Toffee Nose, Bluenose, Fuck Knows – The Italian Years 6: The Winner Takes It All.

29th May 2022

Marcus waved at the crowd below. A beautiful day in Milan was always better with an adoring crowd to go with it. He soaked up the atmosphere, nowhere better to do it than on an open-top bus.

He watched as his players sprayed champagne over the masses below the bus. They’d need to slow down, he thought, otherwise they’d not make the party that the owners were throwing for the team and staff later at one of Milan’s most exclusive restaurants, Seta. His mind wandered back to those few halcyon days at the beginning of May.

It was the game against Brescia Calcio that did it, he remembered. One that would never live long in the memory, but he would remember the winning goal in HD, stereo sound.

Barely five minutes into the game, a barn-storming run down the left flank from Macedonian wonderkid Vanya Petrovic, saw him float a beautiful cross into the box that was met by a good header by Brazilian U-21 star Luan Capanni. The title-winning goal after only 5 minutes. And it snapped a 11 year Serie A TIM drought for the red half of Milan… You can understand the celebrations, thought Marcus.

If the celebrations were loud then, then the next week blew the roof off the old city of Milano. The club met old foes Juventus in the UEFA Europa League Final in Rotterdam. Harkening back to 2003 and their meeting in the Champions League final, it was a cagey affair for a start until Cristiano Ronaldo put Juventus ahead on 15 minutes. Half-time came and the Milan side were still 0-1 down. Marcus threw caution to the winds and put Piatek wide with Belotti up top. And it paid off as they combined together for Andrea Belotti to stab the ball home on 62 minutes to draw the game 1-1. Rotterdam roared. Barely 10 minutes after, a give-and-go after a corner saw Krzysztof Piatek set through by a laser-guided through ball and his shot was always rising as it slammed into the roof of the net inside the Juve goalie’s near post. 2-1. And, despite the damage done to Marcus’ heart rate and sanity, Milan held out to take home the UEFA Europa League title!

Double winners, thought Marcus with a smile, yes that’ll go down well. His eyes refocused on the crowd below. He soaked up their happiness. This will make his meeting with Nicolaj and ‘The’ Zlatan easier…

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