”You become a footballer because you love football. And then you are a footballer, and you’re suddenly in the strangest, most baffling world of all. A world where one team-mate comes to training in a bright red suit with matching top-hat, cane and glasses, without any actual glass in them, and another has so many sports cars they forget they have left a Porsche at the train station. Even when their surname is incorporated in the registration plate.” (Peter Crouch)
Majoritatea biografiilor oamenilor din fotbal sunt plictisitoare. Au “insighturi” interesante, dar cam atât. Prezintă evoluția pas cu pas din carieră, greutățile întâlnite, suișurile și coborâșurile de pe parcurs.
Nu la fel e cartea scoasă recent de Peter Crouch, pe care nu pot să o recomand suficient oricărui pasionat de cultură fotbalistică britanică. Plină de sarcasm, intitulată mai mult ironic ”How to be a footballer”, de la felul în care se îmbracă fotbaliștii, la ce mașini își cumpără și până la ce se întâmplă în vestiar sau în autocarul echipei, Crouch povestește cu un umor aparte despre stupiditatea care înconjoară deciziile pe care le iau fotbalistii, dar și cum a evoluat viața fotbalistului modern în ultimele două decenii. Crouchie nu povestește cu tonul unui bătrân care nu-i înghite pe ăștia tineri, ci mai degrabă din prisma celui care le-vazut și făcut pe toate, chiar scuzându-și la un moment dat colegii de breaslă: ”You have to remember that footballers never have to grow up. They come straight out of school into football, which is half as many rules and twice as many characters. You never have to grow up. We are children with advanced physical skills.”
…despre cum era decis să tragă chiulul de la testul anti-dopping dacă Liverpool câștiga finala Champions League din 2007:
I got selected for the drug test that game. Had we won, the greatest football-related party I’d have ever experienced would have been going on, the culmination not only of so much collective effort that season but all my hopes and dreams and hard work from age of five onwards. I’m not sure I could have missed it. I might have just taken the 6 months ban. Otherwise what are you left with?
‘Daddy, what’s your overriding memory of the night you won the greatest trophy in club football?’
‘Sitting with my penis in my hand, while being watched by a stranger with a clipboard, trying desperately to think of running water’.
…despre cadoul neinspirat pe care i l-a facut lui Rafa Benitez de Secret Santa
You might recall the period at Liverpool when Rafa started wearing a leather jacket. There was a theory in the dressing-room that he was trying to compete with Jose Mourinho, at the time considered the coolest, most stylish man in the Premier League. The Liverpool-Chelsea rivalry was a big thing on the pitch, with those three Champions League semi-finals in four years, and we felt that Rafa was attempting to open a new sartorial front too. The leather jacket was never him. Word was his wife had pushed him in that direction, that he was never happy wearing it. So that Christmas, when we had Secret Santa and I drew Rafa, I got him two things: Mourinho’s biography and a new leather jacket. You should have seen his expression when he opened the gifts. His face just fell. Oh no, I thought, I’ve actually offended him. It’s all gone wrong. I never told him it was from me. Until now. Sorry, Rafa. “
…despre importanța lui Carragher și Gerrard în vestiarul lui Liverpool și despre cum câteva beri și un karaoke l-au ajutat să marcheze primul gol pentru Cormorani după o secetă de 4 luni:
Debutul la Liverpool n-a fost ușor pentru Crouchie. Englezul adunase 24 ore pe terenul de joc fără să înscrie și era cu moralul la pământ. Cu toate astea, n-a simțit pentru nicio secundă antipatie din partea fanilor, ba din contra. O contribuție mare au avut-o Stevie G si Carra: “The Liverpool supporters were incredible. Not once did they stop singing my name or turn their backs on me. The city can have a siege mentality sometimes, after all it has been through, and the fans took me in as one of their own. Everyone else in the country was having a go, and they wouldn’t have it. He’s one of ours, we’re standing by him. Then there was the power that Gerrard and Carragher wielded in the city. Word appeared to get around from them that I was a good lad. The Kop saw the hard work I was putting in during games. The fans heard about the effort I was putting in during training. ”
Ce l-a ajutat pe Crouchie să spargă gheața? Carra l-a scos la băut într-un pub din oras, iar restul e istorie:
“Carra took me aside after training one afternoon. You’ll have to come down the Solly. Everyonen’s done it. It’ll take your mind off things. We’d been there about an hour, the place absolutely packed out, when I found out about the karaoke. Come on, Crouchie, we all do it. No, no, I can’t. Come on, la, choose your song, let’s crack on.
I went for “Hey Jude”. Local band, local favourite. Silence, as I began, looking out at this great sea of Scouse faces.Hitting the big finale, the na na na na-na-na na… and suddenly all the arms in front of me are up in the air, and they’ve weaving from side to side, and everyone’s singing with me, the whole pub singing in unison, me feeling like a rockstar, all worries forgotten, not even thinking about goals and missed chances. And that night, and everywhere I went afterwards, random Liverpudlians I’d never met before would start singing “Hey Jude” when they spotted me. A glance at my face, the recognition, a smile, and then the song – na na na na-na-na na… .
Și golul a venit la scurt timp. După 1229 minute jucate fără a marca, acasă cu Wigan, cu tribuna Kop în spate, Crouchie a spart gheața. “I went bananas. Arms out like an airplane, sprinting down the left touchline, Carra jumping all over me, the whole of Anfield bouncing”
Tot pe Tackle.ro găsești și un portret al lui Peter Crouch, un altfel de fotbalist. Omenos, amuzant, plin de viața și fără nici măcar un tatuaj pe corp. Fotbalist pe cale de dispariție. Un cult-hero în toată regula: Ultimul dans al lui Crouch.
sursa: Peter Crouch – How to be a footballer. foto: goal.com