The path of defeat

Cover of 'Eliminados', by Fernando Costilla.

The fan’s relationship with his soccer team is marked by the context in which the two met. It is not the same to awaken a passion in good times than to do it in times of lean cows — it is another thing to decide which of the two options makes the journey more fun. The Spanish team, for example. The image that those born in the seventies have of it differs quite a lot from the one it projects on those who debuted in the nineties or at the beginning of the century. The former rose to glory after running numerous biannual disappointments. The latter, with a World Cup and two European Cups at the beginning of their existence, must have thought that all the grass was oregano. And no.

The relationship of four friends united by the World Cup is the central structure of Eliminated (Alliance of Novels), a novel written by Fernando Costilla. Javi, Rocío, Charli and Toño have been meeting since 1978, when they were still in school, to watch the sporting event. The book portrays a generation that waited almost four decades to see a success of their selection. But it actually speaks of many other things. Of friendship, love, music or cinema. And also about how people evolve and the different ways of accepting maturity and the passage of time. From defeat to defeat — perhaps with a victory in between — until the final whistle that eliminates everything.

And that life is, more or less, everything that passes between the years in which you still dream of getting to play in the team of your loves and the day you realize that the footballers who wear that shirt They could be your children and, shortly, your grandchildren. Then, at least, there will be the possibility of taking stock of how fun the road has been.

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