Since I met my wife six years ago, and then became parents in 2012, I don’t have the luxury of watching as much football as I’d like to. There’s the occasional World Cup Qualifying stage which I make a point of watching, and some Champions League fixtures that I simply cannot miss, but the fact is that if I’m lucky, I’ll catch a game or two a week. (By the way, and speaking of having kids, the guy who came up with the idea of broadcasting games at 2 am while playing children music and having subtitled commentary is a freaking genius.)
So what’s left for a former football junkie as myself? Reading about football in every possible way. Books, newspapers, and of course, the internet. Listening to radio shows while commuting. And that’s about it. But I’ve come to the realization that perhaps I’m enjoying consuming football better in this way, rather than watching it. The Chilean league is mediocre at best, and the national team plays no more than 15 games a year, while the matches in the Champions League coincide with my working hours.
Here’s the funny thing, though. During the last World Cup, I found myself talking with my brother for hours each day about everything that was happening, whether Arturo Vidal was playing or not, which tactics was Jorge Sampaoli going to deploy on the pitch, or if Chile could defeat their rivals. The build-up to every match, the conversations I had with family, friends and colleagues, were as much fun as the actual games, minus the suicidal feeling I got after the game against Brazil.
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This year’s offseason promises to be spectacular, with Zlatan still allegedly undecided as to what team he is going to join; Pep Guardiola is moving to Man City and probably reshaping the squad; Arturo Vidal will perhaps be joining Antonio Conte (his former boss at Juventus) at Chelsea; the John Stones’ saga (vol 2.0); Arsenal’s plans in the transfer market after this year’s colossal failure; and what players Klopp will be bringing to Liverpool.
In addition, we have the greatest rumor mill of all in Real Madrid. The latest from Spain is that Florentino Perez has decided he will sell Ronaldo this offseason to slash his wages from the payroll and to recoup some money before he gets older. In other news, it also appears that Gareth Bale is ready to go back to the Premier League, specifically to one of the Manchester teams. Of course, this will make Madrid become buyers in the offseason, with their first target reported to be Robert Lewandowski from Bayern.
In the end, football matches can be boring and uneventful. Talking about football, however, will never, ever be.