My belief that Juventus would ride to Champions League glory on a wave of destiny was misplaced (or utter bollocks, depending on your perspective). Reality chased down the Italian dream and beat it to death with a white ballet shoe.
And so the Fates slipped quietly away from Cardiff, their chariots decorated with the crushed hearts of Juventus supporters.
“Why?” screamed Buffon into the cold Welsh night. Why did the Moirai treat the Old Lady with such disdain? Why promise so much and deliver so little? Why punish the club with such cruelty?
- Did Juventus build their stadium on the unmarked grave of a serial killer? Probably not.
- Did a manager once declare his striker more beautiful then even Aphrodite? It seems unlikely.
- Did the alignment of the stripes in the Juventus shirt risk shattering space-time, encouraging the arrival of demons from another dimension and the end of all civilization as we know it? Um…no.
Do not blame the Moirai.
The Fates rarely tweak ankles or shift blades of grass. They merely invite players, fans and managers to ride a wave of belief, to follow a pressing narrative, to fulfill a hypothetical destiny. And, so, even they are powerless against the Shoelace Effect.
When Casemiro let fly in the 61st minute of the Champions League final, the Moirai sneered at his feeble challenge to the Juventus narrative. And then Sami Khedira’s foot was the wrong half of a centimetre away from deflecting the shot for a corner. Instead, his intervention twisted Casemiro’s shot into the welcome embrace of the Juventus goal, teasing Buffon’s outstretched fingers as it passed.
Blame the width of Khedira’s shoes, not the Moirai.
Could Juventus have responded better? The stage was indeed set for a rousing comeback, a team emerging glorious from the darkness of Real’s stroke of luck. But they did not pursue this narrative. Indeed, they left the power of narrative to Real, who sized the chance to become the first team to defend a Champions League title.
Juventus did not believe. So the Moirai shook their heads in disappointment, and then smiled.