They were playing while the sun was dying, wet ground, fast playing field, in other times I would have asked the kit-man to adjust my 6 studs – soft ground boots!
The game had a small ball, no bibs but it was surprisingly easy to realize who wanted to get the ball from me and who wanted simply to offer a passing line, their two leaders stood out by skills and attitude! constantly they were telling me during the game: We want a leather ball! – I quickly responded! – I want yours! It’s not too bad! – they answered: We want a leather one!
So they begun to play only making me dizzy, fooling me around, I took care for a few minutes of not falling down and to not let them embarrass me! When I started playing with my street mode on as I used to do in Reconquista/Argentina in a matter of minutes I earned their respect! We finished the game and I offered to buy their homemade ball! Yes! the one made out of a plastic bag, leaves of trees, that one! At the price of a leather one! They accepted!!
I took the ball as if I had scored a hat trick – Man of the match!
One of the leaders asked me to come back to play for them on Sunday and he was left with the duty and responsibility of not letting his friends down, buying a ball!
Perhaps already they made another ball with a plastic bag and other tree leaves. Perhaps this evening that we met they shared a plate of food all together! For me, either way is fine!
Because I do not see them poor for playing barefoot, they like to feel free!
I do not see them poor because they are not having a brand new ball or they are not wearing the last trending soccer jersey, I see them naturally, I see them as FOOTBALL! This is FOOTBALL ! Is in those who are not carrying excuses, those who have the true incondicional love for the game!
I will walk my life fighting for giving possibilities to the kids to choose to use their pair of boots, shoes and Flipflops but if one day they want to play under the rain barefoot, let them be! play guys and enjoy it! because this is it what life is all about!