I started supporting Juve in 2000 or 2001 and it's always been my dream to see us become champions of Europe.
I remember losing that final to Milan in 2003 and my first thought was, "we will win it next year, we will have many more finals to come."
Well that day has finally fucking come 12 years of waiting. We looked like going out of the group stages earlier this year. This team has shown so much heart to get this far I feel honored to be supporting this great club.
For the last 10 or so years I would just imagine myself watching Juve finally win the CL in a bar and imagining how I would react to us winning it.
Win or lose nothing will ever stop me from loving this club. It's my family and like some have already said in this thread other people just don't know what it means to us Juventini to see us in a CL final again.
For those of u who it's their first time watching Juve in a CL final enjoy it because I thought i would get to see many more of these finals and took our success for granted. Enjoy it and never forget the road we took to reach this final.
I still remember Tudor's last minute winner to qualify us from the group stage in the 2002/2003 season against Deportivo when we were on the verge of elimination.
I remember him shouting at one of our players to leave the ball for him and he unleashed a thunder bolt into the bottom left corner.
Same here brotha. I can recall things from 2004 season after we just lost the CL final against Bilan. I think i saw my dad watching that emotionally painful game. I am not sure though cause i was too young to realise something. having said that id quess you are as old as me, around 23, aint you?
I wanted to say something before the game tomorrow.
This club is one of the most storied clubs in the world. I have seen it argued that this has been mostly down to Agnelli money allowing the club to simply outspend the opposition. This may have been true in the early days, but with that money came the hard-working ethos of a company used to competing in the tight market of car manufacturing. Given that most Fiat employees became Juventus supporters by association this was a fitting mentality for the Agnellis to encourage their workers to follow, or perhaps it was the other way around with the team taking picking up the value of sheer grit from the factory workers. In any case my point is that while Juventus has had many star players in its time all of those stars were also extremely hard working men and many of them became such classy players as a result of their work ethic which many of them have commented on as being a crucial part of this particular club and/or something they developed in themselves in their time here, from Platini to Zidane even to Evra's comments when he arrived this season.
This mentality encouraged many fans as well as players to stick with the club during the calciopoli era, and I think this is the greatest example of this club as not simply being a sport club but in many ways a personification of a philosophy and a way of life which can be practiced in all areas of life. For me personally, as I have written here a few times now, this philosophy with its ideas of 'grinta', 'lotta non molare mai', 'vincere non e importante...' and 'fino alla fine' have had a massive impact in my life especially in my various battles with depression. I have a chronic condition called dysthymia which in essence could be called 'chronic depression' which essentially means that my mood goes haywire usually once every couple of weeks but also that I am heavily prone to extended episodes of severe Major Depressive Disorder. For me the ideas of fighting without ever giving up and remaining determined until the end mean a lot to me and have indeed played a decisive role in my personal survival up until this point. I often marvel that I haven't yet succumbed to the various suicidal tendencies I've had over the years but in fact it is no marvel at all - I am a proud Juventino and as such would never give up.
Such will be the attitude of our players during and after this game. We will fight tooth and nail for everything. There is no harder working team at the top level of European football right now and we will display this on the pitch tomorrow. Probably every poster here has written something to the effect that we are back where we belong. This is true - Champions League Finalist is the pedigree of this club and is the rightful place of a club of our stature. I believe we will win tomorrow but in any case this game is not the 'end' to which we profess to fight until. In the phrase 'fino alla fine' the end is not specified. In football as in life there is no end, there are only cycles. As (I think) Lippi remarked once, once we win the Champions League there is the Intercontinental Cup. After that there is the scudetto again. These things continue indefinitely and as Juventini we should all be proud of what this club has achieved in the past few years because it has been nothing but balls-to-the-walls hard work. This pride should be as evident if we win or lose tomorrow, if we win or lose the UEFA supercup afterward, the Intercontinental cup, the TIM supercoppa, Serie A, La Coppa Italia, the CL next year...until infinity. Until the end.
This is what Juventus means to me and what it will continue to mean to me until the day I pop my clogs. Fino alla fine.
