domingo, 25 de noviembre de 2012

Booze, birds, fast cars ... and football, of course (tribute to George Best)

In these blessed times of immaculate football players dedicated to charitable campaigns for children (Messi), gym heroes with abs like chocolate bars (CR7), or passionate devotees whose faith not only moves mountains but scores goals (Falcao), one, who always has tended to feel "like a rolling stone", frequently finds himself looking back -without anger-, to the time of childhood, to that missed and unique (in a ethical, aesthetic and erotic sense) generation of long-haired players with an ungainly gait but pure elegance in their play. And among them, perhaps one like the indomitable "Belfast boy", "the fifth Beatle": George Best.

But what Best is our best? Best of categorical "Do not die like I did" or Best of the most shocking and frivolous "In 1969 I gave up women and alcohol: it was the worst 20 minutes of my life" and other similar unforgettable sentences accessible from anyone who types "george best quotes" on browsers? Or the alchemist who mix the "one for the road" and the first of the day daily? Or -why not?- the eternal Best? Probably the only player in history, able to unite two historic and bloody faced communities at his own burial, and also has the airport of his hometown dedicated to him and legal tender in his country.

Then, what really fascinates us about Best? His life was exemplary in every way, survived until the limit, comparable to those ancient tragic heroes touched by the hand of the gods, walking to the eternal glory of the abyss: inspiration, passion, success, glory, rebelliousness, errors that feed on their own errors, drama that ends in tragedy, tragedy that is absurd absurd, rise and fall, darkness, oblivion... and suddenly the grass sinks underfoot, the last breath makes its way to the heart and shows the ghost of the naked intimacy, the broken mirror between the child and the character, the feverish soul of who is no longer...

But football remains... the exquisite care with which Best touched the ball, his incredible game viewing, his dazzling dribbling accuracy, his electrifying velocity born in the crest of vertigo, his lethal shot finding its museum into the back of net, the extraordinary ability -even today- of lifting fans from their seats...

(George Best died in London on November 25th 2005)

(versión española)

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