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  • Writer's pictureKatalina Haddad

the travelling football boots

I traveled around Europe for 3 months with two pairs of football boots. I had packed up my life in Sydney to move away and I chose football boots over sandals, sneakers or anything slightly more versatile. I had no regrets either. One of the best days of 2019, was putting those cleats back on after something close to a 6 month hiatus and stepping onto a pitch for the first time in Spain. I really felt like I was Santiago Muñez, stepping out to play for Newcastle FC for the first time. I had left my hometown in LA (Sydney) as a Mexican immigrant cook (mixed-race Australian Communications specialist) to play professional (amateur) football in a foreign city. (If you're not sure what I am referring to, please go watch the greatest football movie of all time - Goal!) I was fortunate to come across this app called CeleBreak, which was founded for people like me- football enthusiasts who want to play but don't know where to play or who to play with. The app sorts it all for you. So I registered for a game, jumped on the train to Horta in Barcelona and met my new football community. The mix of experience and gender made for an incredible game. There were so many languages being spoken on the pitch - Spanish, French, Dutch, German and English. Yet somehow, everyone understood each other through their mutual understanding of the game.

Ok stop asking! Yes, I scored. I'm telling you, I really was channelling Santiago Muñez that day... The perfect return to football after so many months.

I had many fun games in the city and while I am no longer there to score belters in Barcelona, CeleBreak have adapted to the limitations of social distancing by organising 'CeleBreak Session with distance' from next week. This is super exciting for the football community as it signifies some much awaited progress in playing sport in the city. If you're from Barcelona, you can find more information here and download the app!

Playing football in Barcelona was an amateur career highlight and I am eager to get these boots on again and show Sydney what I've learnt.


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