Congratulations Real Madrid for their 3rd consecutive Champions League win.

Football = Respect






a football and some feet …




I remember those days like yesterday,

.of bare feet kicking an ancient ball around,

learning to dribble, swerve and to like the greats’ sway.




Then came some tattered sports shoes,

as we nursed our aching ankles,

our excruciating shins, ignoring our mothers’ calls for us to get back right then and there,

as we trudged on, proudly showing off the bruises,

returning home, always ready with a million and one excuses.




Then, in what seemed like an instant, we were old enough to follow the worlds’ most beautiful game …




… Paolo Rossi scoring three goals, and breaking my 10 year old heart as Italy sent Brazil home in Espana 1982




Diego Armando Maradona slicing through England after his “hand of God” insanity, to score his second goal of the match, the most exquisite goal in history in Mexico 1986


Roger Milla taking Cameroon and Africa and all of us into the heavens in Italia 1990, the old man a “super-sub” …




Roberto Baggio missing a penalty for Italy in the final at USA 1994, collapsing on his knees as Brazil took the trophy home …




Zinedine Zidane heading two goals to lift all of France in 1998, to the echoing chorus of “zizou-zizou” …




Ghana so heartbreakingly close in 2010 South Africa, being thwarted by some of the worst unsporting behaviour by Uruguay on the field of play …




Andres Iniesta scoring in the Final of 2010 for Spain against the Netherlands in my own Johannesburg’s Soccer City, lifting the World Cup high in our African night.




Today, much older we are as decades have past,
.our ankles and our shins in pain,

thanks to encroaching age,

still the memories flood back,

through all the intervening years,

the ache of having shed our fair share of tears.




Yes, it will always be our beautiful game,

the peoples game,

in the African sunshine,

under the South American skies,

beyond all borders, in icy winter sleet,

in the pouring buckets of rain.




It is the beautiful game,

and may it always,

and forever so remain …




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