11 Gattuso the size of Didier Drogba

Last night somewhere in the Medina of Casablanca. The Central African Republic football players were running like their life depended on it on the patchy football field in Rabat. They fought all over the field and we all sat and waited for them to run out of steam. It was like looking at a drunk man downing beer after beer and waiting for the inevitable fall of the bar stool. There was not much tactic, or play, but you go and try and play 11 Gattuso the size of Didier Drogba.

But the fall never came, they just kept of running and fighting, and with a bit more cool from their quick and technical number 9 striker they could even have come out as winners. In the 93rd minute, when Morocco missed a glorious opportunity, and new Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh since long had given up trying to out run the big and strong Central Africans, the old men in the smoky café stood up, shook their hands and began yelling at each other and the tv. Then they walked out into the humid Casablanca evening while the Central African fans danced on the stands as if they had just won.

Earlier during the day, after a five hour taxi/train/taxi ride from the High Atlas mountains, a man on the street told me that I look ‘just like Elton John, but new face’. Then the hotel owner and waiter offered me free dinner. The balding owner, who was from the mountain town I just came from, complained against hard core Muslims and said that ‘so what, I go and pray one night I go and go drunk one night, what is the problem?’ I shook my head and told him that I didn’t know. ‘But Morocco is good, not like Libya, Tunisia or Egypt’ he continued with a big smile. Then we had some freshly caught fish from the ocean and the hotel owner patted his round belly with a smile on his face.


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