Playing Football As An Englishman In South America: A Ten-Step Guide

  1. Travel to any South American country and accept the first invite you get to play in a match with some locals.
  2. Believe your local contact when he says that no-one who plays is any good and arrive at the game confident of a comfortable and stress-free work-out.
  3. Realise within three seconds of kick-off that not sharing a common language with eighty percent of your teammates could lead to problems later in the game.
  4. Become acutely aware that your technique, considered passable in England, is significantly inferior to that of the worst South American player.
  5. Make a concerted effort to adapt to the style and speed of the locals’ natural game and in the process reduce your level of ability to that of someone who has never played before.
  6. Confuse your teammates by incorrectly second-guessing their movements and intentions, reducing the chances of them playing their natural game to zero.
  7. Find yourself constantly out of position because the version of the game you play has never bothered with intellectual concepts like ‘positions’.
  8. Struggle to understand your clearly agitated teammates’ tactical instructions but nonetheless recognise that you have to do something – anything.
  9. Run around like a headless chicken.
  10. Reassure yourself after the final whistle that your sub-par performance and the team’s defeat were due to the suffocating heat and scorching sun, despite the fact that the match began at ten o’clock at night.

About robbro7

I mostly write about football but occasionally go off on one about music or film too. I talk about Argentina a lot. If you have any questions or want to get in touch, tweet me @robbro7 or send an email to robbro7 [at] gmail [dot] com.
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