Roberto Baggio - Real Champions Win Our Hearts...
I have one favourite memory of Roberto Baggio - it was in the 1999-2000 season in Champion's League play with Real Madrid playing in San Siro.
I had stayed home to watch it live on ESPN the game and was huddled in front of the set wondering what in hell was lying in wait for Inter after having absorbed a most humiliating 2-0 defeat at the hand of the Madrilenos in the first leg in the Bernabeu.
The score gave no indication of how weakly and timidly Inter played in the game. Sure, Inter was badly hobbled by injuries - no Ronaldo or Baggio and several other important starters were out. But this game was a Bataan Death March, a Waterloo, an Antietam - the Nerazzurri were slaughtered on the pitch, if not totally on the scoreboard.
Very bad memories of that game......
A very shakey Silvestre gave me heart attacks whenever he attempted the offsides trap. And Salvatore Fresi was in the defense (the seemingly forgotten, kinder, more incompetent Toto Fresi, not the one who is impressing with Bologna today.) Ivan "Bam-Bam" Zamorano left almost isolated up front on attack. Aron Winter trying to be a creator! Argh...
Inter barely dented the midfield and, with the exception of a couple of Ivan Zamorano attempts, rarely forced Bodo Ilgner to wake from his gametime nap.
It was humiliating - in over thirty years of being Interista I have seen no game, regardless of score, where Inter played so frightened. Inter has played everywhere, including the Bernarbeu, before and not shown anywhere near the timidness they did in this match. They made Savio look like Jairzinho, and Seedorf like Matthaus. It took some miracles by Pagliuca and a woeful Morientes for Inter to not be as thoroughly beaten on the scoreboard as they were in possession, shots, and corner kicks.
Does that set the stage for the second leg?
Inter needed a win to assure passage to the next round. Ronaldo and Baggio were back, but neither was 100%. Nevertheless it was Ronaldo who made the move to open the scoring when he got away from Campo and Roberto Carlos and fired a long rocket that deflected off of Zamorano, wrong-footing Ilgner and putting Inter up 1-0 early in the second half.
Inter had several opportunities thereafter, primary amongst them a trademark Ronaldo full-field sprint (complete with Roberto Carlos trailing him all the way like a puppy chasing a mail truck) at the end of which Ronaldo crossed perfectly to Beppe Bergomi (bless the Zio's heart - at his age he was the ONLY Inter player who sprinted with Ronaldo) who volleyed perfectly at the goal. However, Ilgner made an instinct save to keep a legendary score from happening.
As football goes then the inevitable happened......
Continued at http://footballspeak.com/post/2011/0...ur-Hearts.aspx
A MUST read for all Inter fans, specially if you have been an Inter fan for over 12 years.... guaranteed to give you GOOSEBUMPS, big time!
I will never ever forget this game.... just like I will never ever forget the CL final last year, when I was in the stadium... but this game wasn't as big as the CL final, but it was almost as remarkable coz of how iit unfolded.... you got to read this, it brings those feeling back... I too remember young Pirlo running outside the sideline like a kid on a suger overdose... memories!
If you do read it, and it gives you the same goosebumps it gave me, do leave a comment of appreciation for Paul on the article. He is a true Interista!