Poland VS. Peru In Argentina 78 ( A Lady's Football Match)
A fictional story I thought up while watching an old football match on youtube between Peru and Poland from the 1978 world cup. This being a match which I saw at the time and managed to catch on youtube in its entirety. This much to my surprise that such a match would be shown. As it was most uneventful yet it reminded me in fact of how boring a match it had been. This as to make all that went about it seem more interesting than the main event, itself.
Graciela was 17 years of age and found herself in the city of Mendoza during the month of June for the world cup which would become known as "Argentina 78". Graciela, in fact being a Peruvian young girl from the city of Lima, who prior to that particular world cup had not taken much interest in either her country's national team or football for that matter yet found herself caught up in all the recent excitement. This due to Peru's not only having qualified to the world cup for the third time in its history but its having reached the quarterfinals for the second time. The thrill of football was everywhere in Graciela's country and though this did not mean all that much to her, she had taken advantage of the excuse the world cup offered to travel to Argentina; more so that she might visit a new country than see Peru play a sport she in all truth was not all that keen on.
It being Graciela's father, who worked as a journalist along with having suggested that she join him along with her brother on his trip to Argentina; on which he would be covering Peru's matches for his newspaper "El Comercio". This being Peru's best read newspaper at the time. Graciela for her part, at first had not been overly enthusiastic about going on a trip to Argentina just for the sake of watching football matches with her older brother, German while her father covered the matches from the press box yet went along with the idea. Graciela basically having more desires to travel and see Argentina than watch Peru play in a tournament which even she knew, despite her little knowledge of the football ; that Peru had few if any real chances of winning.
The tournament however had gone surprisingly well for Peru. In the first stage of the world cup in which it managed to qualify to the quarterfinals. This leading to a rise in expectations from many a Peruvian, who started to see their team as a strong candidate to perhaps even take the title or at least end up among the top four teams yet such hopes were slightly dashed by their first defeat of the tournament. It being Brazil, who beat them by a convincing score of 3-0 which basically meant that in a group of four teams which also contained Argentina and Poland; Peru would have to win their remaining two matches to stand any chance of going on to the final or at least being able to play for third place. The group organized in such a way that the winner played in the final with the team that came in second playing for third place. All of which meaning that Peru would just about have to beat Poland and vice verse for either team to remain in contention for a spot in the top four. Poland, for what concerned them; had lost by a score of 2-0 against Argentina and pretty much found themselves in the same situation as Peru.
Graciela, in what had been a very exciting visit to Argentina had come to appreciate the game a whole lot more and though she had not became a fan of the sport by any means; had come to cherish the atmosphere created in stadiums by her fellow Peruvians. Graciela, in all reality, not even caring so much if Peru won or loss but just that the games be interesting and that those about her create a lot of colorful support for her country of birth. All of which including Peruvian folk clothing as well as Indian drums and all those items from her country which most associated with its culture which came from the Andes.
Graciela, on this particular day was walking through the streets of Mendoza, on her way to the training camp which she had found out was the place where the Polish national football team would be practicing as well as autographing footballs and jerseys. These being items which the Polish players sold to the locals or anybody interested. This in order that they might have some extra money to take out some of the lovely ladies from Mendoza for a cup of coffee or something of such innocence; since more was forbidden given the fact that they were in training. Graciela, having read about this practice by the Polish players in one of her father's articles which had caught her attention. This not only because of what they did but the reason which was that they were not allowed to get money from TV rights like players from her country.
This meaning, they basically had no money to sightsee or just get the odd souvenir here or there yet had found a rather cleaver way to at least be able to treat a young lady like herself to a cup of coffee or this being Argentina; a yerba mate. Graciela also wished to visit the Polish training ground in the hope that she might meet one of the players, who would see her for her beauty and perhaps ask her out and keep in touch with her after going back to his native Poland. This being almost a dream of hers to meet a player and though sexuality was not what she was hoping for or even wanted; it was a nice concept to at least know one and be able to tell her friends back in Lima that she kept in touch with one of the players. How nice it would be to be able to tell her friends with sincerity whenever Poland played on TV that a player who happened to be on camera was a friend of hers. Graciela did not know much about the players yet she had heard the names Lato, Deyna, (her knowing this player for having missed a penalty against Argentina in Poland's previous match), Tomaszewski and above all Boniek. It being this last player whom she took particular notice of for being not only a good player (who had suffered in Poland's last game against Argentina due to several fouls committed against him) but for being the sort of man; who physically speaking was to her liking. Boniek having reddish curly hair with the typical Slavic light skin which contrasted hers in ways which though not overly dramatically, did let one see that she was dark in complexion compared to a European.
