This is what I will write: some thoughts, some stories, some of myself. The way I see the way of life. It is just me, my views, my opinions, my way of saying, my way of writing. My spirit, my fire, my love and the freedom of being myself.

Amen for Spain

Monday, June 30, 2008

This is my last post for the EURO 2008.

All of my favorite teams didn't make it to win EURO 2008 cup.
Maybe I haven't prayed Ganesh, the elephant Hindu god, enough! He is supposed to destroy all the obstacles and prepare the ground for success.
Maybe there isn't a football god!
Or maybe he was so busy hearing all the prayers of the Spanish people and didn't have the time to listen to my little wish. After all I gave him a lot of choices: Azzurri, Oranje, the Germans.

However my heart went out to "die deutschen Jungs" last night and felt sorry they lost against the Spanish fury. I wish a good celebration to the winner of the Euro 2008 cup.

See you again on this topic in 2010 for the World cup.

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posted by Milena at 4:03 AM 1 comments

Goodbye Azzurri - Goodbye Oranje

Monday, June 23, 2008

Satellite Sport Cafe Leidseplein Amsterdam

It is all in the game!

It was not supposed to happen. This Euro 2008 is going in a very surprising direction but it shows great matches and unexpected heroes.
My little dream of a semifinal Italy and Holland is gone.
Three evening in a row where my favorite team doesn't make it through. The worst was Oranje loosing to the Russian. The sadness and pain in Driek eyes were more significant then the out loud hysterical screams of Croatian Marina, a friend of mine, watching the Croatia-Turkey game in our house.

Driek could hardly sleep. Oranje made every Holland fans dream again of the playful and skillful tactics of long ago coming to life again. Somehow against the young Russian team they were disoriented. Anyway thank you Marco van Basten. We enjoyed the dream so long as it lasted.
I would have loved Holland in final. Believe me!
After all I live in Amsterdam and my adopted country is the best for parties. And the stories of '88 victory have been ringing in my ears. House boat sinking in the canals because of the mass euphoria and celebrations. Queensday in comparison would have been just a pale orange.

The lost of the Azzurri in the penalty was to me not so devastating. We won already once in world cup 2006, and that is a lot for a team doomed to fail in penalty.
So goodbye Azzurri. I still am your true supporter. I am only sorry Tony didn't bring it to conclusion. Also thank you Roberto Donadoni, whatever everybody is bitching about you, you kept the game up and running. You and the Azzurri gave everything. Penalty just sucks!

Bob disappointment and hurt was almost similar to Driek's for the Oranje. He hid himself behind is cellular like a teenager sending sms.
Buffon is one of his Juventus hero.
What to say: penalty are just a mixture in a witch pot, where some strategy, a lot of psychology, luck and divine intervention are playing a major role.
At least the Italians didn't shoot way outside the goal like poor Croatian. That was awful!

But really the third evening in a raw going into extension time. I am exhausted and glad there are couple of rest days.
At this point my next favorite winner are the Germans, die deutschen Buben. After all I lived 6 years in Munich. In the last EURO 2004 I celebrated all night long with Greek friends the victory of their team in Leopold Strasse.

This next picture was shot after Italy won over favorite Germany in World cup 2006, again in Leidseplein. Some sweet but sad German supporters decided to pose with me.

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posted by Milena at 12:38 AM 0 comments

Forza Azzurri!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

From Amsterdam with love.


It just occurred to me when I was decorating the cake that the fruits chosen were like the three-color of the Italian flag.
So I decided, what a heck, I will dedicate this delicious cake to my Azzurri as a way to say:
Forza Azzurri, siete sempre i bellissimi campioni del mondo.

Then I've realized that in order to get to the final they first have to beat the Oranje in the semifinal, assuming both Holland and Italy goes through respectively against Russia and Spain.

In this EURO 2008 this is my wish, to see both teams playing once more against each other, or should I say, with each other.
Both Marco van Basten and Roberto Donadoni what a luxury for my eyes.

So I dedicate the next pix to both teams. With the blessing of my hand may the best win!!!!

Forza Azzurri / Hup Hup Holland


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posted by Milena at 2:46 AM 0 comments

Italia-France 2-0 Holland-Romania 2-0

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The chronicle of one evening in Leidseplein Satellite Sport Cafe Amsterdam.

What an evening!

