Businessmen, managers and star players are over-exposed in the media in this ?rock and roll? circus named football-business. Is anybody talking about technical innovations, tactical changes or new styles of playing? No. Is anybody highlighting those beautiful moves, that heroic sacrifice, that spectacular dribbling, the excellent performance of the goalkeeper? No. Absolutely nothing, a huge silence around the game itself and a lot of noise about what surrounds it. What we hear is: How much money is that player earning? Or which sheik bought which club? Or, have you seen the new Adidas shirt or the new Puma football shoes?
I have been a supporter for more than twenty years. Thanks to football I received my first baton strike, I learned to love my neighborhood and I reaffirmed my class consciousness. I've walked many roads, I've gone hungry many times, I've fought in the streets and I've supported unbearable heat because of the love for my team and for a game that's deeply ours: it is the sentiment of the streets, of the working class, of the people who fight and rise up.
That's why it hurts me that the game we fell in love with, the game that is a fundamental part of our lives, is getting more and more alien to our streets and neighborhoods each day. The capital, omnivorous and predatory, is devouring football and transforming it into something different to that old tradition brought to Colombia by the English workers of Magdalena Railway many years ago.
That's the reason why for many supporters the slogan "Against Modern Football" ("Odio Eterno al Fútbol Moderno" in the Spanish version) is not an empty phrase. This is why I want to share these little lessons I learned from football, perfectly applicable to revolutionary combat and to the daily work of those fighting for a new country.
1. You have to support it in good and bad times. Not only when your team thrashes the local enemies and there is time for taunts and humiliation, but also when that tiny and unknown team superbly defeats you and wastes your entire week.
2. Rain, blazing heat and hunger are insignificant things if it is about supporting your team. Complaining is for the poor in spirit. Accordingly, supporting your team under hail rain after a three-hour qeue with an empty stomach is just a test if you want to be counted amongst the essentials, the salt of the earth.
3. The referee represents the authority, the power and the State. Never sympathize with the referee, even if he makes a decision in favor of your team. Remember: you should never flirt with authority, my friend, it is perverse by nature.
4. There's nothing more despicable than someone who only supports a team for its good results. Guys who only enjoy victories that haven't been built with their support, are just opportunist people who only deserve rejection.
5. The blows are just that, blows. They serve to get ourselves together and make us stronger.
6. Victory requires preparation. Those who dislike hard working and only enjoy the moments of glory are opportunists. For this reason, you must appreciate the hard workers.
7. Don't to be too self-confident. The only allowed excess for the supporter is the excess of love for your team and your cause.
8. Always Maradona-style, never Pelé. There will never be a place in the home of the brave for Traitors and well-to-do.
9. Always Menotti-style, never Bilardo. Victory just to triumph isn't worth it. The goal has to be achieved with the conviction that the right thing is being done, that you're taking the correct route, not just for the goal.
10. Convenient route involves also convenient aesthetic. Both, the game and the revolution are aesthetic acts; just ask Bochini, Panenka, Sócrates, Cabañas or Higuita.
11. The moments in which mistakes are made are the most painful of all. But they stop being so when the tribune supports you with loyalty and camaraderie. These are the most important values in the world.