As for Graciela, she was a young lady whose background was typical of those from her country. Graciela a descendent of Spanish immigrants, who had integrated with the local Indian population which made her what was commonly referred to as a "mestisa". This being a word which was used for anybody born in the Southern American continent, who like herself was part Spaniard and part South American Indian. Graciela, for the most part was very attractive though perhaps her look was all too common in Peru to be noticed yet was more appreciated by Europeans; who considered her darker skin and eyes to be beautiful in a most exotic fashion. Graciela, in fact had her mother's Aryan features which accounted for her lips and nose being delicately shaped and her eyes being light brown in a manner which came ever so close to green. As for her hair, it like most Peruvian young ladies was dark brown in a shade which was ever close to black but maintained something about it which let one who cared to observe that her color was not so dark.
Graciela, it could be said was lovely to look upon or at least in the opinion of most of those who laid eyes upon her. As there was something special which radiated not only from her look but her youth which was so clear just from looking at her. Graciela being 17 and looking every bit the part of a teenager, who was in those years of early womanhood which had just barely risen her above a girl. Graciela's reflecting in her body as well as face that sensuality most associate with that age of tenderness in a woman. Physically speaking Graciela was average in physical stature for a Peruvian of her generation. Graciela standing at an unimpressive 158 though for the most part was considered very sexy by most of the men who she came in contact with. It being her not very large though imposing breasts as well as hips which gave her the appearance of a woman, who was not fat in anyway yet did have that Latina plumpness about her which many regarded as typical for South American young ladies.
With the day not being a warm one in Mendoza which found itself in its first days of winter, Graciela opted for a pair of blue jeans to go with a red blouse and brown sweater which she wore under a dark blue winter jacket. This in fact, being the clothes she had purchased in Argentina given that finding such clothes was most difficult in Peru; giving that Lima unlike the mountainous areas of her country never experienced frost of any kind.
As Graciela arrived at the small stadium where the Polish team was going through their work outs for the following days match, she suddenly remembered the extra ticket she would have for Peru's match against Poland. Graciela having this extra ticket due to the election in her country which had been scheduled precisely on the day in which Poland and Peru were due to play in the world cup. Graciela being only 17 years of age was not yet eligible to vote which really meant not only that she could not vote but actually did not have to. Peru having a law that all those eligible to vote were obliged to do so and even had to pay a fine of 10 USD to the Peruvian government if they failed to do so. Graciela was naturally aware of how important this election would be in her country due to its being the first democratically held in her country in 10 years. Graciela even finding it funny how much and for how long her father had talked about having an open election in Peru only to miss it when it came. Graciela's father, whose name was Jaime claiming that it was his job to cover Peru's match which made voting something which could be sacrificed along with the ten dollars he would have to pay to the Peruvian government.
All seeming odd to Graciela, who felt her father was in all truth using the match to get out of voting for candidates he did not care to vote for yet saw no reason in just doing so in void. As for her brother, it was with him that she was supposed to go with to the match but he in fact had decided to go back to Lima and vote. This also seeming most comic to Graciela, how her brother was using the election in Peru to get out of watching football matches which he had lost interest in. All due to Peru's 3-0 loss to Brazil which he felt had left them with no chance to qualify to either the final or the match for third place while her father was using the match as a pretext not to vote for candidates he simply did not trust.
Graciela however despite reasons had been left with an extra ticket for the following day's match against Poland which her father had asked her if she could give to somebody; so that she at least might not see the match unaccompanied. Of course with Graciela's father being a journalist, this meant that she also had tickets to Peru's third and final match in the quarterfinals which would be against Argentina in Rosario. This also being a match which her brother absolutely refused to attend unless Peru stood any chance of at least going on to play for third place. This should they get anything resembling a positive result yet was not so hopeful of such an occurrence. As Graciela's brother was almost convinced Peru would loose to Poland. This in all likelihood making the match against Argentina a mere formality as far as Peru was concerned. As Peru would have nothing to play for other than pride which would probably lead to them being defeated by a wide margin. All of which being most inconsequential as far a Graciela was concerned. Graciela only having interest for was the atmosphere of the stadiums and being around others like herself, who cheered for Peru yet it did present her with the slight dilemma of what to do with the extra tickets; for both of Peru's remaining matches.
