Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Florence - 3 - 6 October

Early october I went to Florence for a special occasion. FC Groningen, the club I support, was playing Fiorentina for the Uefa Cup! The home game was 1-1, so we still had a chance of going through to the next stage.
With some friends we rented a 9-person bus to drive to Florence in about 14 hours. We drove all through the wednesday night, but I didn't sleep all that much. There was some terrible music playing at times, but we had a good laugh about it.

On arrival in Florence on thursday morning we had to wait quite some time to get into the hotel. We were all really tired from the trip so a bed would have been nice. Some of us slept a bit, but I stayed awake till we made our way to the city centre. A lot of other Groningen supporters were there singing and drinking and we saw some familiar faces. What I liked most about it was that we, the guys from Groningen seemed to control the centre of Florence. After a while it was time to get to stadium, so about 2000 of us started walking through the streets of Florence. Especially with the singing it was a great atmosphere. One of the best I ever seen around a football match.
The game itself was quite ok, but the stadium sucked big time. The fences blocked the view and the food was terrible. The sheer joy we experienced when FC Groningen striker Erik Nevland scored the 0-1, which meant we were through to the next stage was amazing. Unfortunately it was short-lived, cus 4 minutes later Adrian Mutu scored the equaliser. Still, 1-1 was not bad at all. Eventually it stayed that way and the game would be decided on penalties. I have terrible experience with those bloody spotkicks! Holland lost and broke my heart with them so many times already, but I still had good faith. Yet again, my faith wasn't enough. My team lost once again on penalties. Eventhough we lost I look back at the game as a great effort and we got more than I expected on forehand.
After the match we had to wait for almost an hour in the stadium to get, terrible! My throat was sore, my feet hurt and all I wanted was a drink, food and put my feet up. Boy, was I glad that McDonalds was still open when we got there, but I don't think the workers there were too happy with all the supporters coming in just before closing time.
Finally at about 2.30 am on thursday night I could go to bed after being awake since 8am the wednesday before!