Sunday, October 14, 2012

Football not quite prohibited

Terrassa´s Plaça del Progrés is a place of legend. A young Xavi Hernández grew up playing football here, a concrete square in this city that´s a few kilometres outside Barcelona. He was the smallest of his friends, but if the ball ever rolled onto the streets adjoining, it wasn´t from his feet. He was into possession-based football even then.

But as the years passed, they modernised the square, which is now very nice, with a children´s playground, park benches and so on. And a sign that says ¨Football prohibited.¨ If ever there´s a story ripe for a maudlin blog post that ends with something along the lines of a teary - ¨Times change. Maybe the next Xavi will become a doctor instead.¨ - line, it´s this one.

At least, that´s the story I read.

So, the moment I reached Terrassa, I headed straight for the Plaça del Progrés, my mobile´s camera lens all cleaned up and ready for action. But the trouble is, I walked the whole frigging thing thrice and I still couldn´t find the damn sign. Maybe they took it down because of all the bad press. I found some that say ¨Dogs prohibited¨ but that´s not quite the same thing.

I mean, yes, what with all the stuff built on there now, football isn´t possible anymore. But I fear it´s a little too subtle for me. Think of all the things I could´ve done with the story of where Spain´s greatest-ever footballer played as a child, a square named ¨progress,¨ and a photo of a sign that says ¨Football prohibitedAnd they took the bloody sign down. It makes me want to cry. I´ve lost my shot at a sentimental tear-jerker.

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