their favorite teams beat others? I have been a loyal fan of Juventus and Italy and still try to put myself in other fans’ shoes thus I attempt not to comment coarsely (despite the fact that I am a quite silent person on this).

Anyway… despite the bad final result, I am still proud of the “Gli Azzuri”. Despite current domestic football scandal, I never thought they would make it to the final round. I was in the edge of emotion when they almost did not even pass through the qualifying phase of Group C. They are still the best ever. I am still very fortunate to have seen seven of Juventus players playing for the team: Gianluigi Buffon, Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio, and Emanuele Giacherini. Having watching them the whole month, waking up in the middle of the night, and arriving late at office was such a good experience to remember. Result is the best of all, for some people, but for me it is the journey that matters most. I did really enjoy what the team performed in the competition. It’s like a reborn Italy from devastating campaign at the 2012 World Cup to a good blend of senior and young players in the 2012 Euro Cup. Under the leadership of Cesare Prandelli, Italy shows more attacks while maintaining a good defense (except for the final game). All in all, I like today’s Italy, more attractive and more entertaining.

While for Spain, congratulations. At first, I thought I would hate the team and expect any teams would be able to break its winning record. But they were better than Italy. And about the new history they made.. hmmm.. don’t worry. Someday, they’re going to be a new country that will break the record as I believe nothing is impossible in sport. Grazie Prandelli, I hope you remain with the team to snatch the 2014 World Cup. And thank you Italy for all indescribable emotions during the whole month; joy, disappointment, pride, sadness. Such a very pleasant moment to spend June as most colorful month of all this year. Grazie: Gianluigi Buffon, Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio, Andrea Barzagli, Giogio Chiellini, Emmanuele Giacherini, Antonio Di Natale, Antonio Cassano, Mario Balotelli, Leonardo Bonucci, Cristiano Ronaldo, Daniele De Rossi, Thiago Motta, Salvatore Sirigu, Morgan De Sanctis, Christian Maggio, Angelo Ogbonna, Federico Balzaretti, Ignazio Abate, Riccardo Montolivo, Alessandro Diamanti, Antonio Nocerino, Fabio Borini, and Sebastian Giovinc0.

image source: forzaitalianfootball.com

I’ll see you again the King!

“A true gentleman never leaves his lady”, Ale says

Sometimes the best way to wake you up from a sadness is encountering a new problem. Like it or not, you have to switch your focus on the matter because it is more important and takes more attention and energy. Such thing happened to me on 21 May 2012.

For about a week I was so devastated on the news that Ale Del Piero is leaving Juventus. I never thought that I could be that unhappy. But a great, deep hole was inside my heart that I was finding it very hard to cope with the reality. Worse, I thought I would miss his last performance with Juventus when the black-and-white squad took on Napoli on the peak match of Coppa Italy or the Italian Cup for the 2011/2012 season.

I didn’t want to miss the chance, the last priceless opportunity to watch him on the screen thus I forced myself to get my television repaired. It had been years that the television was broken and I did not have any intentions to get it fixed because I don’t like watching television given poor programs from local stations. But this Ale factor encouraged me to do that. And so I did. But when it functions well, I learned news that local station Indosiar wouldn’t broadcast the event as it did not have an official license to do that. TelkomVision, a pay TV, would instead broadcast the event, which, unfortunately, I am not one of its subscribers.

The crowd before the game

At first, I intended to start subscribing the channel but my office mate told me this might take some days. So, one thing came across in my mind: joining a gathering with Juventini and Juvedonna to watch the match in Vidi Futsal in Pancoran, South Jakarta. I followed Juventini Indonesia on Twitter and later in Facebook so I sent text messages to some people who are in charge as its spokespersons. Since they replied well, initially I had no doubts of doing that. I would do anything for Ale.

