Monday, September 03, 2007

Moments of Italian sport


Last friday, in a rather emotional game in Monaco, AC Milan won its record setting 17th international silverware, the 2007 European Supercup.

It wasn't a game as any other, as Sevilla, AC Milan's opponent, had to cope with the premature loss of one of its players, 22 years old Antonio Puerta, killed by multiple heart attacks suffered during a game.

All players and supporters were united in remebering and honoring him, and the 3-1 final score for AC Milan is only for the records. Touching were the AC Milan players that, after the game, went near the Sevilla's supporters applauding them in sign of respect for their loss. And in return, those very same supporters who just watched their team losing, chanted "Milan-Milan" in sign of appreciation. I think I never saw something like this before. Respect and appreciation for each other, regardless. All beautiful and uniting, but why it must take always tragedies to unite people?


For something entirely different, tonight the European Basketball Championships have started, played in Spain. Spain, having won the World Championhips last year in Japan, and Greece as runner up, are the heavy favourites.

As for the Italian squad, unfrtunately it will be a very a difficult task. Key players of the starting 5 such as Menson Rocca, 2008 draft prospect Danilo Gallinari and capitain Giacomo Galanda will all be absent due to injury. New NBA players Marco Belinelli is not in perfect shape and Andrea Bargnani is trying to cope with a foot injury.

This year's winner and runner up will qualify directly for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and Italy opened tonight against Slovenia with a disappointing loss , making the their olympic dream harder to achieve, already. Italy played really bad for 3 and 1/2 quarters, then with a final rush got close and eventually took the lead in the final minute. After Slovenia took back the lead with a free throw 14 seconds to go, Soragna scored a three pointer with 5 seconds on the clock to put Italy up by 2 but to answer that, Slovenia's Lakovic scored a winning three pointer buzzer beater. 69-68 the final score. We almost won, but Slovenia deserved it more.

But let's keep the hope alive. Tomorrow another tough test with France, led by its NBA superstars Tony Parker and Boris Diaw.


And in few days, the Rugby World Cup will kick off in France. Italy will play their opener against New Zealand's famous and feared All Blacks, with their aesthetically beautiful and powerful style of play. The All Blacks,performing their Maori Haka before each kick off, are arguably the top team in the world. It will surely be an interesting game, and with Italy set to beat Romania and Portugal, the game against Scotland will probably decide if Italy will go through to the quater finals.

Formula 1:

And the upcoming week end, the "circus" of those cheating F1 people will race for victory at the Monza GP, where Ferrari needs to secure first and second place to keep its hope for a championship alive.


The European Championship is starting in a couple of days too, and apparently, Russia and Italy are the two heavy favourites. Italy, having won a medal in basically each tournament they played from 1989 till 2006, has a really important history in volleyball, and Italian is also the player of the century. A top 3 finish, as usual, shouldn't be out of reach.

So, some interesting sport events to liven up this September... stay tuned.


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