An Egyptian in Argentina: A Story of Fate and Luck #6

This is the sixth part of the series from guest author @SegundoVolante1 Be sure to give him a follow if you enjoy his story.

I woke up in a strange place with legs strewn in my face. I had a throbbing headache and I could barely feeling body, where the fuck was I! The smell was atrocious and the walls were pink, this definitely wasn’t my small flat.

I pushed a pair of female (I think) legs away and I tried to slowly help myself up. I saw Forlan’s blonde locks next to a hot brunette girl and I wondered what he was doing here. I felt mildly amused, I had went from writing clickbait articles for The Guardian to partying with Diego Forlan in the space of a few months. There were bottles everywhere and I saw another girl on the ground wearing a tight dress that was showing a lot of cleavage, we must have gone clubbing.

I wandered into the kitchen and started to make myself a pot of coffee, this hangover was killing me. What had I done, we had a game in 6 days and my best player was wasted. I should have been thinking about tactics and not shagging some random people. I slurped up my coffee quickly and left the house stealthily trying to protect what little integrity I had left. Keeping my embarrassment at a minimum.

I had a few days of rest to try and get over my massive hangover and I somehow managed to get to the club 3 days before the game. After training me all the players and the coaching team gathered together in the shabby conference room, where at least I hoped would give a good motivational speech.

“Lads, there is only one thing I have to say too you, we are expected to finish in the top half this season but I want you to do better. All I’m going to say is that we have Diego Forlan. Now go and get some rest, I need you to be ready for the game.”

Echeverria looked disgusted and charged out of the room, his ego just couldn’t take all the players swooning around Diego. Good riddance, he was fucking off to China soon anyways. Lucio came towards me and I was conscious of the fact he wanted to tell me something.

“We have a good squad here don’t we” he said

“Indeed we do” I replied basking in the glory of the moment, this was going to be a good season, I could feel it.

Ferro vs Independiente Rivadavia

The big day had come, my managerial debut. As soon as I saw this game in the fixture schedule I knew it was a must win. Independiente were one of the teams who were supposed to be challenging for promotion so this was game we had to win, I had to introduce myself to the world!

Independiente were located in Mendoza so they would have a long trip till they reached the great Estadio Arquieto Ricardo Etcheverry. The players were getting ready in the dressing room and I asked one of the coaches to go give the team talk. I couldn’t do it, not with the nerves I was feeling. It didn’t help that I had just had a beer too, I felt like throwing up.

I shook hands with the opposition manager and I couldn’t help but laugh at his appearance, his head looked like an egg. The look on his face cracked me up too, that show of disrespect must have fired him up and his players though because for the first ten minutes we could not get a touch. They were scurrying around like radioactive rabbits and our players looked slow and lethargic. I immediately started tearing my hair out as they had wave after wave of attacks. I didn’t want to get smashed in my first game as a manager. Our defence looked solid though and we held on till half time.

The players fell silent as soon as I entered the room, they were expecting a bashing. I just kept it simple

“You’re doing well out there lads keep it up”

The players felt surprised and you could feel the enthusiasm bubbling in the room. I called Dang over, as he walked towards me I couldn’t help but admire his physique. He looked so out of place amongst all the Argentinean pot bellies.

“I want you to do something special, I believe in your ability” I shouted

“Yes boss I will try” he said in his broken Spanish

We were first out on the pitch after half time and we all knew that meant we wanted it more. We looked like a team transformed and Independiente didn’t know what had hit them. After a period of prolonged pressure Vernetti skipped past 2 players out on the right a whipped a beautiful ball in towards Dang who pushed the defender away and powered a header into the back of the net. He then proceeded to break out into a complicated African dance on his own and he looked at me as if he was telling me he should start. Who was I to argue I was just busy hugging Pablo. The rest of the game was uneventful as we held on to the win against a listless Independiente attack who looked devoid of belief.

I celebrated with a quick shot of vodka from the club bar before walking in with a swagger to the dressing room completely ignoring a journalist on my way.

“What a fucking great win that was! now go out and have fun cause I know I am”

What an amazing feeling it was to win a game, that’s it it was like an addiction and I never wanted to let go.

I walked back into the motel at 4 o’clock in the morning and there she was. Remember the old woman who owned the place, she was sitting on the front desk knitting. Yes knitting at 4 am! I tried to walk past quickly and avoid contact but she called me over.

“Young man come here” looking at me with her aged eyes, she was creeping me out

“Do you need anything?” I replied

“I heard you were the manager of the club here”

“Indeed I am”

“Well I just wanted to give you some advice. This partying lifestyle you are leading will wear you down. Focus on your job, start a family get a woman but do not party every single night a different club. You have to be professional”

I just walked by without reply not wanting to be disrespectful and to get kicked out but I was thinking who the fuck did she think she was. Acting like I was her son. Anyways we were winning so fuck being professional.

Agropecuario Argentina vs Ferro

Agropecuario were a team who were just promoted from the Federal A so I was expecting this to be an easy game. They were a bit of a plastic club to be honest, they were the e=Argentinean Manchester City but without success, founded in 2011 they struggled for fans. Which we would soon find out in a comical way.

