Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Downfall of the hero - el potrero

Add ImageTime waits for no footballer
Of course he could no longer rely on his body for the sudden surges that thrillingly encouraged him to believe that he could be one of the giants of the game (or at least of his neighbourhood) but he later recognised a role that was promising and that was that the emergence of a star was highly unlikely.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Mil Perdones

Thursday, June 25, 2009

With the stupidity of his talk

He seemed to resonate with a kind of confidence that life was still nothing but a joke - an endless succession of football goals, trickery and a constant repertoire of meaningless chatter.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tres dias mas tarde, un domingo a la mañana, se puso su primer camiseta

(Three days later, a Sunday morning, he put his first football shirt on)

Sometime in 1977
The first time I went to a football stadium I was six. I sat with my Dad in the Belgrano plateas on a crisp Sunday afternoon. The first thing I remember noticing was the sound of the crowd and the greenness of the pitch. When River Plate scored the first goal everyone stood up and shouted GOL but I did not move. I was overwhelmed absorbing the energy around me and I did not know what to do. My Dad turned and said “Cecilia, we scored”. I was so happy.

Monday, June 22, 2009


3 July 1990

On that day in Nápoli, I was greeted and welcomed by the locals. I was wearing my Argentina shirt and had travelled so far to watch Maradona play. A child, who must have been just as tall as me but a few years younger said “buona fortuna” and handed me a corno, a single curved horn for good luck. He wanted something in exchange and so I took off my red and white threaded bracelet I had made and gave it to him. He then said, “I don’t want Italy to lose, I want Maradona to win”. I was touched by this entrega, this unconditional gift: a votive offering that spoke of a collective identity.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

El Gol que Grito el Pais

Sometime as an 11 year old
“Mis sueños son dos. Mi primer sueño es jugar en el Mundial. Y el segundo es salir campeon en el Mundial” (I have two dreams. My first dream is to play in the World Cup and the second is to win the World Cup).
Diego Maradona in 1971
Video recording


Diego's Apple

Sometime in May 1987
On our first day at school in New Zealand, my sister and I stood timidly in front of everyone at assembly as we watched Mr Kirkby make his way to introduce us. We didn’t understand when we heard people laugh as he blushed. You see, a few days earlier he had proudly announced that two Argentine boys were starting school and would no doubt be great additions to the football team he coached. It was then that we understood his disappointment. How at that moment I wished I’d had the magic of Diego in my left foot to make him proud of this young Argentine girl in me!


Hay un Pibe que la Rompe

November 24, 2008
When I was eight or nine I had a poster of Fra Filippo Lippi’s Madonna and Child with Two Angels on my wall. After visiting Florence I decided to copy it. I drew the outlines of the face with great care and ever so subtly coloured it in with my Caran D’Ache pencils. I decided to give this gift to my headmaster at St Joseph’s School in London. A few years later in 1983 I drew Argentina’s first democratic president following the military junta, Raúl Alfonsín, who was looking up with a pleased smile toward the skies; after that, I copied a magazine image of Pope John Paul II when he visited Argentina. He was quietly meditating with a cross held tightly against his forehead. Then I drew Diego Maradona. I posted each of these drawings in brown envelopes and waited to hear back. I never did.


La Copa

April 1982
My brother Ignacio is four years older than me and very charming. When we were young, my sister and I competed for his attention as he was a load of fun. He used to persuade us to give him a back massage after school claiming he was exhausted. We eagerly obliged. As a reward, he started handing out these lovely silver and copper trophy cups to us and we were delighted. When we unpacked our boxes after moving to Brazil, my mother found them. Ignacio had sneekily taken my father’s golf trophies and claimed them as his own when he gave them to us. My dad had been looking for them and thought they’d been stolen. I felt it was so unfair when my sister and I were grounded for a week.


El Pibe de Oro

June 29, 1986
After Argentina won, we all went to celebrate at the Obelisk in Buenos Aires. There were many banners that people brought out onto the streets. I remember one that read Perdón Bilardo (we are sorry Bilardo), a reference to the coach who had earlier been vilified for poor performances. People wanted to give something back in return for such happiness.