Well today marks the end of a 3 year saga between Arsenal, Cesc and Barcelona. I love Barca, their football is amazing and deserves all the plaudits and trophies. No football fan can say that the way they play isn’t special.
Where the distaste lies is with Arsenal, the board, and Barca’s transfer tactics.
But I want to write this blog to celebrate my special memory of Cesc.
I don’t go to too many away games, let alone in Europe, but when we were dawn against the then European Champions, AC Milan, me, my dad and brother were up for it. My formative football years were in the late 80’s and early/mid 90’s, when Serie A was the place to be. Anything Roberto Baggio did was my inspiration. So here was my first chance to savour Italian football in Italy and tick off my list 1 of only 3 european stadiums I really wanted to go to, the San Siro.
Getting away tickets wasn’t a problem,thanks probably to then fact we’d played Inter a few years earlier, so a lot had been there, done that and got the T Shirt. And they were only €19 each!
We spent a great day in Milan, savouring the pizza and ice cream, along with The Arsenal atmosphere in the main square.We thought, let’s enjoy it because we didn’t hold out much hope in the game.
The San Siro’s spirituality is a lot better than its physicality. After needing oxygen after the mammoth climb to the top, our seats (or excuse for seats) had an obscured view of the pitch through a sheet of plastic and netting. While the atmosphere was building an old couple told us to sit down. it wasn’t till afterwards that we found out that it was non other than Cesc’s grand parents! We of course obliged.
It was fair to say that The Arsenal were magnificent and played the perfect european away tie with the scores level. We throughly dominated the game but we’d all seen it before, all possession and no penetration. Surely we were going to rue this.
And up popped Cesc, as he picked up the ball deep in midfield we all struggled to see though the netting and plastic, but we all saw him unleash a low shot. I think we all saw the net rustle and Cesc wheel away in delight. Well it was pandemonium up in the 3rd tier away end:
” We’re on the way, we’re on the way, we’re off to Moscow we’re on the way. How we get there, we don’t know, how we get there we don’t care, all we know is that we are on our way…”
Sadly a dodgy ref stopped our route Moscow in the next round against Liverpool, but that night belonged to Cesc, el capatin. Thanks Cesc, I’m gutted you’ve gone but more because what he means to our club.
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