‘To watch him play football was to watch a great artist at work. Once he had the ball at his feet, it was impossible to retrieve it without fouling him.’
‘Come on. He rode that gravy train like all these other overpaid footballers.’
‘You’re too young to understand. Before him there was no gravy train. He was one of the first to move to Europe from South America. He was born in the slums with nothing. Why shouldn’t he take the money they offered? And he worked hard, as well as having natural ability.’
‘He let drugs ruin his natural ability. His life was a mess.’
‘It was, but in those days he had no support. No media training, no health and wellbeing care, the clubs had no duty of care, and no one to protect him from the Camorra. The tragedy is all he wanted to do was play football, whether they paid him to do it or not.’
‘So, greatest of all time?’
Impossible to let his passing not be marked in some way. The very definition of a troubled genius. One of the few who rose above his sport to become something more, a symbol for an entire nation and a hero to many the world over. For all his flaws, what a life lived to the full. Rest in Peace, Diego.
Written for #FOWC, hosted by Fandango on his blog This, That and the Other. Today’s prompt word was: Gravy. Click on the link to read contributions from other writers. Also The Daily Word Prompt (Retrieve),