I'm not quite sure how I am able to do this right now. I told myself that I wasn't going to get upset. I told myself that I wasn't going to cry if they lost. I told myself that I was going to accept defeat with calm and tranquility.
My eyes are burning. I'm trying to stop crying but I can't. I just can't. Maybe I'm getting old, I don't know. Maybe I realize that I have less chances than most of you here on this forum to see Juve back into a Champions League final, and someday win it. I try to not let emotions get the best of me, but god damn, my Italian heritage comes through and my heart ends up on my sleeve.
This hurts. I thought we would win. It goes without saying that I obviously wanted us to win, but I really REALLY thought that we would win. That we would pull off the impossible.
Alas, it wasn't meant to be. The better team won. No question about it, Barcelona are the better team. Could things have gone differently? Sure. It wouldn't have been the first time, and it won't be the last where the impossible can be possible.
That said. I am in serious, serious love with this club, with this team, with everything about it. I can't possibly be any prouder. I honestly can't be any prouder of this club, to be a long time supporter of this club, these stripes, these colors.
This club gave me, and all of you here, and millions around the world such joy, such love, such fulfillment. We couldn't ask for much more than what they gave us this year.
I am so fucking proud to be a Juventino
I am so proud of my nephew Connor, who at the age of 11 has made the A team in one of the top divisions in the state of massachusetts, as he jumped into my arms when Morata scored. I am so proud that I could at least influence him into being a Juve fan, ,and if that is one of my finest moments in my life, I'll take it.
And if Juve make it this far again next year, and if for some odd reason, they happen to lose.
And if that means that I come on this thread again, this time next year, letting out all my pain and hurt and anguish and love and appreciation and gratitude. And if it means that at this time next year, I am on this forum, in this thread posting here and telling you that I love all of you here on this forum so very much, and that I feel as if you are all my second family, and how grateful I am that this forum has become a part of my life.
I posted this in the match thread, but it should have been posted here...
I am very feelingless at this moment, i can't really describe it, i dont feel sad.. Just pure emtiness... I was at a friends wedding were around 40 guys saw the match at a nearby Hookah bar, almost all of them Barca! But many seemed more tense then me... It was a weired day, emotions, caos happiness.. But the only thing i was focus at, was ' we have to take this home! Not the beautiful girl that was staring at me all day long, not what was happening around me! I just wanted this so bad! But we didn't get it...
I wont say anything bad about our boys... Dont even feel dissapointed... The thing is just i really believed! People describe me as a pessimist, but in reallity i keep believing/trying til the last possible possibility.. Sometimes even after.. But today was not our day.. Again... I've stuck with this team through everything! Seen most of my friends and others jump ship! But i way i am raised, we are tought to stay loyal once we have pledged our alliegence... Maybe i shouldn't have had any hopes.. But some kind of way i believed that we deserved this! With everything we've been through as a team! I believed it was our time!! After seen my team losing three times it just didn't make sense that we would loose wonce more! But we did! We lost! But thats just life! It hurts that everytime we come to the final we loose! But we are no chokers! We keep coming here even when no one believed in us, and we will come back again! We take defeat as gentleman! With heads held High and a smile on our face! This reminds us that we make our our destiny, nothing is given or pre-planned. We can moarn today, but tomorrow is a new dawn, and today will be the past, one we most not forget, but accept, make ourselves more capable so we can maximize our chances! We are Juventus! Not some Mickey mouse club! We will be here again with those who stay true to us and want to stay with us! FinoAllaFine!!! Forza Juve!
In light of the recent events that have taken place with our team, I thought I would take just a moment of your time to convey my emotions, feelings, and hope for the future of a club that has been near and dear to my heart for 30 years, and that team is Juventus.
Now, I don't claim, nor will ever claim, that I am the all-knowing, omnipotent presence when it comes to Juventus. Unlike some people, I can't recite every transaction, recall every goal or fortunate (or unfortunate) refereeing decision that has taken place within the last 30 years.
