INTER CHIEVO: WEEKEND TRIP
Hello everyone! This weekend, I was in Milan to watch Inter Chievo. Iīm now going to tell you about this trip and some events that has occurred.
The trip down to Milan starts. I spent this entire day on the bus. Yes, we were travelling with bus and I was with Nerazzurri Svedesi, the official supporter club in Sweden. I was going down there with my dad.
Really not much to say about this day, since I didnīt do a damn thing except for watching movies and sleeping.
We arrived in Milan on lunchtime. The first thing we did was to go to Appiano Gentile to watch the players train. After an hour or so for trying to find this place, we finally arrived and to our disappointment, Inter were training at the pitch far away from where we could see them. We could see them slightly, but not up-close and the guards refused to let us in.
Personally I found this awfully disrespectful as they could see about 50 Inter fans wearing Inter scarves and everything, but not train at the pitch where we could follow them. Are these the players who should complain about lack of support? Here we had truly supporters and yet they isolate themselves from them.
So there was nothing more planned this day, so we all went to the Hotel that was located in Niguarda in Milan. A decent hotel, but nothing special. At this time we were all relatively hungry, and me and my dad had always said that we were gonna eat pizza when we visited Italy.
We had three pizzeriaīs near our hotel and we went for one of them where it seemed full. So we went to another one, where we stood there and wondered if they serve any beer, but the owners said it was closed (closed on the freaking day!!!), and the third one was also closed.
That was just it. Here we are in Italy and not one pizzeria we could go to. But alas, after a while the first pizzeria we went to, also had a table available. Ironically not one of the pizzeria staff was originally from Italy, they were Asians. None the less, the pizza tasted reaaaal good, except for the mushrooms. I was also the one who had to order since Iīm the one who knows the most English when it comes to me and my dad, but the waitress didnīt know much English, so I tried my best to say some simple Italian words.
After that we decided to hit the town. Milan, here we come!!!! So we took the railway to the centro where we were going to visit some bars. The intentions was of course not to get drunk, just have a few beers. Ironically again- the first pub we go to is a Scottish pub. Were we going to visit Milan or not?
Then it happens. When we want to return to Niguarda. The problem was that we had no idea of what the area was called (Niguarda) nor the hotelīs name. Although, I knew I would know the name of the area if I could see it somewhere. I knew it started with an N.
So now we were just going around the city looking for a railway to jump onto. The problem was that none of the railways we saw, went to our hotel. After a while we were so lost in the city that we didnīt even find any railways. Panic was starting to arrive, as a couple of hours started to come closer of trying to find a way home.
Finally we saw an empty optician store and we decided to go in there and ask for help. Luckily, he spoke very good English so I could communicate with him fluently. He couldnīt figure out which area we were searching for either, but he showed us the way where the green railways pass through, even though me and my dad had been 100% certain that the railway we were on, was blue. So we had been walking around the city looking for a blue train. No wonder we didnīt find one, because they donīt exists.
So finally we saw another of those railway signs, and I looked at it and found Niguarda and what a relief! I assure you that we were certain we had to live on the street or something. It seemed hopeless for one time there.
We got back to Niguarda, and we decided to go to the Asian pizzeria and grab a beer. And no, none of us was any drunk while we were running around the city. We simply got lost.
Finally, we were going to experience some real actions. The plans for this day was first a tour at San Siro and after that the Primavera game Inter Cagliari. Let me first say that the Primavera match was postponed to Sunday, so that went that idea.
But we arrived for the first time in my entire life at San Siro. What an incredible emotion!!! It was as big as I had imagined too, because I really had imagined a humongous stadium. This was the time where I started to regret not bringing a camera. It would have been awesome after all, even though I wanted to experience every second of this trip with only my eyes and not through a camera.
After a while the tour-guide came out and the tour was starting. The first thing you see when walking into the stadium is the actual stadium itself. I was actually starting to get shaky, because it was a moment that is unexplainable.
We sat down and the guide told us some brief history about the stadium itself. We received five minutes to wander where we wanted on the first section, and of course, I just had to try the seats that Facchetti and the boys has. Itīs as far from the Curva Nord as possible. After that, one of the highlights of this tour was gonna take place. We were going to visit the changing-room! The guide had previously said that this changing-room had not been changed since 1946 due to the team wanting to keep the tradition. It was no exaggeration whatsoever, when we entered the changing room. It has brown walls and it isnīt modern at all. I actually found this shocking. What was more shocking is that the toilets are non-existant. They pee on the floor. A big mirror it was there none the less.
So there were no numbers or names on any of the places and it looked like a real poor changing-room.
The actual tour was then over, and we could do what we wanted. All of us went to the San Siro museum where we could see trophies and everything. The first thing I said was: I give a damn about the Milan sections!
So I went only to the Inter sections, and darn, I am envious of those who has experienced the old days with all the glory.
The museum was really something.
After that, we went to the San Siro Store. Of course, I felt like a kid in a candy store. I wanted to buy everything, but the finances didnīt allow me to, of course. What I had said from the beginning was to not buy a jersey from this season, and I kept this promise. Even if I was really tempted to buy the white jersey.
What I bought for myself was shorts and a mug. So it wasnīt much at all, but I really didnīt see the need to buy anything else. Tracksuits and all that costs way too much.
What I noticed in the store was that the Inter section dominated the Milan one. There are more souvenirs for Inter than Milan.
After feeling satisfied with my merchandise, we were off to Appiano Gentile again. I should mention that earlier that day, five people from the supporter club was selected to go to Appiano and visit Helveg, Facchetti and Zanetti, and also see the training more closely. Youīll actually find pictures of this at Inter.it.
So the rest of us who werenīt selected, decided to go there as a substitute for the postponed Primavera game.
