Manuel Jabois: The fans are very annoying | Soccer | Sports

This week, Barcelona star João Cancelo stopped his car after leaving training after seeing some fans, rolled down the window and told them, annoyed: “You guys are annoying, the same every day,” while urging the kids. to take a photo with him. Cancelo was right: football club fans are very annoying. That heaviness (buying t-shirts, paying for season tickets or tickets, traveling behind his teams, cheering for 90 minutes) feeds Cancelo and quite well, and that heaviness is not talked about as much: it is a heaviness silenced by the players. There is another heaviness that is more famous, which is asking for photos and autographs at the doors of hotels, stadiums or on lost roads that lead to the training ground: it appears more in the newspapers because the footballers obviously pass them by ( “Do you think that a Primera team can get off the bus with 100 children waiting for them and they all get off with their helmets and don’t greet any kids?” Clemente said a few weeks ago) or from time to time they get desperate, like Cancelo.

It’s true: they are heavy. And they ask for signatures, photos or just a few words. A few days ago a video circulated detailing the cars of the Madrid stars. They left Valdebebas absorbed. The kids who recorded them repeated their names. No one stopped or slowed down the car, no one even waved. There was something that reminded me of those poor workers from the gossip press interviewing Tamara Falcó’s car two kilometers away. It can at least be said about Cancelo that she noticed her fans (and gave them a photo) even if it was to reprimand them. The rest had to settle for detailing the characteristics of their vehicles. And yet, the next day they or others would do the same thing again, and receive the same response. One of the most impressive things that one, as an author, discovers at book signings is the number of people who, after waiting an hour standing, turn to you asking for forgiveness: “You’ll be tired of this by now.” You are sitting in the shade, served if you want water or beer, selling books, that is, earning money, and your readers are standing, in the sun if it is a book fair, leaving the money at your job, and there are those who apologize.

A few months ago I was in Valdebebas to interview Toni Kroos at Icon. The protocol is strict. You are summoned hours before (even more so the photography and video team) and then, of course, the footballer can be delayed due to any setback (it is rare that he does not do it). In the end one loses the morning for a little while – half a timed hour – of effective work. When I left the venue, already on the road, I met a group of Japanese people with some banners on which they wrote the names of their idols. Maybe on vacation in Spain, and they are going to miss a May morning there (if not even those of us who have appointments with the footballers know exactly when we will see them, imagine the fans calculating what time they will see their cars). There are people, and there are people every day, who take public transport or their own car, stand on a road and spend the morning there. It should be exasperating for them, but they are excited and the silly smile doesn’t fall from their faces; It should be exciting for the footballers, but they leave without looking at them. It is, in any case, the cruelest and most beautiful expression of what football and its implacable power means: those fans who get in the car to go home without being greeted by their idols, will be shouting the player’s name the next day. with his shirt on.

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