Fate must really want me to blog because I’ve been encountering lots of interesting people lately.
I was on my usual past-midnight run to 7-11 to buy some snacks. Since my sister’s still awake, ostensibly studying but really watching Pretty Little Liars, she asked for me to grab her a couple of items too. This resulted a shitload of items, and at around four in the morning, it really isn’t that much of a stretch for the guy behind me in the counter to comment, “Got the munchies?”
I turned to him and gave an embarrassed grin. He was past 50 years old, Caucasian, and wearing a Barca kit. Not a shirt, a kit. He was also wearing football boots and carrying a gym bag so I assumed he came from practice, or a game. (But really, playing after midnight?) He also looked like Kenny Dalglish. Well, that’s what comes to mind anyway when I try to recall his face.
“Barca fan?” I asked, trying to sound conversational and not judgmental. I might not have done this quite successfully, because he smiled like he knew I was not very fond of Barca. I explained that I was a Real Madrid/Arsenal fan and he said Arsenal was a good team, blah blah something about the future. I mentioned we were quite young and need time to rebuild especially after losing Cesc and Nasri. Well, I think I didn’t say Nasri. He didn’t say anything about Real Madrid, typical, haha. 😀
And then he said, “I used to play. In Brazil for Flamengo. Then after that, in Club America in Mexico.”
[Note: I’m doubting myself if he did say Flamengo. He mentioned Brazil and I automatically assume that because I would have remembered if he said “Santos” or “São Paolo”. For someone who supported Brazil for many many years in previous World Cups, I seem to have limited knowledge of the league there. In my defense, most members of the NT play in Europe.]
My hands went over my mouth. I was a bit starstruck, though I had no way of knowing if he was a star. I asked him what he was doing here. In the Philippines, I mean, not in 7-11 in Vito Cruz. Apparently, he was teaching football to street children. I was even more in awe.
When I got back to my place, I immediately googled him, cursing myself for not asking his name or where he teaches or what year he played professionally. My googling was fruitless as they all came back with “Beckham visits the Philippines” or the weirder results like teaching Flamenco in the Philippines. If I could find out more about him, it would make a better entry than this, wouldn’t it? I’ve had some help with the searching, but The Google Ninja only found a bunch of stuff about basketball.
My question is, why hasn’t the local sports journos picked up on this? He used to play professionally, for heavens sake! And now, he’s doing something good with his talents in this godforsaken third world country. Okay, a bit harsh, we have a lot to offer in terms of tourism, etc etc.
Anyway, anonymous ex-player, kudos! Hope this is keeping those street children/teens out of drugs and a life of crime!