While the world of football was convulsing with the announcement of the creation of the new Super League, my rational self was fighting with a banking application trying to make a small transfer. A little earlier, tempted by hunger and publicity, I had ordered a pizza with anchovies and capers that was beginning to cool while my brain, driven by excessive attention, wondered how anyone could save football if I could not pay Some bloody sunglasses with all the technology going for me. That reflective self, the one that is activated by inequalities and reminds me that I have to sleep eight hours a day, was outraged by the elitist, closed and soulless idea that the Super League was selling me.
The other, the fan, I saw it interesting: more games between the big teams, a respirator of euros for the battered club of my loves and the definitive break with a corrupt, parasitic and Pharisee organization like UEFA: “fuck them” I thought without measuring the real scope of such thoughtful reflection. Because, in reality, who were they going to hit –but well, also– it was the clubs that work with certain criteria, those that have made good management their flag, those that care about training and anyone who they were not those twelve apostles of the New Football and their reduced catalog of guests. “Fuck the blissful transfer. Now have dinner, cold anchovies are worth nothing, “said my rational self and the other, joining forces for the first time in a long time.
Given the choice, I think I’d rather live the rest of my life as a fan: it’s less stressful and doesn’t lend itself to so many contradictions. But since such a thing is not possible –one cannot bury Dr. Jekyll and stay with Mr. Hyde– I focused on feeding myself, forgetting my ineffectiveness in financial matters and turning on the television: Florentino Pérez’s interview at El Chiringuito began. My most folkloric self adores that program, it cannot help it, nor could it prevent another of my selves from having the impression that presenting a project with similar seams in a space with that name did not seem like the best of ideas. “We do this to save soccer,” Pérez said. “The clubs are ruined and, if we don’t do something, in 2024 we will all be dead”. Wow … That’s when I thought that, somewhere in the house, I should have some candles.
The rest of the program was occupied by the host and the audience, in questioning Florentino about whether he would sign Mbappé, Haaland, Alaba and Beyoncé. “I have not come here to talk about it,” Pérez replied before asking if he could go: it was not a funeral, nor was it anything. The next day, to make matters worse, one of the founding clubs fired its coach upon payment of a severance pay of around twenty million pounds, a commercial judge warned UEFA and FIFA about future reprisals and my app trusted banking still gave me no quarter. My fan self was beginning to lose the game, to cut ties, to question whether that project was the definitive solution to the ills of football – and my life, in general – or simple and pure aristocratic ambition.
“It’s not football, it’s something else,” Pep Guardiola said in the middle of the afternoon, just when I was about to drown in contradictions. And then I understood that there is nothing wrong with struggling to infinity between the rational and the passionate, being several people at the same time or wanting a new football but one that resembles, at least in essence, the old one. I finally understood that the monsters were other people, not me.