Basketball: Pau Gasol, Michael Jordan and Globetrotteres, Looney Tunes...“(…) When all the students were sitting at their desks they breathed calmly. George slowly unzipped his school bag. He took out his books. Then, he sat up and raised his hand to open the large window on his left. He glanced at the school yard. Some students were practicing basketball tactics on the basketball court. George imagined seeing Michael Jordan and coach Dean Smith teaching Pau Gasol tricks. Years after the wing-pivot of impossible blocks and dunks from Barcelona flew over the Atlantic ocean to become a star in the NBA paving the way to his brother Marc, Calderon, Ricky and Ibaka… today Pau with the Harlem Globetrotters, like the Unicef and Doctors Without Borders volunteers, continued with his friend Jordan and the Looney Tunes on a charitable tour throughout a new galaxy, Solidarity. (Page 66)
Jim Brown, Lombardi and Wayne Carey in Football. “(…)From the traffic circle two boys with the school bags on their backs and the third one with a satchel in his hand started running home. The driver had worked out the time and distance very accurately as the fast soccer winger he was in his youth, or like Jim Brown, Lombardi and Wayne Carey in Football. In fact, in less than ten minutes the three friends were at the doorsteps of their houses before the Callosa bus got to town. George saved the bus fare to play table-tennis –one of his favorite sports– before the afternoon classes. (Page 92)
Cassius Clay Muhammad Ali honored in the novel. (Krisis with a K /Second Part: ‘Falling in love with life’). Joe DiMaggio honored in the novel.
Johan Cruyff in Orihuela (Spain). “(…) –George, good morning, have a nice day…! –She swung her shoulders and her ridiculous pumpkin color picture hat. And she moved her mouth like a robot, opening and closing it after speaking, like the Papamoscas at Burgos Cathedral. –Happy Sunday Mrs. Marchioness! Goodbye! –He walked a bit faster in order to escape. The Ezcurras, son and father, greeted him from the bridge. Chased by Gertrudis’ disturbing perfume scent and its insistent lure George turned a deaf ear with a feint as Dutch soccer player Cruyff used to do. With the elegance of that soccer genius George turned round the corner at Sabi’s as if he were towards the goalkeeper to score a goal. In doing so he escaped through the gardens which calmed his fatigue caused by so many news and unimportant fatuous figures. (Page 158)
The tennis players, Nadal and McEnroe… “(…)Lies, like the air-filled bubbles, vanish in the air. –I gave it to my aunt –Maya lied to him. George, without any obligation, made it clear to her: –I need it because I want to give it to my eldest daughter. George felt he was playing a tennis match against Nadal and McEnroe at the same time because Maya returned his questions as if they were tennis-balls: –How might I know what my aunt did with that ring! I don’t know for sure, George! She might have taken it to a jewelry store. Do you remember it? Maya could not hide the truth behind her vain excuses and nonsense lies anymore. Seeing her defeated and exhausted at the bottom of the tennis-court George played an unstoppable high backhand cross court. But in case his bewitched opponent reached the ball he went up to the net where he volleyed it to win the match-point. –How do you say? To a jewelry store, what for? –She sold it! –Tell me the truth! –I guess she was embarrassed to tell him she had lost it –Yeah. She sold it! –Maya moved away the phone from her face to prepare her getaway. George did not believe his ears. It had to be a lie. (Page 297)
Seve Ballesteros and Olazábal in the golf Bilbao and Masters Augusta.