Graciela had decided to find a fellow Peruvian, whom she felt would be most glad to receive such a ticket and want to go to both matches with her yet was not so sure she could find such a person for Peru's match against Poland. This due to most of those who were fans already having tickets and those who did not probably being busy with the elections. This either by going to back to Peru or making their way to Santiago in Chile or Buenos Aires where they could cast their votes in the Peruvian embassies located in either one of those cities.
Graciela after having entered the training ground took a seat in the stands so that she might watch what she was sure would be the last half hour of the Polish team's training before they went through what had become their usual habit at this world cup. This of selling autographed balls and jerseys. Graciela for what concerned her, did speak English well or at least well enough that she might communicate with anybody on any topic which gave her the confidence that she would be able to hold her own with any of the Polish players who was able to communicate in English.
Graciela chose a seat behind one of the goals which let her see a Polish goalkeeper, who was not the famed "Tomaszewski"; make several saves off some very good shots. Graciela had seen the Peruvian team in training and did not notice any difference in the way one trained from another. Graciela finding it rather boring and did not understand why anybody would want to watch a training session unless they had to. This given they were either with the team or a journalist or a spy for the other team or simply like herself had nothing better to do with her time. Graciela looked around as she sat alone, as if looking for something to do or perhaps somebody she could at least talk to or perhaps just relieve her of the extra ticket or tickets she had.
It was as Graciela looked around that she spotted a young woman, who like herself was also in need of something or somebody to help her pass the time or just talk to. She was a lovely woman or thus did Graciela consider this lady, who like herself was young though perhaps just a few years older. Graciela looked at her and the enthusiastic way she almost seemed to be cheering on the Polish players even if she did not shout like men did at matches but did so in the way she seemed to bee enjoying herself. It however did not take long for the young woman to spot Graciela and for the two of them to become aware of the other's presence. Specially since they were but separated by 1 meter.
Graciela noticing that this woman, who was now looking at her just as she was looking at her; was of fair skin with short light blonde hair and a face which seemed almost angelic in the way it radiated a certain kind of purity. It was not so much that she was delicate in features but she had a tender look about her of softness which caught Graciela's attention. The rest of her being like almost any other woman. She being more or less the same height and weight as herself though in a body whose proportions were slightly smaller than her own; specially in the areas of the breasts and hips. Graciela even taking the time to notice that this woman was wearing clothes of a similar informal nature yet what caught her attention was her badge which seemed like those which are usually reserved for the press. This making Graciela even more interested in getting to know her.
Graciela, at this point knew she was being looked at by a woman, who also knew she in turn was being looked at by her which created an almost embarrassing situation which almost forced them to have to introduce themselves or at least say "hello". It being a case of how long can two people look at each other knowingly and not say anything to one another? Graciela feeling perhaps the more aggressive or courageous of the two said "Hola, de donde eres? Yo Soy Peruana me llamo Graciela? Tu no seras Polaca?" with enthusiasm which she could tell by the expression on the woman she spoke to; had been well received. This woman seeming almost relieved that that tense moment of not knowing weather or not the ice would be broken had been put to an end by Graciela's having taken the first step. It having been almost unbearable for her to want to start up a conversation with somebody who seemed so nice and interesting yet not really knowing how to go about it; put her in some tension which fortunately had been eased.
"Si, soy Polaca y me llamo Beata, pero como supo usted que soy Polaca?" were this young woman's most joyful words who by now Graciela was fully aware was not only Polish but went by the name "Beata". Graciela laughed to herself not really knowing what to say as she in fact had guessed correctly about Beata's nationality and as she looked at Beata who looked back with warmth she replied "Le gustaria sentarse conmigo para asi poder conversar?". Beata felt glad and said "Si, seguro que si pero digame porque penso que era Polaca?" as she moved over to the seat located next to Graciela which incidentally was but a hard place on a cement step. Graciela as she laughed to herself got her first close look at Beata's eyes which pleased her for their softness while being firm in not having any shyness about them. "Yo no pense que fueras Polaca simplemente lo dije de broma por todo el entusiasmo que le monstrabas a la seleccion Polaca por eso dije lo que dije pero por ningun otro motivo".
