I played with The Greatest

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by Tim Burdick on 06 July, 2014

In honor of the World Cup, this week’s blog is about my amateur football career (soccer for Americans).

When I lived in Chile, I played 5-a side for Grant’s English. Every Friday, we played against a British school. My team was Ben, Ruarie, me, Roberto and Roberto’s cousin, our goalie. We won every time and never practiced.

My friend, Roberto is one of the best football players that I’ve every played with.

One of my favorite memories was the game that we almost lost. We weren’t doing so well and Roberto asked me to play goalie. I blocked and challenged attacking players. Those British guys cursed at me when I stopped them. Roberto scored again and again. I didn’t stop every shot, but I slowed them down.

In the end, we won 5-3. Roberto ran over to me standing in the goal and stretched out his football jersey. “Please, I want your autograph.Sign my shirt.”

I stood in shock, staring at him. He scored all five goals and he was complimenting me.
I gaped, “They scored.”

“So what? You’re the wall.”

That’s why I loved playing football with him. He made me feel like a star. He brought out my best and I played my best. On the days, when I didn’t think I was any good. (Maybe, that is what it's like to play with the legends.)

When I walked onto the pitch, I was not Tim Burdick, English teacher. I was la pared. You were not going through me. Ever.

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