When I was 7, I was on holiday in the High Tatras with my parents. In the hotel Blaník. Dad got a huge stomach attack there and woke up in pain at night. Currently, the World Cup was running in the United States. The games were played at night and I watched football every night so I wouldn’t have to think about how bad Dad was. It was love at first sight. I fell in love with the game and completely failed. At night the television, during the day on the patch in front of the hotel all the children of the holidaymakers greased the focus. And me with them. Neither the Czech Republic nor Slovakia played in the championship, which is why we played on other role models of those years. Romário, Bebeto, Bergkamp, Klinsmann, Stoičkov. But I had a completely different hero. It was Roberto Baggio’s “divine braid.” When he scored two goals in the semifinals to the Bulgarians, I was in ecstasy. When he shot the final penalty in the final, I cried all day. I loved him.
Four years later, I turned on Czech Television, where the Champions League studio was running, and watched the team in beautiful black-blue relatively unconventional striped jerseys, played by the world’s best footballer – Ronaldo. The team played with Real Madrid and the score was 1: 1. And before the end of the match, I see an unmistakable figure with a long black braid warming up at the side line. Roberto Baggio came into the game and beat Real Madrid with two goals. The team he joined was Mil Inter Milan.
I was 11, but I knew at that moment that I would never cheer on anyone else. Despite the fact that Roberto Baggio left the team a few months later, his love for Inter lasted forever. There was no internet, so news about Inter was very difficult to find. I devoured any snippets in newspapers and magazines, even if they were just fragmentary results. When Inter was on TV, it was a huge holiday. Sometimes looking directly at the stadium was a completely unattainable and distant dream at the time.
Inter was not having a very good time at the time. In the league average, the Champions League has always dropped out of the playoffs. Fiasco with Manchester, cannons in the match with AC Milan. I didn’t mind, mainly because I could see them on TV.
I grew up with the team. Gympl. There was internet in the computer room. So I found out that there are more such black-blue fanatics in the republic, I found out that there is a Czech fan club. So I joined. The membership fee of CZK 500 was almost a monthly budget for me, but I did not hesitate to add. And so I learned that you can watch matches live after the so-called stream. I started watching. The obsession deepened. Suddenly I couldn’t miss a single match. And when I watched those matches, I evaluated. I started writing. Just for the club website, a summary of each match with player ratings. When he played Inter, I devoted half a day only to him. My surroundings were already beginning to perceive it, but somehow everyone respected it.
And then came the era of José Mourinho. College, all the friends swallowed the Premier League, but I never betrayed it. And Inter started winning. Titles. I loved Zlatan and dreamed that sometimes we could even win the Champions League. And gradually I began to realize that until one sees the whole theater with my own eyes, one will not fully understand the football madness. Inter plays home games at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, a huge concrete work that can hold 80,000 fantastic fans. At that time, I wanted nothing more than to cheer up there as a real fan. And it wasn’t unrealistic. The fan club went to matches and was always able to get tickets for its members.
So in 2010, I decided to just go. I saved some money from the brigades and decided to visit my friends in Italy, who worked there and were on Erasmus. We got tickets to the match with Juventus, bought tickets, arranged accommodation. I was looking forward to being small. Inter was heading for another title at the time. It was supposed to be the night of my life. However, the Italian Ministry of the Interior has decided that the match is risky and that only holders of a special card directly from Italy can take part in it. It was decided this 3 days before the excavation. End. There was no football. I just couldn’t get to him. I was completely devastated. We flew anyway, I walked around the empty stadium the day before the match, I was in the museum, I watched the match in a pub full of fans, but the dream just postponed. Even so, for the first time I soaked up the amazing atmosphere of Milan when football is played. And really, it’s an absolute drug. I knew I would just come back one day.
