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A Day With Abbiati

A lot of people take keepers for granted, and our very own Christian Abbiati is no exception. So I wondered, what would people think if they got to know him a little better? Like if they could spend a day with him? What if I could spend a day with him? So, with the high tech resources of my semi-conscious dream state and a slightly overactive imagination as well as the liberal use of Google image search, I am able to bring you A Day With Abbiati…

A look into the mysterious (if only imaginary) world of Abbiati

So I called the number I found for Abbiati (I never reveal my sources, but it was my husband’s cousin’s friend’s uncle’s best friend’s barber, who lost a lot of business when Abbiati went with the bald look.) In my perfect Italian (I used a lot of imagination on this one,) I explained myself and stopped just sort of begging to ask to spend a day following him. He was surprisingly nice and agreed right away, and we set it up for me to meet him at Milanello.

(Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, it's really him... act normal...)

After the usual girl-panic of “what do I wear to meet my favorite Milan keeper ever” (I went with a sporty casual look, kind of an “I care, I’m sensible, but I’m not trying to be a WAG” look,) I showed up to Milanello 2 hours early and bit my fingernails until they nearly bled (Actually, I don’t bite my fingernails, that’s a disgusting habit, but it kind of adds something to the narrative, don’t you think?) To my delight, the 6’4” (1,91m) Abbiati shows up in a Mini. An itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny orange Mini.

How does someone so big fit in a car so small? It defies the laws of physics.

Imagine my delight as I watched his hulking figure climb out of that tiny thing. I didn’t have the guts to ask him to show me how he got into it, but I did ask how he manages, and he told me that it was part of his agility training, that he tried to use everything in life as a lesson for the pitch and vice versa. Brilliant. (But still, I made a mental note to pay close attention when it was time to leave, something told me that this was going to be a sight to behold)

Photographic evidence of the existence of Flavio Roma

Training went pretty much as expected, I got to meet the elusive Flavio Roma (yes, he really does exist) as well as Marco Amelia and watch them train under none other than Benjamino Abate. Yes, Ignazio Abate’s father (he is a former keeper and now a keeper coach at Milan.)

Later, during training, as I was distracted watching the brilliance of everyone I worship train, I nearly missed Abbiati having this special moment with Ibra…

Ibra is so generous with his affection

It turns out that footballers have feelings, too, and not only had Ibra been close with Piqué and Abate, he took the time to pull Abbiati aside and share some private moments. Abbiati wouldn’t tell me everything, but he did tell me that Ibra told him “Bald is beautiful.” (I thought this was cheap and more than cliché, but it seemed to touch Christian, so I didn’t say anything. And yes, he did say I could call him Christian.)

Always time for his fans

Time for some quick autographs (but I played it cool and didn’t ask for one, as I already had an autographed jersey my friend got for me at home) and then it was off to the beach. (Yes, I know Milanello is landlocked, but when you are using your imagination and Google image search gives you a beach pic, you go to the beach.) I gleefully watched him get in his Mini and drive off, it actually looked surprisingly easy and natural, no wonder he’s our number one.

Posing for pics with female fans... it's a rough job, but he is committed.

At the beach, he was barely able to relax, I guess being a 6’4” bald footballer makes you stand out a bit. Anyway, lots of people came by to get pics and autographs, and he was very patient and kind to all. No wonder he was given the captain’s armband this season and will be vice captain now, the man is pure class.

After the beach, he told me he was going out for the evening. I didn’t want to intrude, but he told me to meet him in front of the Dolce & Gabbana store. Being the fashion freak that I am, I had to see what he would wear to go out. So even if it meant I had to figure out another outfit, I showed up to take a pic, then said my goodbyes and left the poor man alone. He was very hospitable, but I’m sure he was relieved to finally be rid of me.

Stepping out in style

I couldn’t sleep that night (maybe it’s because I had only dreamed this whole thing and thus had already slept?) I had been so excited to meet my big hero, yet he turned out to be quite a normal, laid-back, easy-going guy. A giant, otherwise normal, laid-back, easy-going guy. He had even showed me his sensitive side with his tender moments with Ibra. But in training, he was fierce and focused, just like he is in matches. A good guy, a great keeper, and our new vice captain. (That last sentence is all true, but I may have imagined the rest…)


This post inspired by the music of The Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”