But as days went by, I was worrying about many things. First, I had to come to the place almost in the middle of the night. TelkomVision would broadcast the match at 1:45 a.m, and I had to secure a nice spot thus I had to come earlier as there would be hundreds or even thousands of Juventus supporters, who were present at the venue. What means of transportation should I take? That was another problem. I initially considered to take Transjakarta bus but I did not want to leave my boarding room too early to catch the bus. Besides, I was doubtful the bus was still operational should I have been at the bus shelter at 11 p.m. So, I took a taxi instead. This departure thing gave much thoughts in my head since I was afraid something bad would occur to me if I took a taxi. I read too much stories on rape and such thing and was worried that would happen to me. But Alhamdulilah (thanks God) I arrived safely and quickly. No traffic congestion and the taxi driver was kind and spoke so little.

all about Juve

Second, which was way more essential was that I was very afraid of emotionally getting lost since I went there on my own. Going alone for a soccer game in a sea of male spectators sounded so horrible for me. I kept on thinking that I had been out of my mind at that moment. But once I came across to such thing, I reminded myself on some motivation thoughts which say sometimes I have to do some crazy things to be happy. Thus, I set aside those negative opinions. I kept on saying to myself, “ this would be for Ale, how precious would that be?”.

the magical number 10

So, I came in and felt okay. To get myself busy I chatted with my dear friend Ovi Harum Wulan. So thankful she slept so late that night so I had reasons not to be so lost. I also brought a movie magazine to shield my attention away from hundreds of male eyes probably wondering what the hell was I doing at the place. Hahaha.

The clock was ticking and I and other supporters were moving from the sidelines of the futsal field to the center of the field. The match organizer was hanging a big screen and some pictures of Ale and other players of Juventus. I was already feeling so proud to be in the place. Finally, I joined with those who love the football club so much as I do or even more.

the football challenge

And surprisingly, the organizer and spectators were very welcome and did not bother much about my presence. I saluted the organizer, who did not allow any spectators to smoke in the field. Those who wanted to smoke must move to the sideline of the field.

For some minutes, the organizer played some videos of Ale Del Piero, on his goals, celebrations. All of my efforts was paid off. We sang, yelled, applauded the Captain even long before the game started. That was beyond my expectations. So memorable and very amazing start-up.

juve storia di un grande amore

To gain enthusiasm, the organizer drew some quizzes to win original jersey of Juventus. I was unlucky at that night. But that was okay. A lot of gifts were given to visitors. Even though most of us might not know each other well, we shared so much joy by singing the club anthem and memory song for the beloved King. What a night!

The most memorable and awesome part was that when we shouted to the Juventus players. For example, when one of the event organizer said “ Number 21.. Andrea..” We replied with his last name “Pirlo!!!”. And you can guess that the best part came when the organizer said “Alessandro” then we replied with “Del Pierooooo!!!” all together in such a very loud voice. Wish I could do that in the Juventus Stadium.

It felt so magical when I eventually saw him entering the football field of the Olimpico Stadium, Rome. We clasped our hands and called his name for the last time that morning. Unexpectedly, Juventus played below their performance that night. Napoli, on the other hand, performed impressively with a lot of attacks. And I was disappointed with the fact that Marco Storari replaced Gianluigi Buffon that morning. Play maker Pirlo could not do much as Napoli players kept watchful eyes on his movement. Ale did not dominate ball possession during the match but his contribution showed such a high class. He frequently passed the ball to other strikers or dribbled the ball on his own to attack the opponent. The dead ball specialist had some chances to score from free kicks but produced no results.

the match

Overall, I got what I wanted that morning. A satisfying performance from Ale Del Piero through minor ball possession. Simone Pepe replaced him after one hour when Juventus was one goal away from Napoli. Probably, that what made Ale looked serious and flat to have finished his last show ever with the Old Lady. This was in contrast with his emotional and grateful look when Bianconneri won against Atlanta a week before the match. The fact that Juventus lost one goal when he went outside the field then later surrendered 2-0 to Napoli forced me to move one and start thinking on how fragile Juventus could be. Meanwhile, all Juventini miraculously kept on singing and supporting Juventus even though they knew our beloved team lost. They are very supportive. I love to be part of them.

unclear picture from the match

After 42 undefeated games, the new Italian soccer league champion lost in a such shameful way. So many things need to be done. So much emotions need to be involved for next year. Competing in the Champions League will be a hardest task of all. The squad has to be well-prepared. So, that’s the new challenge that put my sadness away then turned it all to be a duty to always keep on supporting Juventus no matter what will happen.