Quixote and the Child Iniesta, plays football in Albacete. “(…)Longing for his wife and his daughter still inside his wife’s womb George even thought that his car wanted to arrive earlier and hug them as much as he did. With weariness George’s eyes got closed while driving. He pulled over at a gas station on the suburbs of Albacete. Some children were playing soccer nearby. All of them wanted Andrés to pass them the ball (he was also called Iniesta). He was the most skillful kid. He drove a few miles more until he parked amongst some windmills. He rested for about 10 minutes in the middle of La Mancha. Fantastic kingdom of fantasy. Like the Ingenious Hidalgo Quixote that made up his ideal beloved lady George loved both Dulcineas, like you and I search for our better half, twin soul. And he thanked Batu and his daughter Itziar for making him a father. (Page 134)
Messi, Ronaldo and Casillas, Maradona, Di Stéfano, Real Madrid and FCBarcelona. “(…)–He also told me about a dragon that lives in the Segura River! Antoñito already interested in the idea of respect to nature, totally absorbed in the tale George had made up for him, wanted to know more: –A dragon! Where is that dragon, George? –The Segura dragon flew away! It escaped from pollution. –He raised his hand. George’s spell had already produced the desire effect, as the teacher of Physics was entering the class-room. –Kids, what a goal did Messi score yesterday! –He sarcastically smiled at the fans of Ronaldo and goalkeeper Casillas–. Do you know that the Camp Nou goal nets are made by a company in Callosa, on the road to Catral. –This teacher was a passionate supporter of the Argentinian footballer, as he had also been of Maradona years ago because he was a member of FC Barcelona. But he also admired Gento, Amancio, Di Stéfano and Butragueño of Real Madrid. And the dragon? Tell me, George! –I’ll let you know later! –George kept silent when he heard the cheerful and respected teacher’s lameness approaching him. I will let you know about the legendary dragon of the Segura River. But I will do it later on. Meanwhile enjoy George’s adventures. (Page 69)
Emilio Butragueño, Elche CF, and other football players… “(…)That afternoon his team beat the San Anton team from Madrid with Mr. Marcial as the coach of the Salesian San Rafael FC. Emilio, “El Buitre”, Madrilenian goal-scorer missed the match due to an injury. After such a victory, while he was taking off his sneakers his imagination took young George to a packed stadium. Summer of 1976, thousands of supporters cheered their idols at the legendary Altabix. With number 7 on his back George along with Xavi Hernandez (8 FC Barcelona) were in control of the game. He enjoyed glorious afternoons. Goals, joys of men and women because of the fantastic game they adore. Juan Cartagena, Campello and Escarabajal made their debut with Elche FC. That afternoon goal-hungry top goal-scorer Vavá wanted the ball: –Che! Pass the ball, George. –There it is! Come on! –He kicked the ball with his right foot with an extraordinary effect and the ball flew. –Vavá jumped! Heaaaaaaader! Gooooooooaaaal! – sang Santiago Gambín, the sports commentator from Elche. (Page 82)
Pelé, Bobby Charlton and other football players Spains in Premier League. “(…) –Gooooaaaal! To First Division, to First…! And as it frequently happens George took a different path in life like the one followed by Pelé in order to improve the art of working together with his team. He wanted to be an outstanding soccer player as good as Di Stéfanoo Kubala, Eusebio, Bobby Charlton, Cruyff, Maradona, Francéscoli, Pirlo, Zidane and Butragueño. Or to be as courageous as Cazorla, Navas, Ander Herrera, Cesc, Diego Costa, Silva and Juan Mata. The Magnificent Seven in the English Premier League! And last but not least goalkeeper De Gea. But instead he was given the opportunity to communicate his love and to convey it to millions of hearts by using the microphone of a radio station and a newspaper for years, and now the computer invisible pencil is the voice of his soul. Who gives away inspiration? Nothing to be understood. Not even ask. Just read, move forward… Therefore, George’s hand moves forward on the paper as if it were an eternal command. And his arm rests peacefully, calmly and firmly on the table, like a life that is born again and again, sentence after sentence, verb after verb, question after question. What kind of soul beats in George’s chest? Do you believe in the eternity of the soul? Do you believe in the universal and infinite love? George, then, understood who grants imagination. And at last, in this new awakening, he felt who he had always been. (Páge 83-84)(See the Sports section at the end of the novel/Second Part)