Oliver’s father never gave him any kind of advice. He never said “you have to follow your true calling” or “loneliness, my son, is the pleasure of one’s own perspective”. But he taught him that if there are no Italian names in the football team’s lineup, then it is a second division match. He taught him that if there is anyone named Sosa, the team is probably from Uruguay. If there is a player named Rincón, the team is Colombian. He taught him that if there are more than two fat players, it is a tribute match or a match to raise funds to fight cancer. If the ball is orange, in the audience there is no one with a naked torso. If the field is invaded by a naked person, there are more than six players worth millions. However, if the field is invaded by a cat, a dog or a rabbit, there are no players worth over half a million.

Italian leagueOther children had parents who told them great truths about life and memorable phrases to be remembered for ever, or engraved. It was not Oliver’s case. But he learned to use those sport phrases as aphorisms and applied them to other planes of life. “My son” Oliver’s dad said one afternoon, “matches behind closed doors never see any memorable goals.”

Now, as a grown man, Oliver understands that he and his father did not talk about football. The sport in itself helped them connect to each other. Today, he could provide new data to his dad, were he still be alive. Now, as a proud grown man, Oliver has learned new things on his own. He would tell him that, if there are many tattoos, the league is English. If there are many players with piercings, it is the German league. Too much hair gel, Spanish league. Too many long haired players, Italian league, and so forth.