Originally posted on Goonersphere
The inauspicious entrance offers no clue as to the treasures that await inside.
The unremarkable automatic double doors silently allow you passage, and then, as if the buidling itself is taking a deep breath, the atrium yawns open ahead of you. The huge open space gives all who enter a plethora of choices as to where they begin their path to footballing enlightenment, but in the centre is a statue of one player.
Perhaps the beacon, the standard bearer from where all technical brilliance begins – Johan Cruyff.
As you marvel at the icon before you, a tour guide offers you and your party a tablet and a set of headphones, which give each person extra information on each spectacle they are about to enjoy.
Then, the member of staff tells you to make your choice for where to begin your journey.
From left to right, all hallways which branch off from this wide open space are clearly labelled:
French national teams of the ’80’s and ’90’s.
Real Madrid European Cup winning teams
Manchester United of 1999
’70’s and ’80’s Liverpool
Pele and Maradona
There were more, and the pole which signposted all choices looked like a confused person attempting to point in the right direction.
You walk toward your choice, and the plain white doors open, and your eyes widen.
In each room, when you enter, all that greets you is the darkest black your eyes could comprehend. As the doors close behind you, a slight panic tingles its way up your spine, but the noise that breaks the silence sweeps any negativity away.
A cacophony of cheering fills the room, and then, you are instantly put into the stands as a football match unfolds around you. Thanks to hologram technology, the fans that have popped up to envelop you make you feel as if you were there, as some of the most iconic and memorable moments of football occur right in front of you.
This museum gives all fans the opportunity to witness first hand – or as close as possible – football that refreshes the child-like wonder that all supporters have. Moments in time that have lived on thanks to the passing of stories between fans of all generations.
Some things aren’t meant to be forgotten. Some things are meant to be held up on the highest pedestal, as propaganda of sorts – to ensure that the root of football lives on.
The sport has changed immeasurably since it began, and it is now dominated by currency, but every now and then, something happens on the pitch which transports all who witness it back to their happiest memories.
Whichever choice you make in this museum, all the moments you care to choose are the finest, unblemished slices of the sport. Michel Platini bringing glory back to France. Jairzinho, Tostao and Pele in 1970 destroying their opposition with ingenuity. Ruud Gullit, Van Basten and Rijkaard reinventing not only AC Milan, but Dutch football. Dennis Bergkamp scoring his hat-trick Vs Leicester, and his World Cup goal Vs Argentina.
So many instances where your breath gets caught in transit, as you first look on in wonder, and then query how it happened.
The control of the ball as it falls from the heavens, only for it to be put on an invisible leash by men that took the sport to the higher echelons.
Whilst the museum is built as an opportunity for all fans to enjoy what are pure, undiluted examples of the sport we all adore – it is also a tribute to the men who keep football alive. Modern day footballers who aspire to entertain like their heroes who they idolise.
So, take your seat in the holographic stand, as the hairs stand to attention on your arms, like they too want to catch a glimpse of what is about to unfold.
Thierry Henry and Robert Pires are about to kick off…..