“The Training Ground” is a feature where first time writers or readers who want to express a thought or opinion can submit articles for consideration.
For my Father:
When I was young I remember my father jumping up in his chair when Maradona would score. My father would ramble on about the left-footed genius that, in his words, was “a gift from the futbol gods”.
Pacing back and forth with a pile of nervously chewed finger nails in the ashtray was a norm on World Cup days. What I remember most was the joy in his eyes, something I didn’t quite understand yet.
For this to mean anything one must understand that at no time was my father the one to show emotion. That is why we were never really close.
Fast forward to 2009. My father was diagnosed with cancer at the same time I fell in love with the beautiful game. I watched Leo Messi, my generation’s left-footed genius.
I quickly realized that Messi was a gift from the futbol gods and at that moment I truly understood my father’s unconditional joy with the beautiful game. Just one game and I was hooked.
I ordered FSC and began an internet assault on futbol education. My next phone conversation with my father was the longest pitch rant in history.
Now we get together on the weekends and watch Rooney’s ups and downs, Mourinho’s antics, and Messi’s magic.
My father and I are closer than ever and I just want to thank the futbol gods for the gift.
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