Over 8,000 kilometres away, in Huelva, Spain, Fermín López’s parents Fermín and Lola, and his younger brother, Juan Antonio, met at his home along with other close relatives to watch the young Barcelona midfielder play in El Clásico against Real Madrid in Dallas.
Immediately after the 20-year-old scored a superb goal in Barça’s 3-0 win over their rivals, “neighbours and children jumped onto the street with joy”, says Fermín, who didn’t consider going on Barcelona’s summer tour of the US to watch his son play. “If I had known, I would have been there from day one, but hey, we will go to the Gamper for sure,” he continues in words reported by Sport.
For the whole family, it is the culmination of a dream that started at Recreativo, before moving to Betis, and then Barça. “He always liked football a lot, and he is very competitive.”
Fellow Barcelona midfielder Gavi, also from the south of Spain, left for Barça a year earlier, also joining from Betis. “They were together at Betis and they wanted Fermín too, but we thought he was still very young. They told me that the Barça train only passes once, but he was lucky because it happened twice.”
Since then, whenever they had no obligations at Barça between training sessions and tournaments, the pair returned to Andalusia together, either for Christmas or at Easter.
Fermín López up all night after Clásico goal
“He can’t sleep, his nerves won’t let him,” explains his father, who hasn’t slept much either, at 9 am on Sunday morning.
“It’s kept me awake most of the night. All the staff have congratulated him and he must have dreamed of this so many times… Well, he has dreamed of games and goals, but a game like this and to do what he has done… He is on cloud nine. He tells me he doesn’t believe it happened: ‘I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it’,” he told me.
Kieran Quaile | GSFN