Zubizarreta: What I have left as a goalkeeper | Sports

We have just arrived at the locker room and the coach has told me that I am going to play this definitive match, one of those finals in which everyone wants to be and in which only a select few have the honor of taking the field in the starting eleven. I turn on my bench and start rummaging through warm-ups, game clothes, boots, and I can’t find my glove bag. That bag in which, in addition to two pairs of my usual gloves, I carry a pair for days with a lot of water and, at the bottom, a pair of those amulets that you forget about until one day, anguished, you discover that they fell off in the last washed. My first thought is to rummage through the mess around me because the bag is big, white, obvious, one of those impossible to lose.

My teammates go out on the field to warm up and the goalkeeping coach tells me that he is going out with them and that he is starting to work with the other goalkeepers in case…

Isn’t it going to be that, what?, I ask myself as I run towards the bus that has brought us to the field because I think I remember that I left my bag there, just on the left side of the second row. A lifetime in football and today I forget my magic bag, today that we risk everything in this mythical stadium but which is a complete labyrinth in which the corridors are endless, in which the darkness is absolute, in which I no longer know if I am going towards the bus or I went in the wrong direction. I just know that there are more and more people in the halls and that my legs are starting to weigh a ton. Well, that ton is usually common before big events, that moment of anguish in which I feel that my shoulders are heavy, my back aches and my knees are locked and when only the hands are still agile blocking each ball, clearing every shot.

Therefore, concentration, confidence and find where that damn bus is parked. Finally, among all the crowd I see the blue nose of our bus, I find the driver starting to get it out of there and park it in his square, where he will wait for us with the illusion of taking us back with the cup. I jump in and look in my favorite row and, eureka, there it is, lying on the floor, lost and dirty as if it had been there a lifetime. my bag That’s my bag, right? I rip it open and discover those white gloves that I like so much. I jump off the bus and start to dodge people, the public, television cameras and even some gardener who comes back from fixing the field and tells me that the warm-up is over.

Well, I’m going to get to the locker room on time for a quick set-up, get dressed in my green jersey, put on that jersey that has accompanied me throughout this tournament and jump onto the pitch with the team even though I would never have thought that this corridor was so long, nor that so many people could be here just before the game. I don’t even understand why the anthem of the Champions if I have not yet reached the locker room. Right there, just at the moment when I open the back door of that huge locker room, I manage to see my teammates leave. A red goalkeeper jersey goes second.

Everything goes dark, dark, dark… Just a tenth before I open my eyes to find myself sweaty, shaken and bewildered in bed at home.

It is the last thing, what I have left from those days when I was a goalkeeper.

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