AC Milan vs UAE: Memoirs From Dubai

Michelle AlvesSenior Writer ISeptember 17, 2008

Firstly I’d like to point out, everything I’ve mentioned in this article are just my views and experiences and I’m not attempting to be racist. Sincerely.

Living in Dubai, we hardly get to see any big teams play. The local teams are great, but not as much as fun as watching Liverpool or Arsenal play. So when I heard that AC Milan were going to play in Dubai I was over the moon. 

Already, I started fantasizing about meeting Kaka and Maldini, two of my favourite Milan players! I bought the tickets, bought a Milan shirt with Kaka’s name on the back, and scream Forza Milan at random friends, shocking the life out of them. Anticipation.

Few days before the game, I got a call from a friend, saying some of the Milan players were in Adidas. It took me 30 seconds—and i know it was 30 because my mum was timing me—to get dressed.

Another 30 seconds to convince my dad to drive me there. It seemed by the time we reached the place, the whole of Dubai knew that Kaka was there, there was a ton of people outside screaming Kaka’s name. Being as crazy as I am, I pushed everyone out of my way till ended up right in front.  

I was too busy staring at Seedorf, mainly because I couldn’t see anyone else, to realise that Kaka was leaving from the exit at the back. I managed to catch a glimpse of the back of Kaka’s head. It was the best back of the head I had ever seen and was enough to keep this crazy sports freak happy until the game! Ecstatic.

Few days later, all geared up for the game, dad and I left for the stadium. Our friends were going to meet us there! The stadium was bursting with Milan fans from all over. Since they were playing UAE, there were a lot of Arabs too! You could tell who was supporting UAE, obviously all the guys wearing the traditional white Kandoora which Arabs usually wear. Smug.

Our friends were late and we had their tickets. I couldn’t wait for them because I wanted proper seats so we entered, and figured we’d go back and get them when they arrived. We got the best front row seats!  Overjoyed.

30 minutes later, our friends called and said they were waiting outside. My very cruel father made me get up from my wonderful seats and go with him to get them. By the time we got back the seats were taken and we had to resort to the worst seats ever.

These seats were so bad, that even after using the zoom button on my camera I could hardly see the players and to make things worse, my favourite Milan player, Kaka, was on the bench for the first half...which was even farther away from where I was seated, so once again, I couldn’t tell which one was Kaka.  I felt like a child who was denied a favourite toy. Heartbroken.

The ref blew his whistle and the game started. As soon as UAE would come close to scoring, all the Arabs in the stadium would start screaming “Ole ole, ” mainly, I think, because they didn’t know anything else. Halfway through the game, the crowd tried a feeble attempt at making a wave. The laziness of the crowd showed when the wave died after a few minutes.

Now, this is not to say that people from Dubai are dense or anything, because I live here too, but it took the crowd almost a minute to realise that Gilardino had scored a goal for Milan. There was a minute of silence, followed by a loud shout and lots of screaming. To be honest, I was too disappointed with the seats to pay attention to the game, so until then even I hadn’t realised that they had scored. Slow.

The game got over, final score being Milan 2, UAE 0. The match might have got over, but the fun hadn’t. As soon as the ref blew the whistle, two fat Arabs in Kandoora’s came running on to the field, hugged one of the players and ran for their lives.

Seeing the two Arabs on the field, two fat police officers ran behind them. The run never seemed to end; to me it was in slow motion. Sadly the policemen were too slow to catch up with the Arabs, and I nearly passed out laughing. It seemed like an Indian movie police chase, where everything was in slow motion and it was never ending. Amused.

It was fun that day, even though I went home totally disappointed and almost in tears. Till today when I take ages to get dressed my mum says, “If I said Kaka is there, she would have been out of here in  a shot.”

And I guess she’s right.