I type this having just watched the Champions League Clash between AC Milan and Barcelona from the work of art that is the Camp Nou, On the telly of course, a bit stoked on rum but that is neither here nor there…
As I watched the football match a scene from one of my favorite movies of all times kept flashing on my mind, over and over and over again, the scene from Troy, A pretty angry Achilles calls out Hector, Prince of Troy, he wants to fight him because during an earlier battle Hector had hacked Achilles’s overzealous young cousin to death, thinking it was said demi-god. (In his defence that kid was dressed and moved like Achilles, he had no way of knowing). Anyway, Achilles goes on to tell Hector he is going to kill him, gouge his eyes out, cut out his tongue and let him stroll the underworld in such a manner, he says other soulless beings would recognize him and go “There goes Hector, the fool who thought he had killed Achilles”.
He proceeds to battle Hector, dominating him, and then dragged his corpse in-front of his father and the people of Troy.
|Hector Prince of Troy played by Eric Bana,|
Achillies son of the nymph Thetis and Hero Peleus,
played by Brad Pitt.
In case you are pretty slow, AC Milan in this case is Hector, the fool who had thought he had killed Achilles.
|Pitch at the San Siro|
Truth be told AC Milan get away with beating teams in their ridiculously horrible pitch year in year out, I am not saying this because I am a bitter Arsenal fan, scratch that, I am. Purposely sabotaging a pitch and beating poor Arsenal 4-0 last season, they failed to win back at the Emirates in a proper ‘world class’ pitch. In a beautiful pitch like the one at the Nou Camp you could see just how Barca was at ease just passing the ball around easily.
The inexperience of the Milan side just added to their woes too! I mean you could just tell when that Niang shot painfully hit the post. With a two goal lead you need players that understand what it takes to defend such a lead, its just not about the football you play, its about your psych orientation too, your passion, commitment to the cause. Remember Inter when they went to the Camp Nou with a two goal lead? Zanetti, Cambiasso, Maicon, Samuel, Lucio, Chivu, Motta, Julio Cesar, Eto’o, Milito etc, players who were just not intimidated by the 90 000 strong following behind the opponent, players that knew exactly what had to be done to stop a Messi,a Xavi or Iniesta, let Barcelona pass the ball in very un-threatening areas, then be able to score if given the chance. You need experience. The Milan boys were just overwhelmed, reminded me of Arsenal when Messi put 4 past us. For a minute there I sort of wished that could have been the Milan of Old, Fully fit Nesta, Zambrotta, Pirlo, Gattuso, Seerdoff, Scheva, and the heat seeking missile that was Ricardo Kaka back then, they would have handled Barca, easily.
|AC Milan, Champions League Winners, 2007|
Not only did Barca beat Milan, they ridiculed the world for ever doubting them, like really!? Why did we think this Milan band of oversexed, over partying crop would defeat Barcelona? Barcelona slayed their Hector for thinking he had killed them, and now when we see Milan we will always go ‘there goes Milan the fools who thought they had eliminated Barcelona’. I am flattering Milan by even comparing them to such a seasoned warrior, who fought gallantly with his opponent, and was not beaten because he did not have what it takes but rather because he had met a man more than his match.
|Barcelona Football Team.|
The fact of the matter is when you play Barcelona at the Nou Camp and they feel they have a point to prove you just have a low-low chance of getting a result, you hardly have the ball, when you have it the only thing you can do is play it out, but you are embarrassed so you would rather pass the ball to a Barcelona player instead. Smh. IMAGINE!!! Messi in a good mood is also not a good sign, not when you are playing a useless goalkeeper on the posts even.