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Reagan Connelly: Il Burattinaio Irlandese

Started on 31 October 2019 by ImThatSybGuy
Latest Reply on 12 May 2020 by TheLFCFan
And that is how you make your return. Brilliant stuff from an obviously brilliant player.
TheLFCFan's avatar Group TheLFCFan
4 yearsEdited
Never forget though...Reagan>> Luke
Coming back and making Vidic look like the fraud he was ;)
Beautiful recovery. Brought a tear to my eye.
A return stripped out of a fairy-tale. Couldn't be happier for Reagan!

L'eroe di Atene

27 May 2007, Athens, Greece
Alessandro de Laurentis: “Welcome ladies and gentleman at the Olympic Stadium here in Athens, Greece. AC Milan and Liverpool FC will be battling for a Champions League trophy and there is no doubt that Ancelotti’s men will want revenge for that game.”

Luca Arrighetti: “For sure, Il Rossineri won’t want a repeat of that game, especially Irish midfielder Reagan Connelly. Almost exactly two years ago that terrible accident happened. Connelly was told he wouldn’t be able to return, but here he is, back to get revenge for himself and for his team.”

AdL: “AC milan will line-up as follows. In goal, we’ll see Dida. Paolo Maldini and Alessandro Nesta will be the central defenders, with Jankulovski on their left and Oddo to their right. Seedorf, Gattuso, Pirlo and Connelly will form a 4-man midfield, with the Dutchman being the most offensive one. Up top, we will see Inzaghi, with Káká just behind him.

Pepe Reina will be defending the goal for Liverpool today, with Finnan, Carragher, Agger and Riise as defensive lines. The two deep midfielders will be Alonso and Mascherano, Pennant on the right and Zenden on the left. Steven Gerrard will be playing as an attacking midfielder, with Dirk Kuyt as lone striker.”

LA: “My player to watch will be undoubtedly Il Burrattinaio, the way Connelly came back from such an injury, he looks set to be the key player here today. He registered 6 assists in his last 3 games alongside scoring 2, and he seems to be in a better form than ever before.”

AdL: “I think the midfield battle will be key here anyway, Seedorf, Gattuso, Pirlo and Connelly against Alonso, Mascherano and Gerrard. Seven absolute top-tier midfielders trying to paint their most beautiful painting on the canvas that is the Olympic Stadium.”

LA: “Both teams are ready, the fans are ready, we are ready, the world is ready. The 2007 Champions League final has kicked off.”

AdL: “Seven minutes in and AC Milan are looking to control this game. Pirlo, Connelly and Seedorf have been linking up incredibly well and have been controlling this game right from the start.”

LA: “That magical midfield three seems to show us exactly what they’re capable of, if this continues like this, we could easily see an early break form for AC Milan as they’ve been playing Liverpool silly.”

AdL: “It’s a corner for AC Milan, Pirlo behind the ball. He whips in a cross, it’s defended away by a Liverpool player, but the ball falls to Connelly. Kuyt charges him down and that’s an exquisite play by Connelly to get himself in space there, he shoots, and he finds the crossbar. That’s unlucky, he has Reina beaten, but the woodwork isn’t. Still 0-0, but it’s waiting for an AC Milan goal.”

LA: “Liverpool have AC Milan backed into a corner here. Oddo and Gatusso have been pressured here, how will they get a way out.”

AdL: “Connelly assisting them now, he receives the ball and what a skill to beat Dirk Kuyt. Now he’s in space, and he tries a long ball. It finds Inzaghi, who beats Carragher. Inzaghi coming closer to Reina. Inzaghi shoots and it’s just wide. That’s unlucky.”

LA: “Half-time is rapidly approaching fast and AC Milan will kick themselves if they don’t manage to get a goal here. Pirlo with the ball here, one more attack might be doable for AC Milan. Pirlo tries to find Connelly down his right, the ball seems to be overhit. Connelly can just about get it past Riise.”

AdL: “He’s able to keep the ball in play, wonderfully done by Connelly. In a prime place to cross now, he opts to beat Carragher. Now he puts in the cross and it’s a goal. AC Milan finally broke through. Connelly does wonderfully well to beat Riise and Carragher and that cross is perfection.”

LA: “Absolutely fantastic run by Inzaghi as well to beat anyone to that cross and it’s a fantastic header as well, Milan lead and it’s very well deserved.”

AdL: “That’s half-time, a sublime Connelly has helped AC Milan here get their goal and it all seems to be in a great position for them.”

LA: “And we’re back underway, the same 22 players that left the pitch have re-entered and AC Milan are, once again, 45 minutes away from beating Liverpool to a Champions League victory.”

AdL: “20 minutes gone in an uneventful second half, AC Milan defend the Liverpool attacks with ease and really haven’t been dangerous themselves either.”

LA: “This might be a dangerous situation in front of Pepe Reina. Pirlo and Connelly behind a free-kick. Both have shown to be capable of scoring from this position. It looks like it is Connelly to take it. Connelly shoots and AC Milan claim a goal, has that ball gone in, AC Milan say yes, Liverpool say no and the final verdict from the referees is no too, unlucky for Connelly.”

