Nesta-Lazio: The Encounter Nears (Allsport)
09/27/2002. If Paolo Maldini were by some strange quirk of fate sold to Juventus or Lazio, how would he be greeted back at the San Siro? We will perhaps never know. But, this analogy is the closest one can get to comparing what the Biancocelesti tifosi will feel after watching their God, Alessandro Nesta in a different shirt after 18 long years!
The Curva Nord at the Olympico is not a well-reputed bunch. They have been criticized, hated and banned for varying reasons. They have even been accused of housing a notorious group of racist fans. However, at the end of the day, they are Lazio fans: fans that worshipped their captain and flag-bearer, San Alessandro, the gladiator of Rome.
"Alessandro in a Rossonero shirt? I would rather not watch that scene", were the words of a bitter Giuseppe Nesta, father of the barbican defenseman. His emotional recovery has only just begun. It was a transfer that had to happen, it was only a question of where Nesta would go. Whether it was Cragnotti's fault or not, the question now is not whether the transaction should have occurred, but how things will be for Nesta and Lazio in the future.
Nesta has already settled in very well at Milan, at ease with his good friend Paolo Maldini. But, will he face the most humiliating of returns to his home ground? Will the memory of his first every trip back to the Olympico haunt him for life? Or will he be welcomed back like a son that has left home so that his family can have a better life?
Tomorrow is Judgment Day for Alessandro Nesta. He shall take to the pitch at the Stadio Olympico and be judged by his fans and especially so by the Curva.
"I know there will be those that will whistle me, but I hope and pray that the applause will drown out the whistles", said a visibly nostalgic Nesta prior to the game.
And as the rest of the world watches on, we all hope that he is right and that as he steps onto his old hunting ground, his tears will be those of joy and not of humiliation.
U think he'll crack under the pressure, or rule supreme