So i’ve landed my way into another weekly football match. It’s been a month. I was a little nervous for a few reasons. One, when I’ve played before it’s been with a mix of expats and Italians, this time it’s all Italians, which means all in Italian. Secondly it’s through a friend of Chiara’s and so it’s a little close to home. And I’m generally self conscious about these two things: Italian and my Canadian footballing skills, however here’s a semi-bragging breakdown of the up to now 4 sessions

1st time.

pretty nervous, but everyone was very nice. I fucking killed it too. 4 goals and a handful of assists in a winning effort. Including my first ever goal with my head. Totally on purpose as well. Defensively played well as well. I think my team was a little loaded as well because it was my first session so they figured oooh, a Canadian, let’s put the sandbag with the all-stars. But felt good to exceed expectations.

2nd time.

As soon as I stepped out on the pitch I got a cramp in my hamstring. It got worse 5 minutes in leaping for an interception. Hobbled around unable to keep a spring in my step. Still scored a goal and an assist or three, but we lost and I felt shitty afterwards, because I knew I could do better. Made a spectacular miss on a one-timer that involved me falling down. Hard. And tumbling over. Ouch.
Anyway, I got the invite to come regularly, so it couldn’t have been that bad.

3rd time.

Cold weather had set in. Managed a couple goals and we won, but still felt like I mistimed everything, offensively and defensively.

4th time.

Kicked some ass. Scored a doppietta in a winning effort, one as Johnny on the spot, the other a cucchiaio from centre. The cucchiaio is the lofty chip shot. It fooled the keeper and surprised everybody, me included. I also made a couple really nice passes and some strong defensive tackles prompting a comparison to Gattuso. I was a machine. 3/4’s of the way through though I came back down to Earth, made a number of errors and played down to my level. But for those fleeting moments I was a superstar.

And that’s that so far. Needed to boast a little bit about my Canadian prowess amongst the Italians on the 5 aside football pitch, still wish I could kick a ball hard and have it hit the net, but in the course of play I can find a way to score often enough.