Monday, July 02, 2012


Gli Azzurri - 2012
What makes you rooting for a sports team? Especially, a football team. Sometimes it happened because of personal reasons, for example you spent part of your life living in that particular country, or you married a guy from certain country, or maybe, your ancestor had come from that country. Those are the things that naturally made you connect with a country, and eventually, with its football team. (Although in my case, that didn't happen, since I have spent a year in Netherlands, and even had a grandma who practically a Hollander, but still, rooting for the Oranje team was not appealing for me).

But mostly, the story about why you root for a team is more personal than the above reasons. It's not in your blood, not in your family history, not related to any part of your life, but you just happened to fall for this particular team. It's like falling in love with a person, without knowing exactly why it happened.

And I guess it's more interesting with Indonesian people, maybe since we never had a chance to root for our national football team in international event, so each of us choose a team, and root for them fanatically, maybe even more fanatic than the original fans from that country.

My story had begun about 15 years ago, when I started to like watching football. My brother's favorite team at that time, Juventus, was playing in TV, and I had nothing better to do so I watched the game with him. One of the players caught my eyes (and my heart), and I learned that his name was Filippo Inzaghi. That was the beginning of my love for football, and I placed him (and his team) as the top reason for watching the games.

Pippo moved to another team, but my love for him was never changed until he was retired from football. I was rooting for him wherever he went, although Juventus has always been my first love =) But because of Pippo, I also rooted for Italy team, Gli Azzurri. And my love for them just keeps growing no matter what, even when all my favorite players had retired from the team. I don't know why I loved the team so much. Maybe because there were never boring moments every time they played, from all the dramas to the controversial goals, everything was beyond crazy =)

I remember vividly when I was cheering with the Italians in Berlin, the night of World Cup Final in 2006. How crazy it was, especially because Italy had always been an underdog so nobody expected them to be in the final, and won the game for that matter!

the glorious moment =)
I also remember how sad it felt when I watched my Azzurri stumbled and fell in the next World Cup (2010), not even getting through the first group elimination. Most of the players were too old to play anyway, and Italy needed regeneration and came up with new formation desperately. But still, I rooted for them in spite of their degradation. I could recall one of my fellow tifosi who was so dedicated to Azzurri in 2006 but suddenly didn't want to have anything to do with them in 2010. Why rooting for a team if you can't stick with them through thick and thin?

So I had mixed feelings when we entered EURO 2012 last month. I wished for the best for my Azzurri, despite the mocking and sneering from the haters, especially because Italy just had the scandal about scoring in their national leagues. But still, I've rooted for them for years, and it's not gonna change, no matter what they've been through.

And I was quite surprised because Azzurri played pretty well... Fighting back Spain in their first game, winning the penalty round against England, and even beating Germany, one of the most favorite teams this year. I love seeing the regeneration finally kicking in the team, we still have great experienced players like Pirlo and Cassano, but the new players like Balotelli spiced things up.

It's too bad Azzurri couldn't beat Spain in the final and collect the trophy they've been waiting for 44 years... But I still cherished the moments I watched them played (Pirlo's brilliant penalty? Balotelli's yellow card for taking off his shirt after making a goal?). This is just a beginning, I'm sure. And I am so freaking proud of them. So I just sent them my love and I'll be patient for Brazil =)

ps: and I can't understand why there are so may haters out there. Even the fans of Espana kept mocking Azzurri after they won the game, instead of just shutting their mouth and enjoying the moment. I felt sorry for them, because what good is that, when your team is winning but all you wanted to do was talking bad about the other team?


  1. *toss*

    gua juga pencinta Italia, terutama karena para pemainnya itu ganteng2, huahahahaha :)) cinta 'pertama' ama sepakbola itu berawal di Euro 2000, di mana setelah mata ini menjelajahi wajah demi wajah nan rupawan, hati justru tertambatnya sama Francesco Totti ;)

    sekarang sih udah bisa2 aja ama sepakbola, walau kadang kangen juga ama masa ketika dulu tergila2 ama Totti :))

  2. @Indah: ayo dooonkkk jadi fans azzuri lagiii =P