Beata found Graciela's comment amusing and as she moved toward her felt a sense of friendship which she rarely if ever had felt toward anybody she scarcely knew beyond her name and nationality. "Bueno la verdad es que a mi no me gusta tanto el football pero a veces tengo que venir a los entrenamientos" was Beata's answer which left Graciela in slight confusion which showed in her expression. "No entiendo, entonces si no te gusta el football porque tienes que venir a los entranamientos y incluso te as venido desde Polonia a ver el equipo Polaco o es que vives en Argentina?" was Graciela's question as Beata took a seat next to her with both their eyes meeting close up for the first time. "La verdad es que yo soy traductora del equipo Polaco y yo vine con la delegacion para traducir para los jugadores y los entrenadores en las entrivistas con la prensa y cuando necesitan algo en el hotel o donde sea.". Graciela seemed truly impressed by Beata's position as translator or interpreter. As the word might be and as she looked at her almost not knowing what to say, as if in owed at whom she had just met replied "Entonces por eso estas aca y conoces a todos lo jugadores Polacos y sonrries cuando ellos te miran o hacen algo en el campo?".
Beata seemed to enjoy what Graciela had said as she smiled to herself with Graciela which did hint toward something perhaps of an intimate nature. "Si, conosco a todos los jugadores bueno despues de todo tengo que trabajar con ellos pero dime usted es tan gran aficionada al football para venirse desde el Peru?" was Beata's some what spirited reply. Graciela was very interested in what was being talked about and did it ever show on her face which Beata could detect as she replied "La verdad a mi tampoco me gusta el football tanto pero yo vine con mi padre que es periodista y su periodico lo mando al mundial y yo bueno mas bien vine para conocer Argentina y tambien hacer barra para a la seleccion Peruana, gane o pierda pero dime una cosa?".
Beata was intrigued as Graciela definitely seemed to want something "Si, que le puedo decir?". Graciela could see that Beata was one who was willing to help her if she could. As such was the impression which gave her the freedom she needed to impose upon her with a favor. "Podrias presentarme algunos de los jugadores del equipo Polaco, la verdad me gustaria conocer alguno de ellos y obtener sus ortografos. Tanto me gustaria tener amigos en el equipo de football Polaco y poder decirles a mis amistades y familiares en el Peru que tengo contacto con alguien que juega en la seleccion de Polonia especialmente cuando los vemos jugar en la television! Ay por favor tratame de "tu" porque bueno me siento mal que tu siendo de mi edad me trates de usted?". Beata was so glad that somebody had taken an interest in the Polish team and would take pride in knowing some of their players personally that she simply smiled with approval as she said "Si, claro la puedo, no disculpe (Graciela looking sad for a moment at hearing "no") "te" puedo presentar a los jugadores (now looking happier) y incluso si quieres despues de su entrenamiento van a vender bueno camisas y pelotas. Bueno y claro si quieres algo puedes comprar lo pero creo que con lo bonita que eres algunos jugadores seguro que les gustaria regalarte algo o pueda ser invitar te a un te, claro siempre que tu aceptes.". Graciela was pleased with what she had heard and with almost glee replied "Bueno justo por esa razon vine a ver los entrenar, claro yo tengo dinero y podria comprar una camisa o pelota algo asi mas bien seria para mi hermano. El incluso me dio algo de dinero para que le comprara algo oje pero me venderan algo a mi?".
