I have had a recurring dream for many years, a dream of soccer, a dream as God intended: I walk calmly down the street, usually accompanied, and someone stops me to ask if I am that rattler who scored a goal with the Spanish team against Yugoslavia.
It wasn't even that great—I remember it perfectly in every replay of the dream, always the same shot from the camera and the same push into the net—and it's hard for me to imagine why people remember it, even if it's a farce.
From there, everything becomes embarrassing because I am not satisfied with endorsing my authorship and I begin to explain what happened next: there is no more football in my dreams and much less outside of them, that is where my brilliant career ended.
Summer soccer is like dream soccer, in a way.
Everything comes and goes, nothing matters too much except the scoreboard, which never forgives.
In summer we see beautiful talents bloom that crumble when temperatures drop.
Also some sporadic resurrections, small acts of faith by which the fan forgives all of the above and once again deludes himself with the shorn footballer, the one who came to be and was not, the one from whom nothing is expected except in the month of July , where there is time for everything, also for snacks.
It happens in all the clubs, in any country and in any category, their faithful always ready to believe in conjunctural promises, in second and third chances, either due to the effects of the heat, the typical fevers of the season, or the rum with tail.
Someone once said that happiness smells like a brand new car and it is very likely that it is, because there is nothing more exciting than beginnings.
The improbable has an attractive shine and no one can deny you any goal when you have only just begun to walk your path.
Dreaming is one of the few gratuitous obligations that we have and summer was never a favorable time for distrust except, of course, when one wakes up with dilated eardrums due to the echo of a goal that no one, absolutely no one, will celebrate beyond your window
What will they think of this fleeting goalscorer in the ex-Yugoslavia of my dreams?
Will anyone remember that lucky left-footed blow, with the goalkeeper having a heart attack an eternal meter away and Luis Enrique shouting at the stands as if he had pending accounts with someone?
I like to think so.
Just as I like to think that football will never end, or that Iñaki Gabilondo is my friend, even though I don't know him at all.
One morning, at my grandparents' bar, I was about to leave for school when the phone rang.
There was no adult around to take the call so I picked up the phone and said hello.
“Good morning, I am asking for Mr. Tito García,” said the most recognizable voice in that Spain on the other side of the device.
I gave the message to the interested party, I went to the kitchen and told everyone that I had just spoken with Gabilondo.
"You dream," replied my father.
That's where my career as a footballer began and, I'm afraid, the summers are over.
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