Written by Bert Plomp
“Idols” takes the reader on a nostalgic journey through the author’s youth, where football and idols play a central role. The story begins with vivid descriptions of street football, where the young narrator engages in various adventures with friends. The evocative descriptions of football moments on the street, in fields, and in stadiums bring to life an atmosphere of youthful passion and carefree joy.
The climax of the narrative is the introduction of the first major idol, Frans de Munck, the legendary goalkeeper. The author paints a lively portrait of this athlete, whose nickname “the black panther” captivates the imagination of the young narrator. The description of the rugged appearance, spectacular saves, and shiny black hair contributes to the admiration for this football hero. Anecdotes about playing on the street, where the young narrator tries to emulate his idol, add a humorous touch to the story.
The nostalgic journey continues by sharing experiences around football matches and the culture of that time. The author vividly depicts the hustle and bustle around the stadiums, the traditional pre-match meal, and the sense of community among supporters. Descriptions of sharing results in the cigar shop add a unique and humorous element to the story.
An interesting aspect of the story is the comparison between the football experience then and now. The author points out changes in supporter behavior, emphasizing the contrast between the engagement of the past and the more consumptive nature of modern football audiences.
“Idols” not only provides a glimpse into the author’s youth but also evokes recognizable images for readers who grew up in a time when idols were shaped on the street, in stadiums, and through popular culture. The story exudes a warm feeling of nostalgia and is infused with a love for football and the unforgettable idols that colored the narrator’s life.
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