The sun drops dramatically and I walk to the Rambla.
In America, kids would be throwing a football. Here, the big dream is to play professional soccer and let your papa sit in a bar with a cerveza and cheer as you make a goal that wins an important game. It is a Sunday and there is, at the moment, on television, a game with the National team of Uruguay playing an opponent from Columbia. Mortal enemies on the playing field, the hollers from the bar became more pronounced as a goal is threatened or a player is cut down to size with a totally illegal trip, block, or kick.
These two little kids are playing catch and kick.
One kicks the ball to the other and the receiver steps into his kick and sends the soccer ball back to his friend. Tourists have long ago gone back to ships and are enroute to other ports. The sun is disappearing and these two boys will be going inside soon to have dinner, maybe do homework – their sisters having already diligently finished their assignments.
The soccer ball takes off the instep of the boy’s foot like a rocket. It is an old beat up ball with threads coming undone from caroming over rough paving blocks. It is dirty and knocked out of shape. You can hear it give a cry when it is kicked. Still, it is good practice for these two future players on the Uruguay National team who will one day be lining up for a foul kick and remember what they practiced when they were so little.
Whether it is a soccer ball or a football, the dreams of little boys are not different.
Competition is important, team play is important, winning is important, friends are important.