I can't even sit here and tell you that this squad, in terms of sport, have been the foremost and most prevelant thought in my mind. Being where I am from, there are many, many other sporting distractions that take place that can quite honestly spread you too thin.
However, I would like to share with you some of my most poignant moments as a Juventino, and they have nothing to do with any trophies or championships won, or any scandals. This is something that I have never really shared in full detail with anyone here, but in light of recent events, I felt that now is the time.
Its 1976, and I am seven years old. A seven year old boy in 1976 has many distractions during that time. Mine were little league baseball, KISS, my Tyco race track set, and my Pet Rock.
One day, my Nonna, fresh from one of her recent excursions to the Motherland, brings me back a replica Juventus Jersey, and asks me to put it on. My response was, "But Nonna, I look like a Zebra!!!", which of course, ellicits laughs from everyone in the room. What I didn't realize then was that a torch was being passed on, from My Great-Grandfather, to My Grandmother and Grandfather, To my Mother, and now to me. I was to be the next in a long line of Juventini. During that time, my only knowledge of Football (Soccer), was that a whole bunch of news was being made about some guy from Brazil who was supposed to be really good, was coming to play in New York. That guy was Pele. After my grandparents left the house, I asked my mom what this shirt was all about. She told me that it was her favorite Soccer team from back home, and that her family have been fans of this team for over 50 years. Well, I thought, since I adored (and still adore), my Mom, if Mommy loves this team, then so will I. That is how I became a Juventino.
My 2nd trip to Italy took place in 1978, during the summertime, so unfortunately, I didn't have the opportunity to watch them play. However, I did come back with some really cool stuff, such as a stuffed Juventus Zebra, a cloth banner announcing their scudetto championship from 1978, a Pannini sticker book, and that table football game that has the cloth pitch, where you move the players around and kick the ball that seems to be as big as the players themselves, and a replica scale model Niki Lauda F1 Ferrari.
My 3rd trip to Italy was in the springtime of 1987, and although I didn't get a chance to watch them play, seeing as how I was in Rome for that time, I did get to cause a near riot at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. It was during a Roma-Pisa match, back when Pisa was known form more than just their leaning tower. The match itself was boring, but I inadvertently created some fireworks. During the match, they gave match updates on the scoreboard, and I can't remember who Juve was playing, but they showed an update that Juve was losing 0-1. I got up and screamed, in English, mind you "What the $#@!!!! Come on Juve!!". Ooops. Despite my near fluent Italian, the people around me (with teh exception of my cousins, their girlfriends, and some chick I picked up at a club the night before), realized 2 things that were not in my favor. #1) I was a Juventino, and #2) I was an American. My cousin tells me "You're going to get us killed". Well, the taunts and the name calling started (no piss balloons, thankfully). I let it go. Well, 10 minutes later, Juve tied the score, and I stood up and threw my hands in the air in jubilation. I guess you just never learn sometimes. Well, here come the insults, and ice being thrown in my direction. Fine I said, I guess I had it coming. Anyway, as the Roma-Pisa match was drawing to a close (Roma had won 1-0 on a penalty kick), we start to leave our seats and move up the aisle, someone decides to grab my shirt and tell me "Juve Merda!!". So, in English, I tell the guy "Tell your girlfriend I'm sorry I left my boxer shorts at her place last night, and I'll be back later after you leave to pick them up." Well, little did I know that her Girlfriend understood English. Suffice it to say, you never know how fast you can run when you are being chased by an Angry Italian guy, his brothers, father,Stadium Security, and the Girlfriends brother.