Bob is sitting on my left with his Italian 3 stars t-shirt (the new one with 4 stars still dirty at home), me and Driek take place in the middle, on those high bar stools, and Arjen and Edward on our right. Apart from Driek, we are all dressed in white and blue to support our Azzurri. Driek is the only one in our group with the Oranje t-shirt although he wants to see Italia.
I am the only Italian and my Dutch friends are happy to see me and my husband after 2 years, since we won the World cup.
That is how we met, in the Sport Cafe in Leidseplein; immediately a strong bond of Italia supporters was created between each other. As I said Bob is a cute Dutch bachelor of 50 something that looks forever young and since he was 15 is a supporter of Juventus. Arjen and Edward are younger then Bob and eternally faithful to Roma, although they are born Dutch. When they met for the first time, years ago, Bob and Edward had an argument, a classic clash between Roma and Juventus. Now they meet together often to watch games, especially when a Championship is on.



The pub is full but thanks God we have the bar counter in front of us and something like 8 television screen to choose what to watch. Alternately they are showing Holland-Romania and Italia-France
It is getting closer to the beginning whistle of both matches. Bob is explaining me with his inexhaustible enthusiasm what would happen if Holland-Romania ends even and Italy-France draw too. After an extensive explanation of this complicated points system, he hands me over the Gazzetta dello Sport, yes because he buys it everyday, where I can read what he just said to me. And my ear can rest. The volume in the room is at disturbing levels.
This is the closest I will ever get to be in a stadium.
The place is getting fuller, people are finishing their food and the waiters are folding the tables so that they can place more chairs and more people can cram in. Some French supporters are walking in, a moment later a bunch of noisy Italians who manage to find a place just behind us.
We are lucky on our high bar stools! On the wall behind us also many screens so people are looking in all directions. Oranje color is everywhere. You can spot the tourists, colorless, anonymous tourists.
The matches start and my eyes move at the beginning from one screen showing Orange to the other with the Azzurri, dressed in white t-shirts.

And there it goes, the noise is increasingly high, the tension is thick, the excitement and the movement below my feet make me wonder if the upper floor of the Sport cafe' will handle the pounding and the yelling of everyone. Images of the upper floor crashing over the ground level with body parts scattered all over and blood spots on our t-shirts are insidiously showing up in my mind. Thinking of death in a moment of fun. What kind of pessimistic am I?

And there it goes the first trial of the many that will come later from Toni. Why everyone is having so many expectation on him? The Italians behind me are commenting every step of the match. I dislike that. I want to see football and not hear someone opinion of what Toni did or didn't do, what Gattuso or the other etc. etc. I filter their voices out. It is easy, I just let the noise in the background wash them out.
Toni 's look is extremely sad as if he cannot believe he keeps missing the goal. What a terrible destiny so far in the Euro 08 Championship for the top scorer of Europe this year, and ever so loved by the Bayern M√ľnchen fans. Don't worry Toni, you'll score in the next match. Wherever it may be.

During the break, as we are happy for our score, Bob tells me that last Friday when Italia evened out against Romania, he went home full of football emotions and an hour later he got a phone call with the sad news that one of his school friends died suddenly of a brain stroke.

Death arrives in the most unexpected times. And there it goes all the fun for football. Watching a ball for 2 hours, cheering like a child for the score of your team, experiencing the joy and enthusiasm of the flickering moment and then waking up in a moment to the reality of mortality.
Death to me always brings life experience in prospective and helps me to see how all is so very relative.
Something hit me and I was reminded of my childhood friends already gone and me, still here, after my almost encounter with death, to tell their story.

The referee is whistling for the beginning of the second half and all our eyes are fixed on the ball, mine also on the face of my beautiful Azzurri. Did you ever think that football is a great chance for a woman to see 22 nice men running around in underwear? And if 11 of them are Italians all the better. That's Lorena's point of view, and I totally agree with her for once. But then I shrink back when they hurt themselves, like poor Ribery yesterday who suffered a major injury - as I watched it I immediately knew, it was serious and I cringed.
Italia first scores on a penalty, then Oranje against Romania then again Italia then again Holland. The floor is shaking... images of catastrophe movies come to my mind. I have to remember to breathe, but the air is thick of cigarette smoke. Okay, I breath.

