UNFC, Central Park, Sundays 10am

The white cowboy Americans were game, if not the best co-ordinated. Very sensitive to foul play, they would pick up the ball and take issue directly with any player who they felt was playing too aggressively.

The Italians were the best dressed: full AC Milan kit, slicked-back hair, gold necklaces and aftershave. They insisted on taking kick-off, and sought to organise the game – in a mostly ill-tempered fashion. As footballers they were slovenly and had poor ball control.

The West Africans were the strongest, fastest and most direct. They had no eye for a pass, for diagonal or arced runs and no deftness of touch. Playing at a higher tempo than the rest, they only passed to each other. When one of them got the ball, the game stopped for the others, save the handful of belligerant poursuivants intent on tracking them.  Whichever side they were on, won.

The North Africans were the most skilful and the trickiest – but greedy, lazy and tetchy.

Koreans and/or Japanese were excellent to play with. They were quick, energetic, willing to defend and looked for the simple pass. There were no touches of the sublime though – no moments in which even the most ordinary of players does something breathtaking.

And there were Brazilians, but not very good Brazilians, otherwise they would have been playing with other Brazilians, I suppose.

The Englishman got stuck in, running around “like he ain’t had no breakfast,” to the annoyance of everyone – but everyone annoyed everyone the whole time anyway.




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