10/03/2017 News

You know you’re an African footballer who can play for the FC Barcelona when…

So it’s true that your country is pretty far away from Barcelona, and that the way to get to Camp Nou ain’t a country road. But you’re gonna make it, like others before you. You know you’re an African footballer who can make it to Barça when…

 

You like to talk about yourself in the third person.

 

You think Pep Guardiola is a second rate coach. He doesn’t think highly of you either. 

 

You got used to the idea that you won’t be talking about trophies you won with your country. Unlike those you’ll win with your club.

 

You’re okay with someone else taking the role of the star. Unlike your status as the national team’s idol.

 

You repeat everywhere that Barcelona won the Champions League 2009 thanks to a goal scored by a Cameroonian.

 

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You’re already working on the papers to get Spanish citizenship. Or you already have it. Of course, you know damn well the number of non-EU players in a club.

 

You already wrote down the dates of the Africa Fashion Week Barcelona in your planner.

 

You also won’t shut up about how the most expensive transfer in the club’s history was for a kid born from the love of a Malian and a Senegalese-Mauritanian.

 

Yet you’re convinced that Riyad Mahrez or Sadio Mané were actually better choices.

 

You know there’s 1200 km between the Catalan capital and your continent, and that you need 13 hours to drive there. Because you’re not over fond of flying.

 

You know the trick to make racists shut up 

 

You’re not called Jean Michaël.

 

You go on believing that Alex Song would have been one of the greatest defensive centre in history had he not been made of jelly.

 

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You can name all those that came before you. Even Steve Mokone, Emmanuel Amunike, Samuel Okunowo or Diawandou Diagne.

 

You can name all those that’ll come after you. Even Franck Kessié, Alex Iwobi or Achraf Hakimi.

 

You’ve always dreamed of setting up the very first game between a club from your country and the Barça. And no, it hasn’t happened yet.

 

You were at the very front for the opening of the first Barcelona academy in Nigeria.

 

For you, this summer’s main transfer wasn’t Neymar or Kylian Mbappé but that of Ezekiel Bassey, the Super Eagles’ U20 striker.

 

Because, of course, you never play without your ‘1899-1999 jersey’ that your cousin brought you back from Morocco about 20 years ago. What do you mean ‘it’s too small’?

 

You cried when you watched this. 

 

In your kitchen, you do like the tiki-tika, all in a throw-in: one sugar in your coffee, one pinch of salt in your fries, and one spoon of instant cocoa in your milk.

 

Back home they call you Andrès Iniesta when you play in midfield, Carles Puyol when you play in defence, and Léo Messi when you play forward. Or Johan Cruyff, but that’s only when you play with an orange.

 

Seydou Keita