I suppose I’ve taken a little sabbatical from this class. I refuse to comment on the rumors that I got into a heated argument with the dean of FourFiveTwo U when he asked me to substitute teach a class that looked pretty hopeless. He treated me like a dog, so I decided it would be best to leave for a while and spend some time with my family.
Fortunately for you, I’m back now, ready to put the past behind me and focus on bestowing my mad Espanyole skillz on you. So, let’s pretend I never left, and maybe I can recover my garnished wages.
Rabona (rah-bone-ah) I’m sure you’ve heard of this play, which basically involves wrapping your shooting foot behind your support foot to kick the ball. It’s flashy and utterly useless, but it looks so freaking cool. I refer you to the inimitable Diego Armando Maradona (pre-cocaine) for a pristine example from the ’79 Youth World Cup. This is how it’s done, kids.
Madera (mah-dare-ah) The Spanish term for wood, this is used in reference to players who flat out suck, as though their legs were made of wood. In your typical rec league, these guys are easy to find. When it comes to the pros, we generally assume that players know their stuff and possess skills far above the average mortal. But some guys manage to skate by with pretty average skills and even have great careers. The perfect example would be Boca Juniors’ Martin Palermo. Now, this guy scored a crapload of goals in his career and won lots of trophies. He’s a legend at Boca. But that’s all down to goal instinct and a bit of luck. Palermo was your typical lumbering goal poacher (see lesson 2) with two left feet who couldn’t dribble his way around the Roman Colisseum. He also sometimes had trouble scoring penalty kicks, as seen below.
Ladrillo (lah-dree-yo) This one’s related to the last one, as it’s the Spanish term for brick. For example, when a player who is “madera” takes a shot that never quite gets off the ground and generally doesn’t trouble the keeper at all, that’s a ladrillo. Or also when it flies up into row Z when it looked like an easy goal. Those PKs Palermo missed would be good examples of ladrillos.