Memories of a lifelong Milan fan – the 1963 Santos-Milan final

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Milan players and fans celebrating their victory over Benfica in the European Cup Final at Wembley on May 22, 1963. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)
Milan players and fans celebrating their victory over Benfica in the European Cup Final at Wembley on May 22, 1963. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)

Fan article by Oscar Marchini.

My love affair with Milan started back in 1963, I was living in Argentina at the time, son of Italian parents who emigrated there after the war.

I was 7 years old. I remember my father cursing at the radio in Italian, I knew he was listening to a football match, but seeing it wasn’t my beloved River Plate playing, I wasn’t paying much attention.

As my father’s cursing got louder and louder I asked him who was playing, he said it was Milan against Santos, for the World Cup or something like that (Intercontinental Cup, I was to learn years after). He was upset with the referee and said that Santos had left Pelé out of the team so they could play Almir Pernambuquinho for the purpose of kicking Milan’s golden boy Gianni Rivera out of the game. Hearing of this injustice, I started to take more notice of the game. Alas Milan lost 4-2, so I thought that was the end of that.

So I was very surprised to hear my father cursing again in Italian two nights after, little had I known that because Milan had won the first leg 4-2 in Milan, they had to play a Play-Off decider.

My father’s complaints were the same, the referee was a crook, Almir was playing again, but Rivera wasn’t because of his injuries. Santos won the game 1-0 and that was that.

But strangely after these two nights, I was so emotionally involved with the injustice that my father seemed to think occurred, I began feeling a bit disloyal to my team River Plate.

I was hooked. The seed was sown…

2 COMMENTS

  1. Nice to read stories like this occasionally on this website! We all have our nice stories that lead us to the red and blacks and made us fall in love! Hope to read more of these stories in the future here.

     

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