Beata seemed surprised at Graciela's question which worried her as she asked "Y porque no te venderian algo?". Graciela seeing Beata worry relaxed her tone in kind words "No, es por nada solo una broma porque yo soy del enemigo, despuez de todo manana juega Polonia contra el Peru y yo voy a estar en contra de ellos por eso.". Beata laughed at the thought yet felt compleled to reply "No te preocupes por eso, ellos incluso les vendieron articulos a las chicas Argentinas y el otra dia perdieron contra Argentina entonces contigo no habra problema aparte a ellos les gustan las chicas Latinas bueno sin ofender (a look about her that worried that she might be misunderstood) pero les gustan aquellas que tienen la piel digamos no tan claro como casi todos los Polacos. Graciela seeing her friend had not wished to offend but point out a fact simply added with sympathy "Si, entiendo es normal buscar algo un poco distinto. Yo creo por eso tantos en Latino America les debe gustar tu tipo de mujer, tan bonita i con piel tan blanca.".
Beata felt flattered and replied "Gracias pero la verdad yo no busco a nadie. Yo en Polonia vivo con un hombre con mi hijo. Yo soy madre soltera con un hijo pero encontre alguien despues de separarme de el padre de mi hijo y ahora estamos juntos. El fue el que me consiguio este trabajo." Graciela's surprise was clear at what had just been told her. There even being a certain admiration in Graciela for her newly gained friend, whom she considered courageous for not only having had a child without a husband but apparently not even wanting to be with the child's father. It in a way being obvious, despite its not being said that she was not ready to stay with a man she did not love or treat her well simply because he was the father of her child.
Graciela did not wish to press the issue yet was curious to hear anything Beata might add to the subject yet it was as she looked at Beata that an idea struck her. This being clear to Beata, who awaited Graciela's words which came in the form of "Que bonito sera tu hijito, me ensenas una foto mas tarde pero tengo una pregunta". Beata looking on not saying anyting. "Yo manana voy al estadio a ver el partido Peru Polonia, te gustaria venire conmigo? Tengo dos boletos i no tengo nadie con quien ir. Mi hermano tuvo que regresar al Peru por las elecciones y yo porque solo tengo 17 anos no puedo votar i por eso me quede sin nadie para los partidos Peru Polonia i Peru Argentina."
Beata's expression clearly demonstrated delight at what she had heard as she smiled to herself and replied "Claro que me gustaria ir contigo i incluso puedo porque yo no tengo que estar con el equipo durante el partido. Ay muchas gracias o como decimos nosotros en Polonia "dziekuje". Graciela was glad she had found another woman to see the match with. Graciela having thought it would be a man yet was thrilled at having a woman from Poland whom she could talk to about her country while learning about a country which she knew almost nothing about. "Como se dice "de nada" en Polaco? was Graciela's question which Beata replied with word "prosze". This being a word Graciela tried to repeat and did so three times before she got it almost correctly.
Beata and Graciela looked at each other with the elation of two people who had been stranded on a desert island and had suddenly been rescued yet strangely enough it was not because either of them liked football. Their happiness coming from having met somebody they could share their experiences with. "La verdad es que yo ya vi un partido del Peru cuando jugo contra Iran porque el arbitro era Polaco i me gusto mucho como celebran los Peruanos" were Beata's words which clearly pleased Graciela. "Bueno si ganan veras un gran celebracion pero puede ser que no quieres ver eso?" Graciela cried out. Beata however laughed as she retorted "Bueno la verdad no me interesa si gana Polonia o no mas bien me gustaria ver una fiesta Peruana, para mi seria algo muy original pero me gustaria invitar te esta noche mas tarde a un comida que va haber en el campo del equipo Polaco claro si quiers venir i me gustaria invitar te por tus boletos claro si aceptas?
The day was turning out much better than Graciela had anticipated and as she looked at Beata, she surprised herself as well as Beata when she took her hand and said "Me encantaria ir a tu fiesta o cena i es un placer conocerte.". Beata felt the same emotion and put her second hand on top which was added by Graciela's second as she said "I para mi tambien es un placer tener una amiga Peruana." as the two looked at each other in a manner which combined both admiration of friendship as well as for the kind of woman the other was.
Beata seeing that the players had finished with their training and were about to set up their stand to sell their merchandise said with some haste "Bueno, ahora que ya han acabado de entrenar van a ponerse a firmar los ortografos! Te gustaria ir a donde van estar junto a la cancha? Ya veo que ay varias chicas que esperan un ortografo o pelota.". Graciela was glad the moment she had been waiting for had finally arrived and as she looked at Beata and smiled, both these lovely ladies went over to where Graciela might get what she came for and perhaps just maybe; meet a Polish football player.