LIVERPOOL: NOW THEY KNOW HOW MILAN PLAYERS FELT LIKE
I do know it is more complicated than that. And I also know that there was a lot more at stake in the 2005 Champions League Final. Fact remains that the better team by far, leading by 3 x 0, had a complete a complete blank period and allowed the weaker opposition to score too many goals in too few minutes.
There is plenty about it in the English Press as you can imagine. What I would like to add is an extract of the excellent autobiography of Andrea Pirlo, published a few weeks ago in English. Believe me, I am NOT the sort of person who likes sportsmen biographies, specially the ones published at the ripe age of 21. But Pirlo’s is a brilliant one.
It was written with the help – I imagine a lot of it – of Alessandro Alciato and it has the wonderful title. “I think therefore I play” .It has the exact doses of humour, sarcasm, truth and pragmatism that kept me wanting to read more. Here is the extract related to that night in Istambul.
“How it happened I don’t know, but the fact remains that when the impossible becomes reality, somebody f***ed up – in this case, the entire team. A mass suicide where we all joined hands and jumped off the Bosphorus Bridge”
And more: “I no longer felt like a player, and that was devastating enough. But even worse. I no longer felt like a man. All of a sudden, football had become the least important thing, precisely because it was the most important. A very painful contradiction.
“People talk about performance anxiety. Well, “non-performance” anxiety is the perfect description for those of us who simply vanished from the pitch sometime during the final”
I bet some Liverpool players are feeling like that today and wonder if they have the same ‘philosophical’ approach to it.