A European friend I met here in Auckland once asked me how I become such a huge Juventus fan. I figured he asked because he saw it’s very odd for someone who came from nowhere near Italy, no relation what-so-ever to Italy, has so much affection for an Italian football club.
Well, I got this question a lot.
And I wasn’t always able to answer it the way I wanted to.
And as I am now mourning in my room after the painful loss in Champions League final, our 2nd UCL final loss in these 3 years, again to a Spanish club, I think maybe I’m just gonna write about it. So next time people ask me the same question, I’ll give them this blog link instead.
How I become a Juventus fan in the first place? it is simply a destiny. Maybe it sounds as a cliche, but every true football fan knows that we don’t choose our team, it chooses us. And I am just so thankful that I end up with Juventus. Juve is a great team with a great history and a great future. Yes, we have involved in some scandals, but we have paid for that. And yes, the last time we lift Champions League trophy was 21 years ago (I was not even a Juve fan yet back then). So what? it doesn’t mean that we will stop trying to get it again.
But why I become so attached to Juventus? this one I know for sure why.
Growing up, I always have this feeling that I am an odd duck. I am different. And I don’t belong anywhere.
I am different than the rest of my family, till this day, I still can’t explain my job (what I do as a process engineer) to my parents and my extended family without puzzling them. Our worlds are just too different. I don’t always feel belong in my family.
Also, I went to school too early, so I always was the youngest in class, yet I was always one of the smartest too (not to brag), so that my classmates treated me a slightly differently. I don’t always feel belong in schools.
And I don’t always feel belong in the office. I am pretty good at my works, but I have a bit difficulty to mingle with my co-workers, simply because I have different interests with the majority of them. I am always eyeing for cheap tickets for my next travel, and have no interest in the latest movie, fashion trends and what is happening between who and who in the office.
And I am an Introvert, so naturally, I dislike small talk. And the vast majority of Indonesia loves small talks. So, I rarely feel belong anywhere else.
But what does all the above have anything to do with Juventus?
Well, Juventus has helped to bridge me with my outside world. There are a lot of happy memories in those places, even when I don’t feel belong to, related to Juventus. I remember my father woke me up in the middle of the night to watch Juventus game. No, he didn’t watch the game, he woke up for tahajud pray, but he woke me up for the game, because he knew that I would be extremely upset if I missed it. I remember my classmate stole a Pippo Inzaghi poster from school library’s newspaper for me, back then when the internet was still scarce and we still relied on newspaper for football news. And I didn’t even ask for the poster, this friend just knew that I would be happy to have it. And I remember discussing Juventus games with my boss at the office, as football is the only thing we have in common outside work, and I was so thankful for those football conversations to balance out the uninteresting small talks that I have to do with others.
On top of that, Juventus is one of a few who made me the person who I am today. Juventus teaches me to love something so far far away, thus it inspires me to travel. If it wasn’t for the life-long dream of watching Juventus live in our stadium in Turin, I would never travel to Europe. If I hadn’t done that Eurotrip, I would never continue to travel to anywhere else in the world, which now traveling the world has become the greatest joy of my life. If I hadn’t traveled the world, I might not be inspired to pursue this scholarship and to have the experience of living abroad. If it wasn’t for Juventus, I would never learn Italian, which made me fall in love in learning multiple languages.
At some extent, I owe it to Juventus, and that’s why I love Juventus so much.
For the same reason, I got offended very easily when someone insults Juventus and when it happens, I will lose my respect to these people almost immediately. I mean, these people, I know them for how long? I will always know Juventus longer than I know them. Juventus was the one who always there, accompanied me growing up and now growing old, through the happy and upsetting moments, through celebrations and rejections, while where were they? So, it is only natural that I will always take Juventus side.
At the end, probably I will not give this blog link if I get the same question again. It is longer than I predicted, and I couldn’t imagine that people really want to read it till the end, which doesn’t really matter, anyway. I am just glad that I write it. It is something that I have been kept for myself.
So next time people asked me how do I become a huge fan of Juventus? I will just say: it just happened.