The Hole in My Heart

Since the inception of the Champions League in 1992, AC Milan have played in Europe every single season except the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons. I barely even remember those years. I am so used to watching them play in the Champions League that I still find myself searching my TV guide for games even though I know I won’t find them. And although I was a proponent of having no Europe this season to help us rebuild, and I believe strongly that it is still needed, it still hurts, like a hole in my heart.

It used to be just another day at the office

Fans of most clubs would be happy to have 18 Scudetti to their club’s name. Or to even be in the top ten in the league after such a rough couple of years. But that is the very least that is expected of AC Milan. Our greatness and our legacy comes from the number seven on our Champions League patches. Seven times we have lifted the Champions League trophy, second only to Real Madrid. That’s a lot of trophies.

Trophies we won’t be competing for this season. As fans, it’s hard to watch the European competitions without AC Milan. I typically don’t like entitled fans, but after so many consecutive years competing in Europe, it’s difficult not to feel a little entitled and a lot empty when it comes to Europe and the Champions League.

A year of anger and a year of pain

As the Curva Sud proudly displayed the choreography “A Year of Anger to Return to Greatness” ahead of the match vs. Juventus, complete with the Champions League emblem, it was a visual reminder for me of what I’ll be missing this season. It also raised questions of whether or not Milan can return to Europe in only one year. Five games in, we do sit in sixth place, but can we stay in the chase for Europe after a whole season?

For me, it will be an even longer season, with long, empty gaps midweek. Sure I will watch and support my fellow Serie A teams in hopes that as a nation, Italy also returns to greatness. After Italy shot themselves in the foot in 2006 with the Calciopoli scandal, it just seems that we lose more ground each year. But it took until this season to break the tradition of Milan in Europe. So I hope that we can ‘return to greatness’ next season, because I don’t know how much more red and black blood I can afford to lose through this hole in my heart.

This post inspired by the music of The Cure’s “Disintegration” album

Our next match is
Milan vs. Chievo
Saturday, October 4th • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)

The Hole in My Heart The Hole in My Heart Reviewed by Elaine on 5:47 AM Rating: 5
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