We have spent a couple of days with a friend I love very much and his three little ones. The largest of them is called Nico. He is a nine-year-old boy with an intelligent look and a frank smile. He is a football fan and Real Madrid and from Spanish. My friend and I had planned to get the gourds together — the expression is his — for a long time. Oihan, the oldest of my little ones is ten years old, with a restless look, a huge smile and is from Athletic. How would they get along?
It has been a wonderful couple of days of walks, board games, sun and soccer. Summer days in which my friend and I have talked about our adult issues (the future, the mortgage, the job) while the little ones fraternized around a ball with their children’s talks (transfers, best players, soccer socks). FIFA). From time to time they asked us some questions: how many Champions has the Juve; if all the winning teams of one put the star on the shield; who was the best goalkeeper in history.
Watching them, I remembered when I was their age and football was a fascinating world to discover through games at recess, stories from the grown-ups, games on television or the stadium. It soon became that territory of the fan that I have always inhabited and in which, above all, I have been lucky to find people I admire and love.
Some of those people are team fans that I don’t like. When I was little I was fascinated to meet guys my age who were fans of those teams. To my eyes, they were exotic, like inhabitants of distant lands. I liked to see, however, that the world was diverse, and I fried them with questions: who was their best player, what did they sing in the stadium, what was his shirt like?
I think the ball is a meeting place. I have loved seeing Nico and Oihan these days as if they were lifelong friends because they share that great passion, each one from their own colors. I think the two, from today, will have a certain sympathy for each other’s team. A sympathy born in friendship. As it happens to their parents. Well thought out, it was predictable, when it came to our children. After all, they are Sons of Soccer.