Football from the people
"If you want to be a photo-journalist, you have to investigate the place you live" answered me an unknown guy from a French photography agency to a mail I sent to him to know if my work as a photographer was interesting. (He told me it's not bad. But I always see my as half-empty. Anyway.)
At this time I was in Barcelona and I always thought about making a documentary about popular football. Not about the FC Barcelona and its daily poor stories of millionaires we hear every days, but about a semi-profesional football club that accepted to received me after I suggested them: Would you let me tell a story about what you are and what you represent for the people around you?
And I started to follow the Esportiu Europa Football Club. I never really liked watching football as I did not feel part of the spirit. But with my camera, the topic changed. I started to watch all of the show: on the court and in the tribune. I saw something that mixes the low-class and the high-class I liked a lot and not only the players. Visually it was interesting. There was something I could make.
Covid restrictions were going smoother in Spain at this time so football matchs started again around March. I abandoned the traditionnal party of the Saturday night and every Sunday morning I used to get up early to watch the football matchs of the Europa as they call the team.
Is was a really nice experience. There was something true. Life was coming back step by step after a year closed in small flats. I also felt I had a mission, something to do. People waiting for me and giving me a hug at the entrance in the stadium. I could say I was happy.
Months and days were passing by slowly and softly until the last day of the league and the victory of the Euroa to the upper league. We had a nice moment and a nice party around 7pm. Families, teenagers, grand-fathers were in the stadium. A lot of people with beers and smoking. Full of life around me and my camera.
Many young girls were also twerking with the cheap sound-system. I felt I was getting older and I came back home to have a look to all of the photos I took during all this time with the Europa.
But I didn't want to finish my story. So I decided to make portraits of the people who were working for the club. I met the President, the coach, some players and Uri, a 20 years old guy who decided to bet his life for football.
I first texted him "Do you mind if..." and he told me he had an argue with the club and he decided to leave the team for an other. I said "no worries" and we make the shooting at his place. Uri lives with his mum. I think he must seduces a lot of girls for how sympathy and handsome guy he is. In the basement of his little house, he made a small gymnasium to practice. Uri is determined. He will go to China to study business as he is already learning the language. We made those pictures and then I added him on Instagram. I saw he mentioned on his profile he was a crypto-currency believer. I wish him more calm than the stressful financial crypto-curves.
I met many other people and I am still waiting for the photo-laboratory to send them. I will continue the story in a few days.