Thursday, May 24, 2007

Fairy Tale No More

The living room was starkly dark and the only light came from the television on which I was gazing intently to. It was 3 a.m. this morning, and everybody in the house were deep sleeping but me. Alone lazying in the couch, and with a can of Baron's at one hand and the TV remote control on the other, I was completely submerged by the spectacle I was experiencing.

The place was Athens Greece's Olympic Stadium. The occasion was the biggest game in football next to the World Cup, the UEFA Champions' League Final. The finalists are Italy's powerhouse AC MILAN and English giant LIVERPOOL. Each team has won the cup 7 and 6 times respectively. It was actually a repeat of the 2005 final between the two sides in which Liverpool won, staging the biggest comeback in the cup's tournament to beat Milan. Naturally, AC was out for blood this time, relishing on the prospect of revenge with their defeat to the English team 2 years ago.

For almost two hours the game has taken me as if i was a part of it. I am a fan of the two sides that clashed, but more weight of my heart goes to Liverpool. They have created so many chances in the first half and dominated the game, but wasted such chances, sending the ball to anywhere but the goal.

Before the struck of half time, as if the Italians has finally summoned the Roman gods to do their bids, Andrea Pirlo's freekick went past the Liverpool wall, and deflected by Fillipo Inzhagi to caught liverpool keeper Jose Reina off-footed and into the back of the net.

The second half was never the same. While Milan grew more confident, The Liverpool lads became more unorganized and paid the price of another goal when Inzhagi poached another goal from a superb pass by the Brazilian playmaker KAKA.

Liverpool did get a goal back through dutchman striker DIRK KUYT, but it was too late by that time. And as the referee's whistle filled the air, Italian celebration erupted while the English are left heartbroken with anguish and despair. The Italians, who first coined the word "Tragedy" in their Roman plays, has unleashed a bitter one to the men from Merseyside.

Not far from the stadium is the area where the ancient Dionysos theatre used to stand. It has hosted all the great plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides but few could still have had such a mixture of joy and misery as this. But unlike the plays and what they did two years ago in Istanbul, no fairy tale ending this time for Liverpool. For the night belongs to Milan.

In a prison cell just opposite the Acropolis, the Greek philosopher Socrates committed suicide when he drank a fatal dose of hemlock. And guessing from every teary- eyed Liverpool supporters present in that stadium, they must have felt like doing just the same.

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