IIn September 1994, Leeds United defeated Manchester United for the first time since February 1981 – a 2-1 win over David Wetherall and Brian Deane. It’s a strange place to start a play about Roberto Carlos’ arm, but please be patient with me: a flawless segue will soon show itself.
A few days later, when I returned from school, I found a letter addressed to me – a rarity since I was 15 – so I opened the envelope in a characteristically awkward way to find what could be described as a hate mail. The letter that accompanied the newspaper clippings of the aforementioned game, a letter praising the virtues of Phil Ma-sing-ahhhh, was a general vitriol addressed to Manchester United in general and Alex Ferguson in particular.
I immediately found out that the author was his wife from Leeds, and I found out shortly after he was sent to another from our similar group, a Manchester United fan like me. So, 28 years later, when Leeds returned to the Premier League and won 6-2 at Old Trafford, we sent similar – softer – messages to his teenage son, sincerely congratulating him on his team’s epoch-making success. Revenge, as they say, is best served under zero and without the knowledge of your friends.
As it grows, your countless failures and setbacks have been fixed in the collective consciousness for relentless placement, both daily and after decades of sleep. ladz, being boy. As football intensifies everything, it intensifies to be like this: if the weekend defeat was annoying, Monday school was sad, the maturity of the demons who declared hostility and insecurity with a fair, miraculous announcement. There is no such thing.
But there is another side to this. Football is a guerrilla effort by nature, and while it is better for it, it is also a common effort and it is better for it. So while I focused on enjoying each other’s injuries, we also fell in love with each other, whether we ran to school in the morning to play football, beat each other on the field and in the hallway, or explore the team’s terraces. did not support; “My name is José Dominguez, I play in vinguez” by Spurs in the late 90’s remains a personal favorite, including one of the games on Elland Road: “Brian Deane, Brian Deane is spying on the Man U network., Brian Dean, Brian Deane, Fergie in sweat, outside the bar, fucking Cantona, Brian Deane, Brian Deane, Brian Deane. ”
And – here comes the incredibly spectacular segue – on Monday morning, June 4, 1997, there was no greater common love than what happened in the world. The night before, he had seen the opening match of Le Tournoi or Tournoi de France. full name – the preparation for the 1998 World Cup, of course, if it were invented now, I would ridicule it. But when I was 18, there wasn’t much football and nothing that came before football, so I got excited to watch the France-Brazil match.
BAt that time and at the beginning of my football career, we had a reasonable idea of which non-British players were good. Patrick Vieira worked in England; Laurent Blanc was dreamed of by Ferguson; Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane were in Football Italia and Revista de la Liga. So we also knew about Roberto Carlos, a man with an amazing thigh on the left wing, a Malandro spirit, and a left foot like a traction engine that re-invented our concept of what a left-back could be.
But no one is watching the game to watch the left-back – especially not when Romário and Ronaldo are in tandem, as they were that night. Along with them, there were four other World Cup finalists – Taffarel, Aldair, Dunga, Mauro Silva – as well as Cafu and Leonardo, who were disqualified for elbowing Tab Ramos behind his head. Giovani and Célio Silva, who finished 11th, were the main favorites to defend the Brazilian title.
France was building the side that would take it from them. The top five defenses of all time were almost settled – Fabien Barthez, Blanc, Marcel Desailly and Bixente Lizarazu started, substitutes with Lillian Thuram on the bench – and midfielders Robert Pires, Ibrahim Ba and Florian Maurice despite Christian Karembeu, Didier Deschamps and It was Zidane. will eventually be replaced by Emmanuel Petit, Youri Djorkaeff and Stephane Guivarc’h.
The first 20 minutes went as smoothly as you expected. But then Ronaldo just brilliantly killed a sandwich goal by Blanc and Vieira, and Kim Milton Nielsen gave Brazil a free kick, about 40 yards out and to the right of the center. So, very deliberately, Carlos placed the ball, then made a run that led him a little to the right and to the edge of the center circle. Yes, a good old friend; you do
Meanwhile, Bartez shouted and fixed the wall – a flower! – and the camera zoomed in on the beautiful performance of the Adidas Tango ball, as if it knew something destructive was waiting for it, and subtly incorporated it into our visual memory with Roger Deakins and the Grays Sports Almanac. Our man then made it easier to run, stepping forward in small steps, without taking a break and exploding in the sprint, without throwing all the fibers of body and soul to the edge of his left foot, destroying the burning, screaming bright blow. , screaming and moaning in a nearby post.
Yes, no matter what. It was good, of course, it was, but we’ve seen something like this before – the 1994 VHS World Cup in Brazil v Argentina, Branco against the Netherlands. Yes or no. Although Alan Parry and Andy Gray exaggerated, they didn’t see what was happening, nor did we – until we slowly pulled the ball back, we saw everything we thought we knew, not just about football. About the laws of physics, changed.
Because Carlos didn’t just go astray with a banana shot – in my childhood football skills book, it was designed for effort outside of his shoes, and now I’m the perfect metrosexual Guardianist. known as trivela. Rather, he was aiming at a nearby pole a few meters wide, threatening an artilleryman who was intensifying the effect of being thrown off the road, and then, as if with a remote control, the effort was reversed, as if at a nauseating, thrilling pace. A rocket on a rollercoaster cut through the pole and flew into the net, for Bartez was standing alone, pale, drying the straw from the lake, and no birds were singing.
Silence. Silence in the front rooms of the world – a kind of silence you can hear – comes laughter, screaming and mania, then joy and disbelief. One of the best things about football, and one of the reasons it’s so sustainable as a world game, is that it’s the only human creation that can touch all kinds of people, its diversity. With 22 players squeezed into a small space but able to move anywhere in it, chaos and diversity are inevitable when playing a free-flowing, freely-formed game, regardless of the set pieces – there are more ways to score. move to shoot the winner, pick up the door, prepare the basket, or try.
However, people play the game long enough that a unique finish is rare. Variations on the subject are, of course, a mind-numbing skill, completely – but something qualitatively different from everything and everything? Almost never.
But it was, of course, this: not just a unique goal, but the most unique goal; a goal that is more unique than all other goals that are unique; With such a powerful and unparalleled goal, he defeated not only Barthesus and his wall, but also the previously impenetrable rules of English grammar and Internet pedantry. Twenty-five years later, there are two categories of freestyle wrestling: one and all the others, not only the largest of its kind, but also one of the largest of any kind.
Thus, in the morning, a generation of schoolchildren competed with newspaper diagrams in their hands to catch, beat, and shake each other in disbelief, praising each other with everything they already knew. At the time, we felt like we were celebrating the joy of being young – the endless possibilities of life – but now I know that by living something that will last us longer, we are also mourning the tragedy of old age – the inevitability of old age. death Which in the morning after a bad defeat sounds like an unpleasant choice compared to school.