And paradoxically, Inter was so successful that year that he made it to the dream final of the Champions League. It never occurred to me, but suddenly I had the opportunity to be there. The fan club got tickets. I had a ticket to the Champions League final! For a match that I always watched only from television and it never occurred to me that one could consider visiting it. I had a ticket to the most important event of my life at the time. But I had no way to get to Madrid, where the finals were played at the time. Tickets cost about 16 thousand. CZK and as a university student I really didn’t have that money. So again, a big disappointment, I had to give up my dream again.
However, I thought that was the last time. I invited all my best friends home. And at least we watched the match on TV. And the moment Diego Milito scored a goal, my 80-year-old grandmother called me and enthusiastically said on the phone that she was watching football and that we knew she was a fan. At the same time, she never had a clue about football. Not to mention some Champions League. I had tears in my eyes. Inter won. Euphoria and one of the most powerful experiences in life ever. The image of Diego Milit celebrating the goal still hangs almost life-size over my piano at home.
Lifelong love has been sealed. And I knew I just had to raise my fans to that final level. The very next year, I just went on a trip at any cost. A small minibus. 14 hours. Uncomfortably. For the match with Juventus, which ended 0-0. But I didn’t care. The experience of singing the team anthem with another 80,000 fans was priceless. So I started driving, maybe twice a year. I spent whole weekends on the bus to Milan with great people from the fan club.
And then I started working and I extended and picked up all those trips to make them more comfortable and sophisticated. I started organizing those trips for my best friends and we always went in 5 liters for fantastic weekends. Not by bus, we were already flying. They arranged accommodation in Milan. They undertook various trips and madness. And with Inter, a very big sea of experiences came together. I remember playing football on the plane to Milan on the plane screen, how we were at the Alfa Romeo Museum for a live show, in Monza on the Formula 1 circuit we broke right into the pits, as we almost missed the plane several times because we ran on the last call instead of going to the kiosk for tin Radegast, how I pissed on the flight attendant in the plane for the flight attendants, how they didn’t want to sell us booze in Milan store after midnight, or the decree and we had to drink the last backup beer at the quarters, how we got lost in Navigli, how we lost our tickets and only got on the plane for a good word. And what I will definitely not forget is when we hugged and sang the beautiful anthem of the Champions League during the last match with Dortmund. Inter was no longer just about football, it was about friendship, freedom, travel, lifestyle, well-being and life.
Paradoxically, the more we started riding, the less Inter won. We’ve been playing terribly for 11 years. As a big club many times and unworthily the name Inter Milan. I had to suffer defeats at home with Sassuol or Cagliari, watching players like Rocchi, Jonathan, Kharja or Nagatomo. I had to watch the biggest rival Juventus win 9 titles in a row. How we lose in Sparta (at least there after a personal meeting with Zanetti and Icardi). But it never bothered me much. Because Inter, it’s not about winning or losing. It’s a lifestyle. The bigger fart we played, the more I was looking forward to Milan anyway. There is no other place on the planet where I would be more often and where I would feel happier (when I do not count home). I know Milan as my points and he will never betray a person and it doesn’t matter if he wins or loses.
Well, now I’m talking a little. It’s sometimes about winning. Nobody wants to lose all the time. When Inter was on the winning wave in 2007-2010, I was a young pheasant, taking it all for granted. I couldn’t enjoy it so much. And yet only 11 years is an incredibly long time.
So I’m going to enjoy what happened a few minutes ago! After those long years of hardship, defeat and failure, I can finally celebrate. IT IS HERE. We are champions !!! Italian champions !!! Long before the end of the league, unrivaled and deservedly so. We will sew the Italian flag on the jerseys as a sign of the best. At least for a year. Don’t let anything happen again for 10 years. I am already full and I will celebrate spring and summer all summer. In every way and I hope that COVID will allow even on the spot in Milan, when it doesn’t work in the stadium anymore. It is a fantastic success. Thank you very much to everyone who shares my fanaticism with me. And mainly thanks to the whole team and players. That they made me happy again. Winning in the Champions League, first minutes on Meazze, personal meeting and a hug with Zanetti. I hope that this title can match these life experiences.
WE ARE CHAMPIONS OF ITALY!
THANK YOU GUYS