The players and I walked into their stadium which was very small and secluded, we were greeted by a rather large man wearing club coloured glasses. He looked absolutely ridiculous but I let it slide because he was probably their only fan. The dressing room was small and claustrophobic and I was already feeling uncomfortable.

“As you can see lads they are a small shit club. I want you to smash them and I want you to express yourselves”

We walked out to the roar of fans to my comical delight they were all Ferro fans. Yes you read that right Agrowhateverthefuck didn’t have a single fan except that cunt with glasses and he was seated next to the manager. I could see Forlan looking at the stands with bemusement and I knew we were going to win easily, I wanted to ask for a beer but surely that was a step too far.

As I expected they were horrific struggling to string two passes together as our players danced around them with ease. They got a few lucky breaks through with their big bald bastard of a striker particularly troubling our defensive partnership bullying Lucio and sneaking past Mena. He had a few chances with his head that Losa miraculously saved. This was harder than I thought. I was screaming at the players to concentrate and Vernetti got the ball out on the right wing skipping past the defender with a bag of tricks and then looking up. There was Diego Forlan dropping deep about 35 yards away from goal, Vernetti chipped a ball towards him and Forlan smashed it on the half volley. Top bins it went what an absolute thundercunt! How about that for your first goal for the club. The halftime whistle blew soon after that and I sent Pablo to the dressing room. My presence wasn’t needed.

The second half started with us dominating the game and the opposition dropping deep, we started to pass the ball around like prime 09 Barca and the second goal came after a 15 pass move which Lujan finished off. Our players didn’t even bother with celebrating, it was far too easy. After another period of dominance Forlan played a beautiful ball through to the on loan Moreira Aldana who smashed into the roof of the net. The Agropecuario manager looked distraught and the players looked like they wanted to go home. We rounded off the game with a 4th goal which came from a lightning quick counter attack and the Referee blew the whistle without adding on any time wanting to limit the humiliation.

The 2000 or so Ferro fans started singing Forlan’s name and we walked off the pitch in a buoyant mood. This was what football was all about.

Ferro vs Sarmiento

The next week was very uneventful and training was boring except for another Echeverria sulk and Forlan smashing in wonder goals every single day. It got to the point where I had to ask him to stop humiliating our defenders, I didn’t want their confidence to go.

Our next visitors were a solid mid table side who had been around for awhile, they had a reputation for being hard to beat. I was 150 percent certain that they would be better than our previous opponents. I prepared for the game by texting my Mum, she was one of those overprotective Mums who wanted to know everything and she was terrified at the thought of me being in Argentina. I told her how good of a job I was doing and how I was enjoying it. She responded by asking me if I was drinking, oh I forgot to mention she was a devout Muslim too. I didn’t want to  be stressed out before the game so I just didn’t reply, instead I walked in to give the team talk.

“I know we’ve been on a good run lads but we are not Real Madrid. Don’t get complacent out there and do your best.

There was a notable change to the teamsheet for this game with Sebby Navarro dropping to the bench after a string of less than convincing performances and the promising playmaker Torres coming on for him.

The first 30 minutes were very tense with neither team attacking too much and both looking scared to go for the win. Until once again a moment of Vernetti magic down the right wing as he danced his way past 3 players and put the ball in towards Forlan who headed it in cleverly into the bottom corner. This partnership was one to watch out for. The half ended and the second half started with Sarmiento peppering our goal and Losa making a string of good saves to keep us in the lead. Until finally Elevenaux (I loved saying that name out loud) scored after a lucky deflection. That was the first goal we had conceded in the season so far and I was gutted. The rest of the game was very boring and it looked as if it was going to ebb out into a draw until Forlan picked up the ball played a one two with Dang and side footed the ball coolly into the back of the net. I ABSOLUTELY WENT MENTAL AND I RAN ON TO THE PITCH JOINING IN WITH THE CELEBRATIONS, WHAT A FUCKING MOMENT! I loved Forlan I loved Forlan I loved Forlan.

The game ended and I was too exhausted to give a press conference or a team talk instead I went straight home.

The next day I received an email informing me that I had one Nacional B manager of the month for September. My first month in management and I had won the manager of the month award. I thought of how proud my Mum would be when she heard the news. I had gone into the month trying to limit the damages we suffered while gradually getting a feel for this managerial lark instead I had ended up with a 100 percent record and an award. I wanted to go out and celebrate although this time I wouldn’t invite Forlan, his blonde locks had gotten me into trouble last time out. It was the captains turn.

I called Lucio

“Hey man wanna go out and celebrate with me”

“What do you mean celebrate”

“I mean get wasted, I just won manager of the month!”

“It’s a nothing award mate don’t get too pumped, I’ve won the champions league hahahahah. Anyways I have a family, my partying days are long gone”

“Suit yourself you cunt”

I hung up the phone. What a buzzkill. Why was he making fun of the award, it was the most meaningful thing that had ever happened in my life. I guess I would have to call that weird old fucker Losa. He looked like a gangster so I was a bit scared, who knew what he was into.

Anyways life was good, what could possibly go wrong?

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