22 May '96: Time has stopped

By dexpartacus | dexpartacus | 10 Sep 2019


Image by @mikey

Here it is, immortalized in this photo:

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I was a kid, 15 years old. My good father left me a sporting passion for two colors: black and white. Since that day I have never tried again the same emotions as fan, even if "my Juventus" has reached so many victories, but never again in Europe, with an average of a Champions League final played about every 5 years, is going to history like the team with more finals lost than all, certainly a not enviable record.

But let's go back to that fantastic evening of the Champions League final 1995/96 in Rome - Ajax vs Juventus: on the 13 minute of the game, one of my idols, Fabrizio Ravanelli, manages to take advantage from a mistake by the Dutch defense and hit the ball with his calf, managing to score a goal from an impossible position and scoring the first goal of the match for Juventus:

From the moment he hit the ball until he reached the door it took an eternity, a defender also arrives to kick the ball away but it is too late, has already crossed the line and is a goal! Luckily the referee saw it enter, there was no line technology goal then. Unfortunately Jari Litmanen manages to draw after a little bit naive push clear of Peruzzi on a free kick, how many curses have flown with my friends and my father!

The game turned out to be endless, we get to penalties, all perfect for Juventus, despite Edwin Van Der Saar being able to hit the right side every time, but nothing to do for him. Peruzzi was SUPER, 2 safe on 4 penalties, AMAZING!! The scenes that I remember most are that of Vialli's face who does not want to watch the last penalty that Jugovic, with a smart smile just before kicking, makes my father understand that he would have put that heavy ball inside, and so it was:

Vialli bursts into tears hugging Ferrara, Di Livio is in his underwear... and the rest is history. Now I can't wait for my team to get back up that damn Cup and to be able to relive similar emotions, even if unfortunately they will never be the same because unfortunately my father is no more with me, but he will be always in my heart.

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This was my Greatest Day as a Sports Fan (one of five topics) for @mikey's contest on Scorum Sports Freewrite group!

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