These Are The Champions

Wednesday morning, I wake up earlier than usual, my stomach feels empty but at the same time, when I try to have some breakfast, everything tastes bad. I put some questionable music on while doing my duties. Somehow I feel that hearing those songs will change the outcome of everything, at least I get extra motivated and pumped for that crucial moment that is going to happen in a few hours. It’s a compilation of songs that I’ve heard before any crucial Milan game since I can remember and stuck in my mind for the rest of the day (weather I had them on my playlist or simply heard it on the radio or saw a YouTube video).

It’s a Champions League matchday and I’m clearly feeling it in me. I can’t concentrate on anything else; I go back and forth to the forum, particularly the game thread, then I go to Gazzetta dello Sport to see any updates and just an hour before the game I log on to to see the starting lineup.

My heart is clearly accelerated, I try to replicate the same food, music and clothing I wore during an important CL match that Milan won. I try to keep myself from saying anything that might jinx the game. I know that nothing will truly have an effect on the game but deep down inside I do it cause it’s the only thing I’m capable of doing for Milan at this distance and with no money.

It’s just 15 minutes before the game. I’m biting my nails, anxiety is getting the best of me, I’m officially 100% unproductive and my mind is completely set on Milan and nothing more. I’m not sure what I’ll do when I’m older and with more responsibilities (for the record: night European games start at 12:45 or 1:45 pm here).

Teams enter the pitch. Suddenly my heart beats are slower but somehow deeper. The Champions League anthem starts sounding, the camera rolls over each team. And I see Nesta’s, Gattuso’s, Ambrossini’s, Pirlo’s, Seedorf’s and Inzaghi’s face, and I feel calm. I can trust them; I know they’ll put their all in the game and that they’re gonna fight for the last ball till the last minute.

For Wednesday’s match, it seems that only Nesta will be there in the starting lineup but I trust a newer generation of Milan players to carry on with this tradition. It’s gonna be a complicated game, no doubt about it, we have to turn around a 0-1 score line in our favor and we can count our midfield players available (at least the ones that will realistically play) with just one hand.

If we (yes, “we”, in moments like these, management, coaches, squad, fans are all a unit) go out with a defeated attitude or loser mentality, that’s all we’re gonna get, without a doubt. But if we go out with the conviction that we have to overcome that result, that we will leave everything we have in White Heart Lane, then we’ll have a chance.

I’m not saying we’ll win for sure, there’s no guarantee in that. However, it’s hard to lose a game when your players go out in the same style Inzaghi did right after he was subbed in the return game against Real Madrid last November, fighting and running for each ball, believing in his ability to change the outcome of the game. As a fan, it’s something that will always be appreciated (at the highest level).

Miracles don’t just happen; you have to work hard to achieve them, you can’t expect things to be served on a silver platter. Wednesday night we’ll see the character of our team and of our players and if they do show it, regardless of the result, we will feel proud about them.

My best moments as a Milan fan are those that happen when things seem impossible to achieve, when the team turns things around, whether it is in the course of a season or the course of a game, because you can see how much passion the players put in.

All in all I’m a believer, I believe that this team is capable of big things, and I’ve seen what we’re capable of when everyone leaves their heart on the pitch (best example being the game against Inter, though the second half against Real Madrid is right up there). I believe that we can get that win. FORZA MILAN!