The Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, commonly referred to as San Siro, is the home of rivals AC Milan and Internazionale — two of Italy’s, and the world’s, soccer giants.
Now, Indonesia also has its own San Siro. It doesn’t have the capacity to seat 80,000 spectators nor the lush green grass of the OG, since it’s just an empty field in the South Sulawesi capital city Makassar. But it’s a field in which dreams are made, nonetheless.
A striking photo of kids playing in the field, with an adjacent brick wall bearing the word “SANSIRO” in graffiti, went hugely viral after being shared by 433, a soccer community page on Instagram. The image seems to have really resonated with soccer fans for its portrayal of the accessible nature of the sport, because, at the time of writing, the image has received more than 1 million likes.
The photo was initially posted by photographer Muhammad Nurdin on his Instagram account, @pachesmindstore, on Dec 28. Apparently, Nurdin is a fan of AC Milan, as seen in his original caption: “San Siro, now you’re unlike the tales of your glory. Forza Milan (Go Milan).”
He also posted another photo from a different angle a few days ago with a more poetic caption: “Play as if you’re destined to play with the world’s greatest teams. Kick as if your kick could penetrate the goals of the champions of the world.”
Nurdin said he couldn’t believe that his original San Siro photo ended up being shared among international soccer fan communities.
Nurdin would be even happier knowing that a player from his favorite club, Davide Calabria, has liked the photo (unfortunately not on Nurdin’s own Instagram, since he liked a fan account’s repost).
Indonesian soccer fans — many of whom support AC Milan or Internazionale — may feel nostalgic upon seeing Nurdin’s San Siro photos, as many of them used to play on makeshift soccer pitches when they were kids as well. Soccer means a lot to millions of Indonesians, even if the country itself has barely achieved anything on the international stage, so it’s nice to see a local illustration of the beautiful game resonate so well globally.