On Saturday June 29th, the EP participated in the first edition of the Biweekly Sports Day. This particular week’s sport was football.
Ah football. Not that American knock off version of Rugby no, but real football. You know, the one played with your feet? Yeah, that absolute beauty of a sport. The meticulously planned out steps that take place prior to the actual start of the game. The warmups, the planning, the tactics and most importantly the mandatory over the top excessively loud team talk booster.
Everyone can enjoy a game of football, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a huge Champions League Final or a mere footie game between colleagues on a Saturday afternoon, (*cough cough*), the seriousness of it all is always present. A friendly game? In football?! There’s no such thing. It is a matter of life and death, it always has been. And you can bet the EP treated it as such and played their heart out that day, as the stakes have never been higher in their eyes.
The complexity of this sport as it tangles you in countless emotions simultaneously, enough to make you cry of joy or absolute distraught, heightens your senses during a game, with the adrenaline masking any sign of fatigue while you chase behind the ball and your only objective is what’s in-between those goal posts. The feeling of striking the ball in its full glory as you attentively follow its trajectory hoping it’ll go past the goalkeeper’s leather gloves (or in our case the goalkeeper’s bare hands). The sound of the ball hitting the back of the net is quite mystic on its own. And the celebrations. Oh, the celebrations when your team is leading in the scoresheet and you embrace your teammates drenched in sweat. But it hardly matters to you how much body fluids you come in contact with because you just scored the most vital goal of the game and you can’t help but feel like you could’ve led your country to World Cup glory if you took the sport seriously enough in your youth.
Oh football, the smell of fresh cut grass on your cleats as you slide tackle through the opposing player’s legs (with no ill intention of course), and you save your team from a potential costly counter attack. Because yes, football is not only about attacking you see, footballing legends made their name off of their defensive prowess. If anything, it is said to be manliest position a player could occupy on the pitch. And the EP made sure to demonstrate just how sturdy their blocks can be during the game. With last effort ditches in front of the goal to prevent the ball from crossing the line, to well thought out interceptions in the midfield to confiscate possession of the ball from the opposition. The game was quite physical yes, but the members of the EP first and foremost demonstrated their intellectual capabilities on the field.
And so there they were, 8 men, gasping for air on the ground, drenched in their own hard working sweat and who, on the surface, might look like simple football amateurs, but who played like their life depended on it. The game ended 7-7. Quite the offensive display from both sides, but a game that still has some unfinished business to it, as a winner has yet to be decided.