AdL: “He gets it up and over the wall, it dips just a little too late and it goes out via the crossbar, such a shame for Connelly.”

LA: “80 minutes played and it’s Kaladze on the left, he just entered the pitch. Inzaghi is in front of the net and is begging for a cross, Kaladze whips in a cross and it’s overhit. Connelly could pick up the loose ball and oh my word, that’s brilliant. From an impossible angle, first time volley, Reina is nailed down to the ground as the AC Milan fans cheer on their hero.”

AdL: “World-class, that will go down as one of the great goals of football. A truly remarkable goal from a remarkable player with a remarkable story.”

LA: “Time is ticking on as Liverpool try their hardest to find a consolation goal. Cross whipped in, falls to Kuyt, 2-1. Could the spirits of Istanbul come down in Athens and make another incredible comeback, possible.”

AdL: “There’s the final whistle, Milan players all surround their hero, Reagan Connelly put on a magical display as he helps AC Milan get revenge. He lived up to the occasion in a way that no-one would’ve ever expected. Remember the time, 22:36 27th of May 2007, an AC Milan legend is born.”

LA: “No, a footballing legend.”

But for Reagan an incredible game that he seemingly dominated. To come back from that injury and put in such a performance takes a lot of hard work and dedication and Reagan seems to have that in bucket-loads. What more can this guy achieve!
A night Reagan will never forget. Could this be the start of something truly magical for him?
That AC Milan team is sumptuous and Connelly being part of that incredible side looks very tidy on his CV, I'm sure.

Lo Inizio

14 June 2010, Milan, Italy

As the elite of world football has gathered in South Africa for the 2010 World Cup, I spent a big part of my summer in an Italian hospital. It was the biggest negative of playing for Ireland, while everyone was focussed on the World Cup, I wasn’t there. It was always and would always remain a dream of playing for Ireland in a World Cup.

The last few years were good for me personally. I had no troubles from my injury any more and I loved playing football and was recently named captain as well. My personal life couldn’t be better. I proposed to Cecilia in the summer of 2008, and we got married almost a year later. That brought me back here, in a hospital.

I was sitting quietly in the hospital waiting room, my brother was pacing through the room, visibly nervous. I didn’t understand why he was nervous, but he always gets nervous in hospitals, which I remembered when I was in the hospital. On the small television in the room I could see a football game, Italy against Paraguay, the score was 1-0.

Suddenly the doctor walked into the room. “You can come in now.” I instantly got up, walked towards the room and was greeted there by two nurses and Cecilia. The doctor my attention to the left of the room, where I was greeted by the sight of two beautiful babies. “Congratulations” said the doctor, closely followed by the two nurses.

The hospital staff left the room and I went and sat on the bed next to Cecilia, I handed her the baby girl as I was holding the baby boy. Cecilia looked at me, turned back to the babies and said: “Welcome Rosalina, welcome Paolo.”
What beautiful names. Congratulations to both Cecilia and Reagan.
Captaincy and now two children, the last few years since that Champions League win have been nothing but kind to Reagan, despite not being in South Africa.
Justice's avatar Group Justice
4 yearsEdited
Congratulations to Reagan on his little re(a)gens.


May 2017, Milan, Italy

“It’s incredibly sad to have to say goodbye. I’ve joined this wonderful club fifteen years ago and I truly feel part of the AC Milan family. I’m proud to have played for this club and I’m proud to say goodbye to you in this fashion. I’ve experienced happiness, love, joy, happiness and so much more here. This club has brought me so many incredible things and I’m surethat I will continue to support this beautiful club. AC Milan will for always be in my heart.”

Gabriella Berardi: “These were the final words of Reagan Connelly as player of AC Milan, truly an end of an era, wouldn’t you agree Pietro."

Pietro Scola: “Most definitely Gabriella. Connelly was an iconic player, not just for AC Milan. San Siro will be different without Connelly on the pitch, that’s for sure.”

Gabriella Berardi: “What do you think the future will bring for Connelly. Could you see him return as manager or something.”

Pietro Scola: “He has told multiple people that he’d like to spend some time with his family. So I could easily see Connelly leave football behind all together. Maybe do some work for the club behind the scenes as ambassador. I won’t rule out seeing Connelly as manager, because I think he would be a great manager, but we’ll have to wait for that to happen.”

Gabriella Berardi: “Let’s go back to the present, or well the past, Pietro. What is the most iconic Connelly moment in an AC Milan kit.

Pietro Scola: “It can’t not be that 2007 Champions League final. The story behind that final for him, followed by how incredibly well he played. It was incredible.”

Gabriella Berardi: “Couldn’t agree more. Anyway, that’s all the time we have for today. Pietro, I’d like to thank you for being here and I’d like to welcome you all back next time. Ciao”.
The end of an era. I look forward to seeing what the next chapter holds for Reagan.

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