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01/03/2016 Cerreti On Tuesday,
On Tuesday, The Squadra Fantastica played another game against the oddly named “Equipe 86”. IUE has played this team over and over in the last years, and we knew them pretty well. However, nobody is still capable of explaining their strange name. I decided to consider as a tribute to the legendary French team of the 1986 world cup. It certainly had some of the greatest players in history, and its hymn could almost rival the one of IUE Calcio: “Viva les bleus”.
But in 2016, Les Bleus are proudly wearing the jersey of IUE Calcio, and playing on the home pitch of Ceretti. Knowing our opponents style of playing – only long balls (but can they do otherwise?), the misters lined up a strong technical team to press high, play smooth, and just confiscate the ball. Olli was back in goal with his sharp reflexes and constant Mancunian shouting. Although Lian, Carl, Lud, and Jonas all individually look like nice and polite guys, this defense line was all about strength and speed. However big the strikers of the other team, they stand no chance. Naturally, Gazza was regulating the midfield, keeping an eye on the grinta of our South American registas Luis and Gabo. Albert took the right side of the attack, looking more and more like Neymar (i.e. fast dribbling and dodgy hairstyle), while Vince returned to the left (having a Frenchman against Equipe 86 is always useful). Up front, we celebrated the great debuts of Tore, a natural striker who had promised to score 5 goals on his first game. The squadra was strong, and decided to leave no chance to our opponent.
Lian —————– Carl —————– Ludvig —————– Jonas
Luis —————– Gabo
Albert —————– Torre —————– Vince
1st half: After a 10-minute round of observation, IUE started imposing its game. And when IUE plays well, IUE scores. Rushing on the left side, Vince flashes to the area, to conclude with chirurgical finish in the opposing sidenet. 1-0 early in the game, the outcome looked good. But shortly after, our opponent did the only thing they could: on a corner kick, the giant from Equipe 86 netted the ball in. Un partout, la balle au centre. Just like the flamboyant French team of the 1980’s, IUE calico likes to make things complicated. There is no prestige or glory in winning easy. And with his Platini skills, Torre showed he had already understood everything of the squadra’s class. First, by trying two bicycle kicks within a few minutes. Then by resisting the last defender, rushing into the area; he was about to dribble the keeper, when the well-fed long-haired portiere tried a judo trick on him. Yellow card, and penalty kick for IUE. Rivaling in blondness and modesty with Lud, Torre declined the kick. Albert needed to hear no more to catapult the ball in the top left corner. 2-1 at half time, we could breathe.
Half-time: Reto joined the locker room for a motivational speech, his Swiss accent always getting thicker as he encourages the squadra. On a less funny note – but somewhat still a little caustic – Luis had to leave the pitch because of an ass injury. A very positive-minded Dimi replaced him in midfield. 2nd half: Going back to the pitch, we just had to seal the fate of the game. And we tried with audacity. Dimi almost scored a 40m free kick, Gabo tried maradonesque tricks in the last 30 meters, and Jonas insisted on scoring a long (awaited) shot from his left side. In the end, it was Torre who proved himself as a true bomber; knowing that when a great striker joins a team, he has to score on his first game. He didn’t miss the opportunity, and scored the 3rd goal on a clean and unbeatable finish. Victory would not escape. Frederico and Ozgur then entered the pitch, to bring even more technique and speed to our clearly dominating team. I also came in later on, bringing none of the latter. The ref finally whistled the end of the match, with a strong win secured for IUE. Smiles were on every face, particularly when saluting a female-dominated curva. IUE certainly plays a romantic and ambitious football as the French 1980’s squad. We want to play better than the other team, not just win. But the comparison stops there. In 1986, in the heat of Guadalajara, Les Bleus were defeated by German realism in the semi-final of the world cup. Our boys in blue would not fall to the cynical football of Equipe 86. Because we shall never forget that our only limit is the sky, and the sky wears the colors of IUE Calcio ! (and of the French National Team who is going to win the Euro Cup 2016).