I can’t claim to be a big football (soccer) fan, but I do watch the big events like UEFA and the World Cup. Regardless of my lack of knowledge, the words Real Madrid are well known to me. Like the New York Yankees and Montreal Canadiens, the team from Spain is known the world over.
Currently the team is in Montreal training for three exhibition games in the USA next week. There has been significant interest in the visit including fans waiting outside the hotel seeking autographs and photos.
The team’s goalkeeper is Keylor Navas who is from Costa Rica. Wouldn’t you know it, I just happen to have a houseful of visiting Costa Rican in-laws. One of whom is a huge fan of Sr. Navas. So last evening off they went to the hotel, team jerseys and Sharpies in hand, to seek out their home hero. It was with mixed feelings that they returned. While they had missed the team’s return to the hotel, they had met someone with the team and explained their desire to meet the Costa Rican player. The man told them to come back in the morning and he would see what could be done.
Being cynical I had my doubts about this, but off they went again to the hotel early this morning. Sure enough this fellow was good to his word. After waiting for an hour outside, they were brought inside to meet Sr. Navas in the lobby.
In an era when many sports figures adopt an almost superhuman attitude towards their fans, this encounter was a breath of fresh air.