This weekend my wife, Laura, and I have quite a few visitors at home. The reason? The Madrid Derby. We will see it together, as always. She is from Real Madrid and I am from Atlético de Madrid. Many more will sit on our sofa: my brother Raúl, a mattress maker; our friends Lorena and Álvaro, a couple in which she is from FC Barcelona and he from Atleti; and another friend, Miguel, who is also a Madridista. And yet, we know very well that there will be no discussion.
We take football differently. Both my wife and I like to watch games at home and we often invite friends regardless of the team they supported. Always in full harmony. Laura and I put out the food and the rest bring drinks. We chat, we discuss the plays and we have some other friendly bite that is never more than a joke. In short, we had a good time.
Soccer is for having fun. To enjoy, regardless of the team you are. It’s what they taught me at home. My father, Constancio, was initially a follower of Athletic Club, but over the years he began to be more attracted to Real Madrid. My mother, María de la Paz, sympathized with Atlético. I never heard them argue over anything related to their teams and they instilled in me respect for the other clubs.
I myself, in fact, had a path similar to that of my father. As a child I was from Real Madrid because of him. You already know that normally children do what they see at home. Over time, however, I became part of Atlético. It was because of my uncle on my mother’s side, Fernando, who instilled the feeling in me since he was seven years old. He began to take me from time to time to the Vicente Calderón stadium.
I remember many moments that definitely perfectly what we rojiblancos feel. For example, a game in which we lost 5-4 against Barça, despite the fact that the Serbian Milinko Pantic, one of my Atleti idols, scored four goals. Also another match with the same result, against Salamanca CF UDS, in which the Italian Vieri scored another four goals that did not give us any points. Or the pitying face of Fernando Torres when Ronaldinho and Messi’s Barça put us 0-6 at home.
My uncle Fernando instilled in me that this was Atleti. That in life you have to always give everything, even if you suffer. Values such as effort and sacrifice, which they saw in the mattress fans, quickly caught on with me. Until I ended up discovering, as I grew older, that Atlético represented me.
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