In essence it is the same

As much as we try, in the end we really feel comfortable where we feel comfortable in a natural and simple way. If I am not asleep, I am really comfortable in few places, and when I find them I enjoy them with a feeling similar to relief. It could be said then that I have had a good week: I started it by sharing a table and after-dinner with illustrious veterans of football and sports journalism and I ended it playing street games with my son.

Only by listening to veterans I feel part of something in this profession, and the best thing then is that that ‘something’ suddenly acquires all the meaning. One understands that without the old ones – and it also happens in football and in almost everything – it would be something worse, something very small and different, so the only appropriate option is to close your mouth, sharpen your attention to learn and open it only to ask what it touches. In these cases, I do not take the notebook out of my pocket to take notes because I am ashamed and when I get to the car I write everything I remember on my mobile. It should be mandatory, at least once a semester, a time of talk and anecdotes with those who knew how to reach the end of the road. His was another time, and sometimes they idealize it, but in essence it is the same. In essence it is life. I don’t know of anything that works better to endure in football and in journalism than sitting down to listen to what we once were.

The same healing effect has on me playing ball with Teo. I have gotten a defense son, I told you recently, but I have to love him the same, apparently. He is interested in football, at 5 years old and in this order, the paid off, the thongs and the result. Last week he woke up at dawn asking for water and when I went to take it he asked me, still half stunned: “Who has won the game?

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Any day he will come home forcing the Paraguayan accent, wasting time and protesting an imaginary referee in the hall. For now at school he plays with stones because they don’t let them use balls and seeing the evolution that it brings me, just in case, I won’t take long to buy shin guards to protect my tibia. When we leave class, when we get to the field and before other children approach – a moment that I take the opportunity to withdraw and observe stealthily -, he challenges me: “Go, scold me, don’t you know so much about football? flipao“What do you answer to that? What do the books recommend? I suppose it is clear that the flipao it’s him, the freak. For the moment we laugh.

The fact is that they leave school and in the park the little anonymous footballers drip. You learn a lot by watching children play in the street. The show is closer to the animal documentaries than the ones that teams now shoot in the changing rooms. It should be mandatory, at least once a semester, that adults witness from a secluded place how children organize, how they argue and yield, how they agree on rules to play a game. How they are right and wrong, how they are known and forgotten, and how they face conflicts themselves. How it usually ends up out of focus, good or bad, the one that is toxic for the collective. Also in this, mine was another time, and sometimes I idealize it, but in essence it is the same. In essence it is life. I don’t know of anything that works better to maintain some faith in football, in the ugly and the beautiful, than sitting down to watch those games.

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