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My Top 10 Most Memorable Football Matches. (Part 1)

January 6, 2014

Okay, so this time, I will tell you the stories about footbal matches that will always there in my memory. Either the game was pretty good, or the events build up to it are so meaningful. Most of them are foreign matches though, since I only went to the local stadium once or twice. Okay, without further ado, here’s the list, enjoy !

10. When Hibbo Scores, We Riot: Tony Hibbert Testimonial Match

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I watched this game on my laptop, stream it through the internet. It was  game in honor of Tony Hibbert, one of Everton’s one club man, who played for the club since 2000. The game was held in August 8th 2012, against the Greek side, AEK Athens.  Hibbert chose AEK Athens since AEK is one of his memorable opponent in the –rarely played- Europe game for Everton. The jargon for the game is “When Hibbo Scores, We Riot”, it is a reference to Hibbert’s amazing 200+ caps for Everton, in which he never scores. Not even once, despite his position as a right back. The match itself is not something special technically. It is just ‘another mediocre showdown’. Up until the second half, Everton is leading, thanks to the brilliant debut of the new signing Steven Naismith, who netted a hat-trick. Then what makes this game is so special and memorable for me ? It all happened in the 53rd minute. Everton got a near-the penalty box-freekick. It is usually Leighton Baines’ spot. But this time, they gave it to Hibbert. Hibbert smashed it into the low left post and BOOM !! HE SCORED HIS FIRST (semi-official though) GOAL FOR EVERTON ! What makes this match memorable is after the celebration, the jargon happened. HIBBO SCORED, THE SUPPORTER RIOTED ! They finally invaded the pitch. Hugging the lovey dovey, Hibbo. It was awesome, I also cheered in my room. Never I have seen something like this.

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9. The Rise of the Catalan: El Clasico on 2nd May 2009

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One of the best Barca’s performance in el clasico. Obliterating Real Madrid in a high scoring game in Santiago Bernabeau, the home of Real Madrid. I watched this game in awe that time. I thought it is going to be somehow a high scoring draw after Henry equalized Higuain’s in 18th minute. But I was wronged. Goal after goal, after goal are in Barca’s favor. The game itself ended in a 6-2 thriller for Barca. What makes me intrigued with this match is, Carles Puyol’s second goal. He celebrates it by kissing his captain armband, which symbolized the Catalanism. This moment made me wants to make the FC Barcelona subject to my Bachelor’s thesis. It was awesome, and also inspiring. Thanks capita !

8. It’s Zizou: 2002 UEFA Champions League Final

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Certainly my top 3 of the UCL Final I watched. It is a David vs Goliath situation in which David is the Leverkusen and Real Madrid –the first galacticos at the time-. At first, I was pretty sure that it is going to be a one sided match, since, well, it is the galacticos against a non-Bayern Munchen German team, what do you expect ? But I was wrong, turned out the match become somewhat equals, with Raul scored at the 8th minutes, only to be equaled by Lucio’s 4 minutes later. The game went on smoothly for both, until in the 45th minute, one of the best goal in the UCL history, or maybe, in football history, Zinedine Zidane’s left footed volley screw up the Leverkusen’s goal. The goal came up from a Real Madrid’s counterattack, Solari gave a great lobbed pass to Roberto Carlos who ran in the edge of the pitch, smashed it to Zidane with an oustanding volley cross, to be finished by Zidane’s beautiful left volley. One of the best Zizou’s moment !

7. The Tragedy of Istanbul: 2005 UEFA Champions League Final

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You know that what remains in memory, is not always a good one ? But also the painful one ? for me, this is one of them. AC Milan vs Liverpool, 2005 UCL Final in Istanbul, Turkey. It was painful, since my ‘God’ of football, Paolo Maldini scored the first goal already in the first minute of the game. I was screamed in joy back there.  Milan keep pressed Liverpool back there. The defender played well with Maldini in command. My happiness can’t be contained anymore when Crespo scored a double in the 39th and 44th minute. For any rational football fan, it is fine to say ‘game over’ to Liverpool, since it is a champions league final, and a team as big as Milan can’t easily get tripped in this kind of game. But I was wrong. The second half gone horribly wrong for Milan. Liverpool scored three in less than 10 minutes. I was angry. But at that time, I know that Milan wouldn’t survive if the game goes on to penalty. The joy of winning 3-0 in the first half have robbed their mental. My prediction went right, and it is one of the few time I hate myself for being right. Jerzy ‘Spaghetti Leg’ Dudek played magnificently in the penalty shoutout, robbing the 7th Champions Cup for Milan. Right after the match, I decided that I don’t want to go to school the next day, afraid that my classmates will mock at me, and then I remembered, that I am the only football lover in the class :|.

6. The ‘God’ Played in Front of Me: Milan Glorie 2013

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If someone ask, who is the best football player ever ? Many of them will answer: Pele or Maradonna, but for me it is always, the one and only, il grande capitano del Milan, PAOLO MALDINI. I used to despise matches like the Milan Glorie, or Sergio Ramos and friends, and shits, something like that. But this time, this might be the only chance for me to see Maldini play in front of me. Well, I took the chance, and it was great. I saw him in his best position, the left back. It was great. He was in his 40s back there, and still offensively active. I don’t know what to say, I almost cried. Seeing my childhood hero there, running up and back in the pitch, it is just awesome. Oh, and Sheva played too. He’s every Milan fans’ hero, I’m happy seeing him scored, and there were Massimo  Taibi there, I enjoyed screaming ‘papera ! papera !’ when he played, hoping he would remember his fatal error in his Manchester United time. Just for fun. Hahaha. And one more thing, the Milanisti Indonesia magically turned the Gelora Bung Karno senayan, into a KW version of San Siro. It was great. We were singing the Forza Milan anthem, it is just wonderful.  One of my best stadium experience 🙂

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Okay, that’s all for this time. Stay tuned for the part 2 !

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