This is the introduction for a new story from guest author @SegundoVolante1 Be sure to give him a follow if you enjoy his story.
First of all let me introduce myself, my name is Youssef Amin and I’m from Egypt. I somehow lucked my way into being a journalist for the very reputable the Guardian covering football. Now I had the opportunity of my life.
The paper had managed to secure an interview with Leo Messi, yes him the greatest footballer on earth and possibly in history. Now they were looking for someone who could speak Spanish to conduct the interview and English to write the piece. I fit both criteria as I had went to university in UCAM in Murcia, which meant I could speak Spanish and obviously I could speak English. Once again luck worked its magic and I was chosen as the man to conduct the interview, you’re probably getting the theme here now.
I couldn’t believe my ears when I got the news, me a poor kid from Plaistow whose dad was an immigrant and whose mum worked 3 jobs just to make ends meet would meet the greatest player in the world. I went to sleep that night thinking of all the great things that could happen and hoping that I wouldn’t make a fool of myself once I got there.
Eventually the time where I would fly came. I had been thinking of the day since I got the news and my lack of concentration led to me being unable to do work of any kind. I had just spent the last few weeks like a person on morphine, occasionally drifting into consciousness but mostly spending my time in a state of dazedness with the world hazy and blurry. I boarded my flight and it took me 14 boring hours to get there, but you bet it was worth the wait.
I ordered a cab and spent the time from the airport to the hotel reading over my questions and pondering if they were too stupid to ask. After all I didn’t want to make a mess of the biggest opportunity of my life did I. Life was good, what could possibly go wrong.
So the big day came, the moment of truth. I had arranged to meet Messi at the Sky Mitrocentro bar which was one of the elite locations in Buenos Aires. I opened my phone and that was the moment it all hit me. I was flooded with emotions, anger, fear and most of all sadness. The biggest moment of my puny career in journalism had been snatched away from me and I could do absolutely nothing about it.
They had discovered my secret, my horrible horrible secret. The fact that I was using the classified knowledge the newspaper got about the USA and leaking it to North Korea. Of course I’m kidding! They had just found a cheaper alternative.
Yes they had found someone who fit the criteria and who supposedly had a better writing style, well they could fuck off. Oh what I would do to you Lautaro Rinaldi if we ever crossed paths.
I was in distress, walking aimlessly in the streets of Buenos Aires. I was simply the definition of a broken man. I wanted to do the thing that I always did when I was under stress and that was football. I went straight to the first pitch I saw. The words Ferro Carril Oeste were written in rusty letters and the place had an air of dilapidation about it. I entered and what I saw was a shambles. A little bald man was trying to control a group of rowdy players who were chattering like teenage girls. The pitch was rough and uneven and it looked like it hadn’t been watered in years. Who would believe that this was a club that had once won two league titles and played in the famous Copa Libertadores.
I made my way over to the bald man and started up a conversation. His face looked full of angst and nervousness and he had the aura of a desperate man hoping help would come from any direction.
“What’s your name” I asked in Spanish
“Pablo Ramos,” his voice was squeaky and high like the sound of bird chirping.
“Where is the manager here?”
“Oh he left because of the chairman, he was constantly in his ear about selections and stuff that generally a chairman should not be intervening with, so he just got fed up and left one day without even telling us”
“Why are you still working here then?”
“Well I have 7 kids I need to feed, so I desperately need the money”
“Well thank you anyways”
I left thinking to myself, what a fucking crazy place.
I wasn’t in the mood for this shite and I desperately needed a drink. I went to the bar adjacent to the stadium, it smelled like rotten eggs but I didn’t care. There wasn’t something some vodka wouldn’t fix. Then I saw the man who would change my life forever.