Our modern relics: the balls from La Liga matches are for sale

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Our modern relics: the balls from La Liga matches are for sale

They are reminders of memorable episodes, objects of worship, and even symbolic throwing weapons.

If the Spanish league is not already the first in terms of competitiveness, spectacle, salaries and stars playing in it, it is the only one that has decided that the balls with which the matches are played will be auctioned so that fans can get their hands on them . Only the balls that enter the goal are quoted, showing that the goal is what moves passions and is the basis of everything that happens around this sport.

In a way, the initiative is yet another confirmation that football has become a fantastic business in which everything has to be made profitable: it is the goose that lays the golden eggs. But on the other hand, what the League really exploits – along with its partner Goll-Ball – is fetishism: in all cultures, man has wanted to get his hands on certain things that he thought were endowed with a mysterious power. For example, there are tribal warriors who cut off their enemies’ hair or keep their skulls because they believe it makes them powerful. On the other hand, as it happened in prehistoric times, in many cities some important objects of the deceased are still preserved that would allow them to maintain a relationship with them.

The Christian and Jewish religions, as well as the Greek or Roman religions long before, have considered that the relic of this or that person not only retains a thaumaturgic power, but that it can be sacred in itself. It is not surprising that the objects of football players – our current myths – arouse so much interest. We cannot own the subject, nor be closely connected with the player, nor be like him, but we can have something of him that symbolically embodies him or that testifies that we are in some way connecting with the extraordinary individual . A signature is worth it or a selfie. But it’s better if we can access the gear he wore in a game. Borja Iglesias tells how he keeps Messi’s shirt – sweaty and muddy – just as he changed it after a game between Espanyol and Barca. Other colleagues tell me the same thing: they did not want to wash the shirt they received from their idol, as if their minds were held in their bodily streams.

The object can also serve as a memento of a memorable moment. The soccer player who scores three goals takes the ball and turns into a trophy. In reality, the ball in question is unlikely to be the same one he scored the three goals with, as it is substituted at any point during a match. It is more relevant if the ball – for sure – was the one with which some kind of miracle was performed.

In the days before the World Cup, the ball with which Maradona scored his famous goal, aided by ‘the hand of God’ in a match against England in 1986, was auctioned. It was in the possession of the referee who refereed that match, Tunisian Ali Bin Nasser, who pocketed $2.4 million. A few months earlier, the shirt Pelusa wore in the same match reached a higher price: 9.3 million. That the buyer came from the Middle East proves who currently has the most money to buy a piece of mythology. An Argentine collector, Marcelo Ordas, made a bid for nearly seven million with the intention of “repatriating the relic to share it with all Argentines”. But at the moment it will be displayed in a palace in Saudi Arabia, which also buys living relics like Cristiano Ronaldo.

The invention of the League is complete. The ball from an Elche-Girona may not be much to ask, but the one that enters the goal in a Betis-Sevilla, a Madrid-Barça or a Real Sociedad-Athletic, especially if the goal was decisive or a work of art, like the one that Take Kubo scored in the Basque derby. We are a long way from the football devotion that Argentines profess. When the invention gets there, someone will think of building a small altar to worship the ball Boca defeated River with. Around here it will serve more mundane purposes like faking your brother-in-law from the opposing team when you invite him. Because that ball will not be the symbol of a team or a player -like his shirt-, but of the lunge with which the rival was defeated. We are not so different from the tribes that revere the weapons with which their ancestors defeated their enemies.

Source: La Verdad

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