GAME 22: HAVANA, CUBA




Alejandro Aguirre and Antonio Olive are a pair of rascals who I bumped into one evening whilst strolling around old town Havana. Alejandro ran after me asking if I needed a woman for the night; Antonio offered me an unofficial tour of the city. I plumped for the tour. These chaps showed me around this dimly lit, raggedly majestic city for a good hour for the price of a beer. We agreed to meet the following day to play footy.


We met at 1pm just as a storm broke; I can't tell you how refreshing that warm rain felt on my baking body. To the shock and horror of Antonio and Alejandro, I plonked my jumpers down in the middle of the road at Parque Cervantes and asked folk to join me.


Alejandro shook his head, smiled then joined in. Next, two kids sat outside of the nearby Agustin Gomez school joined us. Christian, who was wearing no shoes, came on my side and Larry joined Alejandro. 2 v 2 in a spectacular rainstorm.


We quickly had an audience ; the locals found any shelter they could to watch and the kids at the school stood packed at the open classroom windows gazing out.


The shoeless Christian was a fearless athlete, covering every inch of the pitch and slamming into tackles. We quickly ran into a 4-0 lead; this despite the silky skills of Alejandro and the very serious Larry, who plainly didn't like getting beat. Me and Christian were getting all the breaks.


15 minutes in and we were soaked to the skin. A kid called Raisal came on for Larry and Marlon for Christian. Raisal changed the game; he was skillful but didn't try to beat you ten times again when he'd already beaten you. He knew when to pass and he certainly knew where the goal was, bringing it back to 4-4 within ten minutes of coming on.


I had a quick word with the very cool Marlon. We shut up shop for a bit then scored 2 lucky goals on the break. 6-4 the final score.


Loved every second of today's game . Playing in the rain was fantastic and the little guys were so hungry for the ball I doubt they noticed it was raining at all. Brilliant


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