We left for the game about 4 hours before game time. I wanted to make sure there wasn’t any hassle with the tickets, as well as to leave plenty of time to get there and to soak in the entire experience. The game started about 8:30pm and we arrived at the stadium approx 5:30 after a subway ride and then a 20 minute walk. The town reminded Lisa of Wrigleyville. We barely made it into the stadium as we were supposed to have a change of name form (every ticket has the original name on the ticket for security and for regulation of the resale market). Perhaps we had nice ticket attendants, or perhaps since there was a language barrier, they decided to let us in anyway. On the subway and outside the stadium it was a zoo of people, and this was about 3 hours before the game!
We found our seats and they were awesome. We were just north of the penalty box. The stadium was much different and better than I ha expected. On TV, you see these glass walls and a lot of fencing behind the goals, but this was not bad in person. We had wondered if they had stadium food, and what it would be. Would it be hot dogs and cokes? Pizzas and pastas? It ended up being a lot of panini’s. Lisa was disappointed in the women’s bathrooms, as it was just a hole in the ground. I didn’t make it to the men’s to find out. We sat in our seats for 2 hours before the game. The stadium still had a ton of people in it, and they were all ready chanting away and lighting their flares, and loud booms of gunshot like noise filled the stadium. It was quite a spectacle. The stadium was filled with banners, and people wearing red and black. There was one section of Juve fans, behind glass walls, and when they would chant, fans would stand up swearing and cursing and flipping them off. You’ve gotta love European football.
Eventually the players came out for warm ups, for announcements, and then the game began. I was saddened that Del Piero-one of my all time favorites-was not in the starting 11. As well as that Inzaghi was for Milan – not one I like. There were a few series of tricky passes in a row, but not a lot of opportunities. I was disappointed in Kaka’s play, but Beckham was delivering some nice balls. Milan easily could have been up if Inzahgi could finish. The score was 0-0 at halftime, and then all the fans around us started lighting up their cigs.
The second half was just as sloppy but eventually Milan scored by Seedorf on a deflection to him right in front of goal. But then, a few minutes later, Juve answered right back with a cross that was headed in by Iaquinta. More sloppiness ensued, and eventually Del Piero came on as a sub, and Beckham and Inzaghi were replaced by Pato and Ronaldinho.
The game ended in a 1-1 draw and then it was a stampede to get out of the stadium. We got out of the stadium, but little did we know that we started our walk back to the train station in the wrong direction.
We got about 3 miles away in the wrong direction. When we tried to fix our direction, we only headed in a different wrong direction. 2 hours later we were still walking lost, asking every traffic cop for answers and getting confused looks.
Finally, we made it back to our train stop. However, by this time it was 12:15 am and the trains were closed.
So we hailed a cab, and 20 Euros later we were back at our hotel, exhausted and smelling like smoke. My legs were so sore and tired.
What a great experience and I am so thankful that it worked out. I have always wanted to go to a Europeansoccer match and have missed out on a few opportunities. To get this opportunity and it be with2 of the biggest clubs in the world, with some of the best players in the world, in one of the most famous stadiums–it was a dream come true. I can’t wait till next time now. At $200(US) per ticket, I got every dime’s worth. Maybe we can find a way to score some tickets to the Champions League Finals in Rome while we are there (very unlikely)!!