The Past,the Present, the Future

February 1, 2011
By Brian Shushkovsky BRONZE, Morganville, New Jersey
Brian Shushkovsky BRONZE, Morganville, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Sitting in my creaky, wooden chair, rocking back and forth while sipping some vino rojo, I just gazed at the desolate field ahead. Visions from the past sped into my head; I remembered the hours spent on the field ahead of me dreaming with my friend Iker about being a professional footballer. When we were little that was every boy’s dream. Everyday we would meet up at exactly 10 a.m. and play for a few hours. We would then take a break and run to Diurno, our favorite café, (Fodor’s Spain 2011 96) to grab a tapa; a snack or appetizer. We would just hangout and talk the usual futbol talk; stats, predictions for this weekend’s game, and our favorite topic, the national team. We could spend days and days talking about the Spanish National team, they were so good, but could never win a major trophy. However, the players were idols in our eyes. We would then run back to the fields, always making it a contest of who would get there first, and continue playing. For years this was what we did and then one day a scout noticed Iker playing in goal, his favorite position, and called him back for trials at the Real Madrid youth academy. The whole Mostoles community was astonished; we were considered just a little city in the community in Madrid ( world factbook) with no real value. However, I wasn’t surprised, I knew Iker and had always known if one of us would make it pro, it would definitely be him. He then moved with his family out of Mostoles to get closer to the fields and we started to loose touch. He occasionally called, but as time went on news began to spread about him and he started becoming a celebrity. After his debut for the Real Madrid senior team, we had lost touch completely. There were still days that I would go and play on the field by myself or with some other friends, but it was never the same. He became a world super star and I just stayed back in lonesome Mostoles, left only to imagine what could have been.

I went back into the house sort of depressed after that little relapse. The TV had been on the whole time so I sat down to listen to the news. There was a press conference going on with a few of the national team players as they prepared for the World Cup 2010 final. Everyone in Spain was excited as this was the first time in history that the Spanish National Team had reached the final. Things were worrying after the first game, they had lost to Switzerland and the country was in a state of dread. It was so bad that day that I was afraid to leave my house. However, the team turned it around with some good triumphs and they were able to get in the semis and then the finals. Thousands had flown down to South Africa to see the game, millions more including myself would have loved to but the money just wasn’t there. I would have to be happy with calling over a few friends to have some wine and watch it on TV.

A little sidetracked, I decided to go do something somewhat useful. The mail was probably delivered about half an hour ago so I went outside and walked to the mailbox. It was so hot today it was practically scorching. I was breaking a sweat by the time I reached the mail. I grabbed it and walked over to the garbage, “ Garbage, garbage, garbage, oh wait not garbage!” The last piece of mail was a little envelope addressed to myself with the words “muy importante” under address. I walked inside with it, actually excited about mail for once. I tore it open and the letter was actually quite small, there was something else in the envelope but I left it for after the letter.
Dear Friend,

We haven’t spoken in the longest time, and recently I was thinking back to our childhood, remembering the great times we shared. I became very upset with myself for not having kept better contact with you but I want to change that. You were my best friend and I owe you big time for getting me where I am today. To try to show my gratitude, in the envelope are two tickets; one is for the flight to South Africa and the other an admission ticket to Soccer City, Johannesburg (the 95,000 seat stadium where the world cup final was held) (Ebscohost, “A Game Like no Other”). I want you to watch the game the whole world is waiting for.

Your friend,

Iker Casillas

I put the letter down, and took a seat, as I needed a moment to process everything that had just happened. It was unbelievable, out of the 96 percent of Spanish people that were Roman Catholic; God had blessed me (Timothy Gall 42). I took the tickets out of the envelope and just looked at them. They were fake they had to be. But no my friend would never do such a thing! I sprung up realizing the World Cup final was in two days! I had to get packed fast as the flight was tomorrow. I ran upstairs and grabbed my suitcase, covered in a thick layer of dust. Grabbing all the clothes I though I would need, I quickly filled up my suitcase to the top. There was one thing I still needed, my Spain Jersey. Back, on my 13th birthday, Iker gave me a present I would never forget, we were poor so we couldn’t afford fancy clothes, but he saved up all year and bought me the National Jersey. I put it right on top of the rest of the luggage and zipped it up.

That night I decided to get a good nights’ rest so I went to bed early. All night I tossed and turned still not able to process what had happened. Eventually I broke into a cold sweat. Nightmare upon nightmare kept going through my head each time a different variation of the same thing. I would arrive in South Africa and be stopped, attacked not allowed, or just arrive too late.