I did not cry or felt gloomy because of Ale. Instead, I was in a high spirit to open a new chapter of my relationship with Juventus. Next season will be the test of my love because Ale will not be there. And I believe I can adapt very quickly with new faces, like Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, or Claudio Marchisio.

And that doesn’t mean I will forget Ale. I will support and watch him in any leagues he will be on in possible ways I can manage. Thank you very much for Juventini Indonesia for the incredible experience. That was the first and more exciting ones will come up. Now I know where and how should I do if I need motivations to support Juve, especially when I have to stay up till dawn. LOL. Last but not least, forza Juventus, I’ll be your faithful fan as always. And I’ll see you again King Ale! You know you will always have my best support!

the singing goes on

A is for Ale

image source: olahraga.kompasiana.com
The Invincible Club, The Undefeated Captain Ale
It isn’t love at the first sight. Or at the first goal. The first Juventus player, or world footballer, who initially steals my heart away is not Alessandro “Ale” Del Piero but his former duet Filippo “Super Pippo” Inzaghi. Two of my best friends confess their admiration for Ale but not me. My heart still sticks with Pippo as he scores more goals than Ale does during Lega Calcio Serie A seasons in the middle of 1990s.
I was at the junior high school at that time. My interest in football came unexpectedly when my father brought me home Bola tabloid featuring Zinedine Zidane on its cover. It called Zidane as a “crazy”player for extending his contract with Juventus for some years. Juventus, the first football club that I firstly heard and drew curious thoughts in my head. Later on, I turned on local television station RCTI and watched a football game. Italian league with Juventus or Juve as the team. Once and for all. The first soccer competition and the team that have led me to be such a faithful fan until now.
Not a few weeks did I miss watching Juventus’s performance. The 1990s was a glorious era for Juve and for me. I started to recognize their faces; goalkeeper Angelo Peruzzi; defendants Paolo Monterro, Ciro Ferrara, Antonio Conte, Alessandro Birindelli, Gianluca Pessoto; middle players Didier Deschamps, Angelo Di Livio, Alessio Tacchinardi, Nicola Amoruso, Zinedine Zidane; and of course the deadly duet of Ale and Pippo. Under the cool hands of Marcello Lippi, what could be better than Juventus?
image source: sport.detik.com
Pippo (left) and Ale (right)
I began learning on the effectiveness of 4-3-1-2 pattern, such an efficient style made by Mr. Lippi as Zidane of Zizou as the playmaker behind the duet of Ale-Pippo. Watching them almost every week felt like a magic. I was so extremely happy when they won but completely stressful when they or lost. Thankfully, my classmates both in junior or senior high school loved watching football games. Female or male students kept talking about matches ahead of Monday morning’s ceremony. That was one of the most awesome experiences during my heyday.
Week by week, I was nurturing my admiration toward Ale. I found it a bit surprising how he quickly changed his position in each game. Until now, he is well-known for free kicks. When his team is under attack, he goes down to help his mates in defending Juve. I rarely see him receiving yellow or red cards given his calm temperament. And as a captain, he poses a good example for his fellows.
Such kind of qualities later develop him as my truly inspiration. After a season or two, I agree with my friends’ testimonies who say Ale is better than Pippo. Juventus switches lots of players in some seasons but my love towards Ale is always the same. As long as Juve has Ale, I have no serious objections or I can deal with any kinds of changes Juve wants to do. Entering 2000, some of my favorite players waved goodbyes for Juventini. I was  so sad when Zizou left Juve for Real Madrid. Then, Pippo went for AC Milan.
image source: wildstat.com
Juventus squad in 1998/1999 season
I hated to admit the facts that Juve later recruited the players I disliked, like Pavel Nedved and David Trezequet. But hey! Ale was still there. As long as he could get along with those new faces, I later found it easy to welcome them with all my heart.
