Rui Costa and Materazzi – Best Sports Photo Ever?

April 12, 2005 – The second leg of the Champions League quarter finals which pitted Inter Milan against AC Milan, back when Inter were still the biggest losers around. Milan were leading 1-0 in the game and 3-0 in aggregate, en route to a Semi Final clash with Lyon. Inter got a few chances, and in the 71st minute all hell broke loose. Esteban Cambiasso’s goal was disallowed, and flares and missiles came flying out of the Inter fans stands onto the pitch. One of them eventually hit Dida, AC Milan’s keeper, and the game was over. The pitch looked like Armageddon. The moment caught by the camera, of Rui Costa and Marco Materazzi leaning on each other, watching (enjoying?) the chaos, is amazing, brilliant, by mistake.

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It makes you realize that it’s just a game, that people play it for money and fun, and there are those who take it much more seriously. Dead serious, unfortunately, at times. Passion, hatred, devotion – When they go over the limit, the sport itself and the reason for being in the stadium gets pushed aside and forgotten. To this day, this photo is still the background on my computer. Reminds me in one shot all the good and bad about soccer, rivalries and fans.