My last story happened just 3 years ago, when Juventus came to America. I had the incredible opportunity to not only see my team play Barcelona in person in Boston, but to actually sit there and watch them train at Brown University in Rhode Island, no farther than 25 feet away from me. I honestly can't tell you the joy and elation I felt seeing Marcello Lippi walk onto the training field, followed by Alex, Buffon, Nedved, Zambo, Davids, Trez, and the rest. All I could do was sit there in the stands and cry. I cried during the whole training session, while trying to aim my camera and take pictures. The people around me couldn't understand why I was crying, and as my wife tried to explain, I felt a hand on my shoulder, and it was an old man and his grandson. I looked at him, and he told me "I know, I know." When the training was over, we finally got to meet the players and have our pictures taken and sign autographs. When I finally met Alex, and he signed my hat and jersey, all I could do, with my tear stained face, was look at him and say "Thank You". Those two simple words best defined what he, as a player, and Juve, as a team, truly meant to me at that time. He smiled, and in his best English, said "You're Welcome". Then I shook the man's hand. Stupid me, I totally forgot to get a picture with him, and although at the time I was one of his biggest critics, only recently do I realize just how stupid of a human being I was for doing so. The pictures of the training session and match are somewhere, buried deep in the Multimedia section of the forum, for your viewing pleasure.
So, where does this team go now?? What direction does it take??
To me, although I truly wish that it wasn't under these circumstances, they are heading in the right direction. Hopefully, the days of signing overpriced, overated, and over the hill mercenaries are a thing of the past, and we can enjoy a team with players who wear their affection for the club on their sleeves, and they will be players that we can watch struggle early in their youth, mature into good players, and good people, and thank them for their long service to the club once they decide to hang up their boots once and for all.
This is the Juventus that I want to see for the now and for the future, and when the time comes that I have a child, I will be the one to buy him/her a Juve jersey, so that he/she too can complain to me that they "Look like a Zebra".
Oh my little one, when you are older, you will truly understands what it means to be a Juventino. And you won't look like a Zebra, for those are the most beautiful colors of the most beautiful team of the most beautiful sport that you could ever have, and you will be joining a long litany of Juventus faithful from 5 generations who, although on the surface, haven't always showed their love for their team on the surface, and have even neglected them at times, will always, always, always, have this team in their hearts, until the day they die.
Almost 12 years ago to the day, I felt that I needed to do something. I needed to express how I felt. I needed to show those here who I considered my friends that I cried with you, I suffered with you. Suffered through the most dramatic and roller coaster filled couple of weeks in that summer of 2006 when an Italy squad comprised of so many of our heroes wore the jersey that won the World Cup, a month after we had captured yet another scudetto.
And then it all came crashing down, like an atomic bomb landing on an anthill. So much emotional devastation. Confusion. Sadness. Hopelessness. Wondering aloud, and to ourselves, whether we would even want to show our love and pride for our team anymore.
So I wrote something. Something from my heart. A story,so to speak. A story of how I came to be as a Juventino going on my 43rd year now. About how I was still honored, still very much in love with my old lady. How I could never leave her, even if it was purely understandable if I did.
And so many of you took my words as strength,as possibly some sort of inspiration to keep going. I take great honor in that.
In the last paragraph, I wrote how if the time came that I would have a child, and I would buy him/her a Juve kit, how my child should never feel ashamed or feel as if they look like a zebra. How these colors are the most beautiful colors that belong to the most beautiful team in the world, and how those colors will be woven into your soul, just as it happened to the 4 generations that came before you.
I looked at my son, watching Air Buddies on Netflix, his long curly hear, gorgeous brown eyes, and with a smile that can light a city, looking back at me, smiling. He could tell that something big, something groundbreaking, life changing, intensely moving, was happening.
I told him "Stephen Alexander, we just got the best football player in the world."
He said "Daddy!!!! Puppies!!!!"
I knew what he meant though. He shared my joy. He had a sense of what had just taken place.
After nearly 12 years of trials and tribulations, of being demoted, coming back up, having to start from scratch, fighting and clawing our way to 7 consecutive scudetti, 2 Champions League Finals, 4 straight Coppa Italia victories, and now, acquiring the BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD.
We are back We are back on the world stage. We are back on the minds, lips, and in the eyes of every single football fan in the world. Casual and Hardcore.
Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE knows our name now.
We are now, what we were in 2006.
We are truly among the best teams in the world again. A destination for the world's best. A symbol of excellence, elegance, style, determination, and heart.
And I have been so fortunate to share it with all of you, and now I get it to share it with my son.