So, Ale had a new tandem; Trezequet or Trezegol, the Frenchman that was so famous at the beginning of 2000 for his contribution for French team as the champion of the 2002 World Cup. Marcello Lippi also left Juve and I had to welcome Carlo Ancelotti. So many changes, so many new things but Ale remains loyal.
image source: sportivomanontroppo.wordpress.com
The Brilliant Marcello Lippi
And after I graduated from senior high school, I seldom watch football games. I had no TV and when I returned home each week, I was too tired and sleepy to watch them. Besides, I had no passions when I knew the news that Ale got very serious injury that forced him to skip the entire season of 1999/2000. Even after he recovered, he rarely appeared and showed bad performance. Critics said he lost his charm in the fields. It took some seasons for him to really recover and perform well but everything did not come that easy for him to win the heart of Fabio Capello, the new coach, whom I disliked as well given his harsh character. Capello did not like veteran players, so Ale mostly sat in the bench during games. Too often I watch Juve and Ale, I barely remember which moment that I love most from them. They win a lot of trophies, too, except the Champions League. When Ale wins the Cup, I had yet to like football.
In between not-so-good seasons, I had very memorable, the best moment of Ale with the Azzuri team. I had no television at the time but I managed not to skip any single match by the Italian team. I even stayed one night at my best friend’s house just to watch the game featuring Italy at the 2006 World Cup.
It remains fresh in my mind how Ale scored one very important goal that brought Italy to have crushed Germany in the semifinal. Ale was actually not the first choice by Lippi. But yeah. His goal marked such a golden opportunity for his team and he made his best during the match.
And eventually, my most favorite moment with him was when he contributed one goal during penalty kick when Italy faced France in the final. I know it was just a penalty that served as a piece of cake for professional footballer. But when it comes to kick a penalty in such tensed and depressed moment, only those with good and calm mental, who will be able to do that. And Ale just did that. Smoothly.
image source: english.people.com.cn
The 2006 World Champion
After 2006, things got worse for him and Juve as it was downgraded to Serie B following calciopoli scandal. Some of his mates, like Gianluca Zambrotta and Fabio Cannavaro, opted to leave the squad but Ale was with the Old Lady, as always.
When I moved to work in Jakarta, I stopped watching Serie A for some reasons. First, I did not have any televisions and had been too tired to watch them if I had one. Second, as far as I remember, no local television station broadcasted Serie A for one or some seasons. Even until the 2011/2012 season, I failed to watch Juve or Ale live because of those similar excuses. Yeah, poor me. Sometimes I regret that and still do. To cheer me up, I tell myself that those years in absence is equal with years of dedication towards him and Juve during teenage period.
image source: theacmilanblog.com
Serie B Champion
And now, I am still dealing with this sad ending of Ale in Juve. I am still cursing Andrea Agnelli for not renewing his contract given his amazing 19-year of dedication for La Vecchia Signora. It’s hard to imagine Juve without Ale next season, especially when it battles in the Champions League. For years, I feel fine with whomever players coming up in the team as long as Ale is still there. I still have high hopes to watch him even as a substitute player. But now… I will have to watch Juve without his face in next seasons onwards. And I have to try to bury my expectation to see his face leaving his bench to substitute other players.
image source: ngiik-ngeek.blogspot.com
Juve in 2011/2012 season
Thank you very much Ale. May be this sound trivial for a lot of people but I don’t care. I, like millions of your loyal fans, have endless words to describe how you mean a lot to us. It has been such a great pleasure to enjoy your performance, read your simple life, humble personality, and down-to-earth character.
I really wish he will join Premier League so that I can watch him again as often as possible since I have my television repaired. Or any league he will be on, my support will never cease. I hope he doesn’t retire now as he is not finished. He still can score goals and play better each day. Best of luck Ale!!! I love you…
image source: signora1897.com
Il Pinturicchio Ale