Flashback. It was November 29, 1998, a cold evening in late autumn. Liverpool is leading 2-0 against Blackburn at Anfield. The game starts wearily at the end, when, in the gray sky Anfield now illuminated by the spotlight, the 90-minute stands out in high overhead: Indicates the number 14, Vegard Heggem must leave to make room for a young greenhorn, However, the expression already hard and determined that in many, among the natives of its parts have. He is number 28 and the name, Steven Gerrard, then just saying to 41750 to Anfield. Few imagined that that name, since that day, will help to write pages and pages of glorious history of the club that already bears the Phoenix on signs, representing the great spirit, which is embodied in an exemplary manner in the character of this young man, destined to become a monument, a living legend, the hero of armies and legions of kids, the last bastion resisting the advance of modern football obscure and its fognaceo stench.
Today, August 3, 2013, almost 15 years later. Who knows what he may have thought the protagonist of this wonderful day at the exit of the tunnel. She holds hands with her 3 beautiful girls, and it is no longer a young man with so much hope and so much to prove, is a man whose wrinkles begin to plow the warrior's face, scars of a thousand battles fought fiercely keeping up the banner of himself and his people, proud and mighty centurion Empire Red. An exit from the tunnel, yet another. And the mind of each of us wandering in these 15 years that we have seen come out of that tunnel, age 15, of which 10 to lead the row of terraced red, with players who have come and gone, but he did not. Not him, because he has always been there. And here he is then in the company of Owen, Fowler, Ince, Redknapp, McManaman. And here he is now with Hyypia, Hamann, Henchoz, Heskey. With Xabi Alonso, Traore, Riise, Baros. And with Mascherano, Meireles, Aquilani, Torres. So Adam, Agger, Skrtel, Suarez, and gradually the countless names that flow, infinite, and to which he, the Diamond, the Leader is proud survived over time, over the years. 15. So all of us, at that moment in which we see appear that impressive, unique, majestic figure of the tunnel set foot on the green grass of Anfield between the cheers and screams of his delirium 45276 spectators, we think of all these 15 years. In this magical, infinite moment that still separates himself from the Captain of his people, we think that November 29, 1998, and we think of his late entry of Kevin Campbell and his first expulsion, year 1999, Merseyside Derby, the first stracittadino in a long series, an episode that was already there to witness the explosive vehemence and impetuosity of Captain in the grass. And we think that 4-1 against Sheffield Wednesday, his first goal in his career, we think Deportivo Alaves, the treble, the Charity Shield in 2001, having won the UEFA Super Cup reason of invincible Panzer Bavarian Hitzfield, terror of seeing him Starting in 2005, and the great love that, despite the sirens of fame, money and glory were trying it, this magnificent man had the strength to prove once again to his beloved people, to us.
And here he is to appear, and so, in the eyes, they still retain that look proud, determined, he had that evening in late autumn when, boy, he was preparing to realize his dream, in those eyes you can imagine all of his great love , his humanity, his greatness. Each of us, looking at him, he felt connected with him, heart to heart. Him and me, him and me, him and any individual subject of this impressive Liverpool Empire called themselves, at that moment, looking at those eyes. Because he is one of us, because he, at that time, still have that magical moment when long in the company of his three princesses, was appearing in his arena, palesandosi to his people, he at that time tried what each of us He tried. His eyes did not lie, and did not lie those of Carra, or Fowler, or the child who, enthusiastic, almost with tears in my eyes seeing him cheered him enter. We are one people, and he's one of us.
And therefore also the Great Captain, sighs, closes his eyes, and sees all that we do. He sees that bomb struck in the evening of December 8, 2004, that will take us 3-1 in Istanbul. He sees himself, out of the tunnel dell'Ataturk, hopeful, to re-enter load of anger and determination, concentration at the end of the first half. The spirit of the Phoenix, it was said, dwells in him, and he sees himself entering the second time that epic encounter, blinded by rage against the Milan players, who already sang in the changing rooms. You see that comeback, in those six minutes crazy, sees his 1-3, see Smicer, Gattuso and that the lands, and Xabi which reaffirms the network at the rebound of Dida. See Dudek go against the laws of physics in extra time on Shevchenko, he sees his ballets, he sees the Cup. And then the FA Cup in 2006, Athens and the great disappointments, all those who have turned their backs, Meireles, Torres, and perhaps the most painful wound, the one left by Owen, so similar in talent, so distant in the tempering. It recounts, in a single, infinite moment, the dark times, Hodgson, joy for the return of the King, won the Carling Cup in 2012 consoling cousin in tears for having missed the penalty, and finally the present and the hopes, the dreams that still dwell in this man, the eternal boy, a dreamer, who decided to share his life and his immense talent, as well as his integrity and hope that maybe the football today is not really all garbage , not all showgirls, contracts millionaires, sponsors, Champions League. It's not all sheikhs, petrodollars and repression. It 'also made up of real men, real values, and that perhaps there is still room for dreaming times gone by. And the legends, Shankly, Paisley, and 96, and John Paul Gilhooley, his beloved cousin, the innocent victim of the negligence of law enforcement and the strategy of terror Thatcherite memory from Heaven Anfield surely even they look moved this man, so great that finally crossed that threshold, for the umpteenth time, while a roar rises in his honor. They look at him moved, and wrap it up, everyone, hugging him, creating an impenetrable wall, a halo of legend around him.
Meanwhile, kissed her children, is preparing once again to witness the spectacle priceless and indescribable provided by Anfield that bestows the'll Never Walk Alone. I can almost see, Stevie, attuning, cantarselo in the head, as it always has, from that first, humid day in late autumn, where it all began, and where history began writing the first of a long series of pages that make up our, and his, Neverending Story, our Neverending Story, History most beautiful love, that between the Captain and his people.
Little space remains for the technical aspect. Not today. It is today that we are talking about 4-3-3 or 4-3-1-2, not today that you pull forward the rigmarole Suarez Suarez is not. Today is the feast of the Captain, highlighted by tens of thousands of "Ole" that rise to every millimeter launch party from those feet fairies, today is the feast of Liverpool, the people of Liverpool, which is donated even the presence of two other huge, gigantic monuments, as heavy as boulders, that Carra who never seems to have stopped, still perky and authoritarian as a twenty year old, and then there is The God, weighed down but always poisonous, I almost also gives us one of her pearls, Jimenez was not that stands between him and the probable invasion of the field hysteria that would follow a network of Robbie. This is today, the feast of football that is disappearing, the feast of the old values, the feast of our great, immense, indescribable single Captain.
There are many words that I would use to round off, but the truth is that there are words or phrases in the world up to the greatness of this man, it is a failed attempt at the start.
I want to try anyway. I am speaking directly to you, Captain. I turn to you thanking you, to bring a glimmer of hope in this lousy football more and more ill, I turn to you thanking you for being what you are, for not having never abandoned, for the example you give to so many children, in the hope that they grow up choosing you as a model, and not the Neymar or Cavani on duty. I turn to you thanking you because you are an example, because it always proves that when you fall, you can always raise, stronger than before, which from the ashes you can always raise it up. Why do we continually proves that with hard work no result is abstract, it is unattainable. Thank you for the love you each day duties towards our knitting, of our people, against all of us. Ad Maiora Captain, our Neverending Story does not end here.
by Matthew Stewart Paradiso
OFFICIAL LIVERPOOL SUPPORTERS CLUB ITALY