Time seemd to stand still as the illustrious, beautiful, gliding ball floated, becoming ever so bigger as it seemed to get closer. Possessed, wild, frantic; the trajectory of the ball seemed to be more like a feral beast than an inanimate object. But one thing was certain, Julian would score! Concentrating, he stared at the ball; everything he had done was building up to this important moment. Only a few moments ago, he was getting ready for the game. Only a few moments ago, he was chatting with one of his football idols. Only a few moments ago, his team were down.
But now, that would not be the case!
Julian made a perfect connection with the ball, rocketing the poor object into the top left corner, leaving everyone stunned in the arena; the fans, the managers, the ballboys, the referees, the players...hell, even himself!
However, one should not dawn on something so chilidish and petty when there is something else, something very important.
We need to win this game!
We can't waste time!
These were just some of the thoughts running in Julian's head as he picked the ball out of the goal, sprinting back with it, trying to reach the centre circle as quickly as possible.
As all of this mayhem was happening, the "mayhem" from the Juventus fans however stopped. The screams and shouts died out and silence and uncertainty began to live.
This game was not like what it was before!
The tables could turn any moment!
The Juventus players, who still had their mouths left wide open, thought the same exact thing. If they could score this quick after half-time, then why couldn't they score at any other time?
They tried in a futile attempt to will themselves to make this not happen.
On the other side, things could be far from the case. The Manchester United team were ecstatic and seeing that the Juventus team were discouraged and emotionally clearly not at their best, they were more motivated and empowered than ever befrore, raring to go.
As Julian was running back to the centre circle, he could hear a surprised voice behind him:
"Nice one kid! But that won't happen next time!" Zidane cheekily smirked at Julian, leaving a competetive spirit within Julian to manifest.
Although, he did not show it openly instead he ignored Zidane's comment whilst giving the ball to referee so they could start the game as quickly as possible; he also wanted to keep this unmatched morale of his team going.
They were in very high spirits.
As the referee was placing the ball at the spot in the centre of the circle, the United players, who were fired up, eyed the Juventus team with predatory eyes, they were demonstrating they were coming for their necks.
Unlike what was described before, the score still remained 2-1 in Juventus's favour however...
the game has not resembled anything as such.
Man United had 68% possession and 11 shots on target whereas the Italian giants could barely scrape a measly 32% possession and 2 shots but...
no matter how many more shots you had and percentage of possession you possessed, if you couldn't score, it didn't matter.
This was the harsh reality of football.
However, could the United team be blamed?
The Juventus goalkepper would not allow a single shot past him; he stringed a wonderful display of acrobatic saves.
Not to say, Schmeichel wasn't having a good game because the giant Danishman had put a stop to more than 13 incredible shots from possibly two of Italy's historically best strikers in Del Piero and Inzaghi.
Nevertheless, all these stats don't matter; the only thing running through everyone's minds right now is...
I had been rewarded a free-kick at the edge of the box after a rash challenge from Alessandro Birindelli, one of Juventus's defenders, who managed to be sent off after the incident.
This was the last play.
And I thought since I earned the free-kick, I was obliged to also take it.
But that was not the case for our manager!
"Beckham, you take the free-kick" Ferguson ordered Beckham, whilstpointing at him.
"Manager, but I think I'll be better in taking it!" Julian protested constanty to no avail, with the manager taking a blind eye on him and ignoring his requests.
Julian got angry for the first time this game.
How could he not let him take it?
How could he let the person, who by skin and bone, managed to earn the free-kick?
How could he give it to someone else so easily?
Hearing Ferguson's response, Julian angrily stormed back onto the pitch; he didn't want to hear from his manager again; he disgusted him.
Seeing the fuming and slightly childish teen acting like a spolit child, the main culprit of the whole fiasco walked up to Julian and whispered in his ear:
"I'll give it to you, don't worry!"
Yes! I know! Beckham, possibly one of the best free-kick takers ever, was giving Julian the chance in his place!
This was so shocking and mind-boggling, that it stunned Julian too.
"Are you sure? Don't tell me you're just trying to appease me because if that's the case, I don't want any of it!" Julian questioningly asked back, eyeing Beckham with a quizzical look.
"Nope. I'm not trying to appease you or anything, I just believe and have an intiution that you will score this free-kick. If you don't...well...let's just say...you're going to be doing...some things for me" Beckham replied scarily, giving Julian the shivers because he never expected this from his teammate.
"Alright, let's get it!" Beckham shouted as all the players returned back onto the field.
The English teen, instead of running onto the field, questioned himself whether this really was the right decision.
David Beckham was a notorious free-kick taker.
He had never taken a free-kick professionally.
Last of all, was he even actually confident in taking it?
He argued, got mad and threw a tantrum for it but when the opportunity actually fell to his hands, he shies away?
That won't happen.
As all these questions floated in his head, Julian ran onto the pitch, situating himself at a desirable place for a run up.
Julian and Beckham stood, both eyeing the ball until...
The sound of grass being trampled on could be heard as the two players started to make a run, with Beckham leading the race.
However, even if there were two, the Juventus team only focused on Beckham; they all shared the same instinct that he would take the free-kick as per usual; he was a recognised free-kick taker whilst...this Julian...although he was an astounding player...they had never seen the youngster take a free-kick.
Surely, he was only acting as a feint.
The two criminals got...closer...and...closer...and closer...until the more recognisable one was just about to hit the ball.
All the Juventus players jumped when they saw Beckham about to hit the ball but...
The stud simply pranced over it, leaving it to his partner in crime, who was now only a breath away from the ball.