The joy of Oranje and Italia is countered by a group of Romanian behind us. Especially the screech of one female supporter is chilling. I turn around and see her, angry and making the F....word sign at the screen. I am sorry for them, it would be nice if everybody could win, but then where is the fun of... winning?

And what if... life is like a football field where everybody plays his cards, you hit, you fall, you score, you stand up again, you are punished, you are rewarded, you are expelled, you win, you loose, you hurt, you celebrate,... and then at the end the final journey is the same for all of us.
We don't know where we are going but we all are going... there!

My Dutch-born Italia supporter friends gave me a warm hug and had me promise that we will return for the Sunday match with/against Spain.
See you then Azzurri.

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posted by Milena at 4:24 AM 0 comments

Italy- Holland 0-3

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Let me continue on Italy-Holland 0-3 EURO 2008. I won't express football technical judgments, just my perceptions on the effects that this game had on many people on both sides.
I read the Italian online news yesterday and the Dutch newspapers in Amsterdam and I am wondering why people has to be always so black and white.

The Italian want to change the ct-commissario tecnico-(as Italians and only the Italians call the coach) and make an appeal to Lippi. I like to remind all of you who think that way that Lippi was criticized as much, if not more, during the beginning of the world cup 2006.
What's wrong with Roberto Donadoni?
Don't touch him.
He is in charge! He decides who goes in the field and who not. It is very childish and not sportive to blame him for the results. Also there is no need to apologize to the Italians, dear Buffon because you miss catching 3 goals. Shit always happens. Still you are a great keeper.

It is only the beginning of EURO 08 and in my modest opinion there have been some flaws here and there during the game, but the Azzurri are still and will always be the Azzurri.
Some English newspaper called the Italian arrogant and the Dutch humble. Maybe the English are jealous because they couldn't make it to the EURO 2008, but to me in the end is the Italian football style that won that game. After all Marco van Basten knows the in and out of the Italian football and the way the Oranje played their game it was almost straight from an Italian football manual.

Now about the Oranjes. I like to remind the duchies how many times in these last two years you wanted to dismiss Marco Van Basten because he was not bringing in results. You have been judging, putting him down and had a little trust in his capabilities.
Now please shut up!
I can quote many dutch friends with a grudge against Marco v B.
I always defended Van Basten and saw through his aplomb. He showed a great understanding and respect for the Italian team. And I am pleased about the victory of his team. And I have no problem to celebrate the unexpected triumph together with Holland.
Too bad Italy lost.
It was, in every possible way, a great match to watch. Full of emotions, unexpected twist, painful blows, very little injustice and sudden joy. What do you want more from a game? That to me is what makes football worth watching.

This morning my neighbor passed by my window and with a perverse laughter and a sick sense of humor called names the Azzurri and teased me horribly to have displayed the Italian flag. Sorry but from a dutch supporter, I think is too old to be a real supporter, this attitude is sickening.
Come on Oranje you won, it is true! You deserved, it is true! But now don't fly to high, your wings are still very small and you may fall before you could touch the sky. After all we touched the one of Berlin and we Italian are still the World Champion till 2010. So please Oranje enjoy the moment but don't get cynical against the Azzurri.
Who knows we may meet at the end in the final. After all everything can happen in football. Who would have guessed Italy was going to win the world cup 2006?
Only Fiorello!

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posted by Milena at 2:35 AM 2 comments

True love

Monday, June 09, 2008

Now that's true love.


We planned to be with friends in Leidseplein for the big event, but being very tired after a full long weekend with Lorena, decided to enjoyed it from home.

The well deserved kiss for the Oranje that since 30 years didn't defeat the Azzurri.
It was a great play and although in my heart I felt sorry for my Italia I was truly happy for my second homeland. The roaring that lifted in the air of Amsterdam was probably without precedent.
They played good so the Azzurri did, in their Italian way, but this time, I am afraid, not as much as the Oranje.
My father always says the best should win, at the end counts the goal nothing else.

Finally I could see my brave Marco Van Basten jumping up and down in joy and a brief smile on his cute face. I have been waiting since two years for that.
How long do I have to wait for a smile from sweet Roberto Donadoni? I can't help it, Marco and Roberto are to me a pleasure to watch. Even when they loose!

In between and at the end I could only kiss Driek enjoying almost without believing his eyes.

The kiss of true love.

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posted by Milena at 7:32 PM 0 comments