READ: Football is Cruel

In the end all you could see was the pain on his face. After 90 minutes for it to end that way was something he never even thought would happen in his worst nightmares. As he scanned the crowd he tried to disguise the emotions but it was impossible.

Like a man who got up in the middle of the night to answer a phone call that could only be bad news, and who stood on an upturned plug on the way. Despair etched into his features like a full-faced tattoo of grief. The light gone from his eyes, never to return because on the biggest stage of them all, with millions watching, this had happened.

It was hard to even begin to comprehend why. What had he done to deserve this? He just wanted the ground to open up and swallow him but there’s never a random, isolated sinkhole just when you need one. All those eyes on him, watching, judging, laughing, mocking.

He thought back to moments where he knew he could have done better but that made his heart ache so badly he thought he might pass out. All he could hear was the rhythm of it, each beat like a thrash from a leather belt across his back. All of him hurt. His mind, his body, his very soul – as if he had done a deal with Satan in a previous life for something good and this was the payoff in this one.

Couldn’t the cameras point somewhere else? Look at those players over there celebrating, cavorting, filled with joy at the achievement of winning three in a row. Please, they could just leave him alone, let him get on with what was left of his life now. But no, Steadicam Steve held his equipment pointed directly at that face which told you so much without even a single word being spoken.

One day he might get over it. One day he might forget, or be allowed to forget. One day even the vaguest memory of it wouldn’t make his entire body burn with anguish and desolation. One day he might be able to speak of a heartbreak so profound it could only be expressed through a performance: a recital in which the people who came to view it could fully understand his woe because they would be close to it as the essence of it oozed from every pore.

One day he might forget that he was robbed of the chance to score the fourth goal in a Champions League final then take off his shirt, flex his muscles, and celebrate like this was a game he won single-handedly. Not now though.

Now is too soon

Poor old Loris Karius though, eh? That’s a night he’ll want to forget as quickly as possible, and it means that along with us Liverpool will surely be browsing through the Market of Goalkeepers this summer. I like to think of it as a kind of flea market but with keepers on plinths making provocative and sultry movements to attract buyers, but however you picture it yourself is fine.

Culled from ArseBlog.

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One comment on “READ: Football is Cruel”

  1. Rhoda says:

    Nice write up.

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