I woke up early deciding being awake was better then being asleep at that point. I double-checked my suitcase and sat down for a moment of prayer. The only prayer on my mind was the thought of watching the final. The flight was at 11:00 so I left the house at eight opting to ride my vespa while it wasn’t too hot. The streets in Madrid were beautiful every block had its own uniqueness from La Sol, all the way down to Chueca. I became so caught up I almost forgot I was heading to the airport.

Back on track I reached Barajas Airport, one of the largest in the world, the check in was smooth and before I knew it I was on the plane. The ten-hour flight felt more like a 10-day flight. Sleeping was out of the question but there wasn’t really anything else to do. All of a sudden emergency lights were flashing, people were panicking and it was all a chaos, my nightmares where turning into a reality. “Sir get up… Sir please get up,” Instantly I was snapped back into reality, it was only a dream, I reminded myself. It was time to get off the plane; I must have dozed off without realizing it. I was in Johannesburg and I still didn’t believe it. I followed the crowd, completed all the procedures and was on my own. Completely lost I asked for some help and finally managed to check into the Sunny Side Park Hotel, which was walking distance from the stadium.

After the terrible plane ride all I wanted was a nap. I wasn’t quite sure what the time was but my body told me it was time to sleep so I dozed off.

I awoke completely refreshed. Eventually finding a clock it was about mid-day, the final was in three hours! Grabbing a knapsack I ran out of the hotel and jumped right into the huge herd of people colored red or orange (For Spain and Netherlands). The walk and wait was time consuming but at least I was there. I was next on line, but right before I handed in my ticket the man behind me tapped my shoulder,

“ Did you really come to a World Cup final dressed like that?” Astonished I looked down at my apparel. I was dressed in a plain old blue tee shirt; I had left my jersey in the hotel room! Unsure, at what to do next I just followed my instinct. Against the swarms of people I ran and ran, completely out of breath I reached the hotel, ran up and grabbed the jersey and threw it in the knapsack. I had less then 45 minutes to get back there and anyone late would not be allowed to enter!
Plowing my way through, like a bull through a herd, I finally got back to the line with not even seconds to spare. There were a few last minute stragglers that were let in and the gates were closed. Handing the lady the ticket I heard the National Anthems being played as she gave it back and I ran like I never ran before.
I reached my seat just as the first touch was played. I took a few seconds to take in the atmosphere, the noise, and the experience. Although the noise soon became irksome with the vuvuzelas buzzing like bees all around. But it didn’t matter; I was watching the greatest game in the world. Sitting next to me there was an old man who was wearing a tennis shirt with Rafael Nadal drawn on it. Guessing him a tennis fan, I asked, “If you’re wearing a tennis shirt why are you are at futbol match?”
“I’m a man who loves to compare sports. Nadal my Spanish tennis idol has a rivalry like no other With Roger Federer. ( - Rafael Nadal) However, a friend of mine disagreed saying a world cup final is more exciting so here I am judging for myself, and it looks like he very well might be right.”
After listening to the man I turned my attention back to the game. The intensity of the game was incredible, watching on television is nothing compared to watching it live. My life seemed to be complete. By halftime tears were flowing down my cheeks, I was just so happy.
Spain went on to win the game and the cheer of a nation was heard. For the first time in history Spain had won the World Cup. As the final whistle blew a cheer so deafening erupted that I though I might just die. I was crying so hard that my vision was actually turning to a blur. I ran down to the bottom as far down as I could go. Kissing my jersey I looked for my friend. Across the field Iker was running around holding the trophy crying as well. He ran toward my side and as he approached we made eye contact. For one last time we shared a laugh, a cry, and a win.

This will certify that the above work is completely original.
Brian Shushkovsky

Works Cited
"CIA Site Redirect — Central Intelligence Agency." Welcome to the CIA Web Site —
Central Intelligence Agency. Web. 09 Dec. 2010. <>.

Gall, Timothy L., and Susan B. Gall. Junior Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations.
Detroit: UXL, 2002. Print.

Gatehouse, By Jonathon. "EBSCOhost: A GAME LIKE NO OTHER." EBSCO
Publishing Service Selection Page. Web. 15 Dec. 2010. <>.

Trefler, Caroline. Fodor's Spain 2011. New York: Fodor's, 2011. Print.

" - Rafael Nadal (Spain, Tennis)/ Age: 22." Web. 19 Dec.
2010. <>.

The author's comments:
I am very involved with soccer and play at a very competitive level. My position is goalkeeper.

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