We had to get to Inter’s training ground out of town at Appiano Gentile by 10am. It’s supposed to be a half hour drive. “Easy,” we thought. We left at 9am, thinking we were giving ourselves plenty of time. 30 minutes later we had arrived back at our point of departure, having been led a merry dance by Milan’s chaotic road network.
The fog, congested roads and our poor navigating left us battling the clock. Panic began to set in. Nasty words were exchanged between driver and navigator. But somehow, almost miraculously, we found the right road and made it, just about on time, to the photo-shoot.
We drove past the paparazzi waiting at the high-security front gate and were escorted out back, just outside of the players’ area right before practice. We were told that it would be Brazil’s number one goalkeeper Julio Cesar, who would be joining us.
“He is 100% for the World Cup”, said Andrea Butti from Inter. “That is why we thought he would be the right man.” A true gentleman, he signed The Ball and headed it on its way.
Special Olympics was represented by athlete Matteo, who gave The Ball a big kick southwards, and whose signature on The Ball means a great deal to us — two stars kicking and signing The Ball in one day is a rare event.
Written by The Ball on Thursday, February 11th, 2010