We arrived at Appiano and of course, they were training at the distant pitch again! I was starting to become really frustrated by this, and I find it really sad that the players donīt try and be close with the fans. We were perhaps 100 people on the stands at that time.
What I personally noticed from a far distance, was how light the training were. There were basically no serious play whatsoever, even though they played a small training match. Each shot that was made was from far distance and they didnīt even try and play the ball around. Negative point came up as we could all see from a far distance how frustrated Adriano are. He slammed the ball into a commercial stuff at the side of the pitch, and we also got inside-info from one of those who saw the training more closely, that Adriano donīt seem too happy at Inter. He hasnīt accustomed himself with his teammates. This really sucks to hear- and to see, because I saw it as well. Also, I was told that Vieri and Recoba went to the pitch and started to blast free-kicks without even being warmed up. Itīs sadly evident that our players are allowed to do what they want.
We decided to stick around during the entire training, and thank God for that! After the training, players started to leave Appiano and we caught them in their cars and got autographs. The first one to show up was Farinos. Sadly, I didnīt get his autograph, but the rest of the players that came out (the players called up for the game was there for a very long time, so we never saw them), I received autographs from. Here they are:
I didnīt spoke with anyone of them personally, except for saying Grazie, but others did, and Cordoba was definitely the most sympathetic person of them all. He spoke with the rest of us, and asked where they were from and etc.
Except for Helveg, these players are favourites of mine too, so that was especially great. Too bad that Javier Zanetti didnīt show up.
Marco Materazzi also used my pen to write several autographs. If I can feel proud over such a trivial thing, that is.
Now we were all extremely hungry after not eating since a ludicrous breakfast at the hotel, so we went back to Milano (Appiano Gentile is a district outside Milano) and me and my dad went to another pizzeria and now it was purely a traditional Italian pizza. Itīs quite funny, because when we entered the pizzeria, the waiter didnīt know any English, so he told one of the bakers to take our orders. The pizza was OUTSTANDING!!!
Then we went to a sportsbar where we drank some more beer and watched Empoli Lecce. Sadly a very boring game, but the service at this bar was really good. Chips for free!
The big day had arrived. Inter Chievo here we come!!! It had rained during the night, so Iīd be damned if we would have a terrible weather just in time for the game.
We arrived to San Siro at about 13:00 and we had 40 minutes to go nuts on the souvenirstands outside the stadium. I was drooling all over the place, and decided to buy a flag:
I also wanted to buy a jersey which was fake but only costed 10. My only aim was to buy the white jersey with Cordobaīs name on the back of it. To my surprise it didnīt exists in any of the stands! I found that ridiculous, I thought they would have all players at such stands. But there was only a few selective names.
Then the Nerazzurri Svedesi took a group photo and I must admit that I was getting very impatient, because I wanted to go inside San Siro where we could hear Pazza Inter playing.
So a group of us left and went to search for our places and it was a confusing story. We never really did find the correct places, but when some Italians came and told us we were sitting on the wrong places (his place) we found where the rest were sitting. The San Siro at this point was relatively empty actually.
I had no idea about the lineup, but could see during the warmup which 11 players that were going to play. I figured out our formation and players, and was particularly surprised to find Karagounis there. Remember that I was sitting on the bus when we played Benfica, so I had no idea that he had already started a game.
The game became closer and the tifo that Jon Sköld, the man who had created the tifo, was going to be lifted up. This became the outcome of it when the players entered the pitch:
The Curva Nord was protesting by entering the stadium 15 minutes after the game had started. I honestly had expected more from them, because they didnīt behave in the best possible way, to say the least. What I noticed is that the Inter tifosi are divided at San Siro. The Curva Nord started immediately singing Chievo chants, if I had understood it correctly. The rest of the people at San Siro started to boo at them, and some heavy gesturing as well.
Other actions the Curva Nord did was using the fire hose to shoot at the fans of the below section. Thereīs absolutely no security at San Siro. They also started to throw down those smoke bangals.
Personally I felt ashamed of them. Protest against the team, sure, but donīt let innocent people suffer because of it.
If Iīm going to mention the match, I found Adriano and Lamouchi to be the worst players on the pitch. Such a shame that Adriano was so bad, because I was really looking forward to see him score a goal or two. I am also slightly fond of Lamouchi, so that he plays that bad again and get the fans against him is saddening. However, as long as he donīt perform, I understand why there are so many who dislike him at Inter.
The best player on the pitch was definitely Karagounis. For those who didnīt see the match, I can tell you that this guy was all over the pitch. He won balls, he created something and also had a shot in the bar. He did vanish in the second half when Inter subbed out Cannavaro and put on Brechet and played a 4-4-2 formation with Karagounis on the right flank.
Another player I actually thought fought a lot was Kily. He really do try a lot, and this he deserves credit for.
I was pleased when I heard that Stankovicīs suspension was annulled, but he didnīt impress me whatsoever.
The game was over so fast, and this I didnīt expect. It was over too fast and yet another negative result, and this would be the last thing we would do in Milan too. The result and the way Inter played made this trip a little less brilliant than what it would have been.
Iīm not talking about Curva Nord. Iīm talking about Inter fans in general. Spending almost three days in a bus with 50 Inter fans has totally opened my eyes. The stereotypical Inter fan is supposed to be depressed and etc. There was nothing but laughs and constructive football discussions going on among the fans. Inter fans are definitely not the group of fans who are so angry and depressed. On the contrary, the fans I was with was united and helped each other out. This was the most hardcore Inter fans in Sweden gathered in one bus, and it shows the maturity among Inter fans in Sweden.
I think in general, this trip has turned me into an even bigger supporter of this team, if that is possible. To visit the mighty San Siro and see up-close our players has been a tremendous experience, but next time Iīm going by airplane.