quinta-feira, junho 02, 2011

2011 Farewell


We have seen some sporting legends retire this year...



 


 




Paul Scholes



and today...



I had the privilege to watch all of the mentioned above…


Saw Gary Neville and Paul Scholes coming up from Man United’s youth squad to their main team…

Saw van der Sar move on from Fulham into a Champions League elite group…

Saw Phil Jackson create a legacy of his own with the Bulls and then with the Lakers…

And saw Shaquille O’Neal winning championship rings and establish himself as one of the best players of the game. A centre to be feared by many disliked by some but respected by all!

Curiously enough, all of the names mentioned belong to two of my favourite teams in both Football and Basketball world. Aside from my home team in Portugal (Benfica), Manchester United is the only team in the world that I am keen on. Never knew why… would guess it has something to do with my older brother, who was also a fan of the Red Devils. But I guess it was impossible not to enjoy a club that had guys like Beckham, Peter Schmeichel (two personal favourite while growing up), Ryan Giggs, Roy Keane, Eric Cantona, Dwight Yorke, Andrew Cole… going through different generations and bringing others like Ferdinand, Van Nistelrooy, Veron, Cristiano Ronaldo and Rooney.

Meanwhile, as for the Lakers… Also with influences from family, as my other brother introduced me to the Showtime Lakers, one of the most prominent teams ever in the league! A team that ruled the 80’s with legends in the likes of Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy and Michael Cooper.

So having a degree of attachment with both teams, it is only natural that I have a more emotional reaction with the end of this season. The departure of these players and manager left an emptiness that can never be fully filled…

Sure the memories remain! Specially the ones that I witnessed in packed stadiums…
Or live in television... The lifting of trophies… The emotional hug between Jackson and Jordan… the champagne showers in the locker-room… and finally their retirement announcements.

Still we can rejoice with moments of sheer genius in a list of epic accomplishments…

A list too big to be enounced…

For their talent and skill, their sense of leadership and their charisma they will remain eternally magical and mystical… even beyond the sports universe!

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