Disclaimer*: The articles shared under 'Your Voice' section are sent to us by contributors and we neither confirm nor deny the authenticity of any facts stated below. Parhlo News will not be liable for any false, inaccurate, inappropriate or incomplete information presented on the website. Read our disclaimer.
I remember holding my phone, staring at the screen; reading my friend’s message – “Zidane has left us”. 15th of Ramadan, about to break my fast, I felt like a lump of tears had tied a knot in my throat. Even after keeping a fast of 16 hours, suddenly, I didn’t feel like eating anything at all. Shock, anguish or grief, I don’t remember. A wave of mixed emotions had swept across my body.
I don’t remember crying but I do remember my mom asking, “What happened to her?” and the usual reply by my sister, “Oh, probably something related to football”. I don’t remember isolating myself in a room but I do remember sobbing after Dad entered and asked, “So, your Zidane is leaving?”. Your Zidane. That’s how my Dad sarcastically refers to the people I admire. He says I’m crazy that I cry like I own them.
That was almost a month ago.
And exactly a month or so later, scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, going through the ongoing FIFA World Cup news and banters, laugh reacting to the memes, I stopped on this one post that said, “Cristiano to Juventus; deal done. End of an era”. Oh please, not again! I rolled my eyes and continued scrolling. I know this happens every year. The season ends, and media starts spreading transfer rumors until the new season begins.
“Cristiano is a big name, that’s how they sell their papers, you know”, I told myself – or consoled myself? I don’t know. I wasn’t affected, not a bit until every reliable source started reporting the same news, football related accounts on every social media app had the same thing. The internet broke and the media made it more obvious with each passing hour. Strange how people living miles away leave imprints on our lives even though we never regard them of such importance.
Or maybe, we do. But we never realize it until something happens that breaks our heart into pieces and gives us a burning sensation in our chest until we feel tears rolling down our cheeks. I am not a Cristiano fangirl. I never saw myself like that. I’m more of a Madridista. My friends laugh at me when I tell them I’d prefer Messi over Cristiano any day. I was okay, really. But then, why this sinking feeling? How come I was feeling hollow all of a sudden? I felt like drowning in a never-ending whirl of the profound uncertainty of a future – a future I thought I didn’t care about but apparently, I did.
We never know there’s a bond that exists between us and people of the football world, a world that we have access to only through Internet or TV- until that bond is broken. We think we’re strong. We think that people we watch on TV don’t have a part in our life. We think it’s a part of the game. We think that life will go on. We think it won’t matter to us a slightest. Fangirl or a fanboy, or just a Madridista; what does it matter?
We’re all addicts. Some are addicted to the feeling this club provides. The feeling of having a family, of knowing the same anthem as the millions around the world, of chanting the same slogan “Hala Madrid!”, of screaming at the same goals, of crying at the same loss, of being loved when the whole stadium stands up chanting “Madrid! Madrid! And nothing ever!” and we sit behind our screens, having a sense of belonging, and our hearts smiling with joy.
The feeling of sharing banters, comparing our manager and players to others, breaking the internet when Zidane with his genius tactics proves “Not every bald man is Zidane!”.The feeling of respect we receive from the football world for solely being fans of this mighty club. A sense of pride when fans of other clubs joke around like, “Real Madrid? Or Imaginary Madrid?”, and we snap “It’s Royal in Spanish. We’re Royals of the football world”. It might be different for the fangirls and the fanboys but you see, we’re all addicts.
As Cristiano’s move to Juventus is almost done, and even if he stays, we know he is going to leave one day. Every football fan, especially a Madridista can understand the sorrow. It’s not that we won’t watch him play again but It’s just that we won’t be able to see him in our favorite jersey, in our favorite club, lifting the trophy with us and kissing the same badge as we do.
Maybe, it’s not Cristiano. Maybe, it’s his ideology. Maybe, it’s how he taught us never to give up. Maybe, it’s how he helped us get through life. Maybe, it’s the spark he ignited in our favorite game. Maybe, it’s the thrill we felt while watching him. Maybe, it’s the hope of victory that we clung to every time he came on. Maybe, it’s the tears he gave while we celebrated with joy.
Maybe, we thought it wouldn’t matter. Maybe, we thought it’s a men’s game and emotional attachment is something unknown to them. Maybe we were wrong, and here we are; the Madridistas, the fangirls, and the fanboys saving every emotion he gave us. Some have it in the form of wallpapers, memorable photos, YouTube Videos, his jersey collections, the caricatures, and some have Facebook pages named after him.
Some celebrate their goals as he does. Some copy his playing style on the pitch. Some boast about how their favorite is the best in the world. Some are proud that the best in the world play for their favorite club. We’re all obsessed. So we sit there in silence, holding onto the last flake of our shattered heart, gathering pieces of those precious moments he left embedded in our mind, or heart or maybe our soul- for those moments are the only treasure we have left that makes us feel alive.