Last night I finally got to my first Serie A football match and it happened to be a great game between two of the Giants of Italian and European football, AS Roma and the Northern Italian giants, Juventus. Juventus currently sits in second place in Serie A after just being eliminated from this years Champions League by Chelsea while Roma sits in fifth in Serie A, fighting for a Champions League spot in next years tournament after being eliminated in a shootout by Arsenal this year. The scene was set at the Stadio Olympico in Rome. The place was packed, flags and scarves were out and the fans were raucous. I was excited.
The game as they usually are was anticlimactic with Juventus cruising to a 4-1 win with some smooth goals coming from 3 different players. The game also as usual takes a backseat to the goings on in the stands. We had great seats right in the corner behind the home goal and were right next to where the Juventus fans and Roma fans stood right next to each other. The Juventus fans were really loud and unbelievably aggressive. They also may be my favorite fans!
After they scored goals the fans would rush the bulletproof glass that divides the legions and talk smack to the Roma fans. They would light flares and chuck them over the wall, sending Roma fans scurrying. When they would fire back and rush the glass back the Juventus fans would reach over with their flag sticks and start swinging and beating the Roma fans with their sticks until the riot police broke it up. It was really amazing to see and quite funny how serious and to be honest “retarded” these fans are-I mean really, it’s just a game. However, in Europe, much like South America, it is always more than a game, it is a religion and these people treat it as such. I love it and love going to games all over the world.
My quick little trip to North Africa and the Mediterranean is now coming to an end as I am heding to Prague this afternoon for six weeks. This trip has flown by and I had a great time. I am looking forward to some good weekend trips from Prague and then a much larger trip this summer. Stay tuned.