Free style geometry or the happiness of soccer


If death catches me on the soccer field, people can say that I died happy. I am fascinated with this sport, and I always lose myself in this activity–I become one with the happening, those people running geometrically but freely with a ball between two goals. I just got home from one game, and I barely breathe. I had taken an almost two months break from it-various things kept me away from the pitch–and, at my age, such break is felt in every cell of my body after a game. Still, the beauty of soccer–really, football for me–is bewildering.

It may well be that, beyond the pleasure of participating into an activity, what fascinates me is the free-style geometrical beauty of the sport. In soccer, everything is about triangles–I really wonder how come the sport seems to have been invented by the English and not by the Ancient Greeks or the Egyptians, the masters of geometry. 11 people–or 6, 7, or 8 in our old-boy games–move permanently (or to their abilities) to form triangles. Even if someone dribbles with the ball, he does it for nothing unless he is connected, at least potentially, with two other players from his team, in an imaginary triangle that, in its turn, is attached to some other triangles. After all, in a full team of 11 players, I can form 45 triangles at the same time (I let the mathematically inclined readers check my calculations). Can you imagine having 45 triangles in one’s mind while the points of these triangles are always in movement? And the beauty of it is that the 45 triangles themselves develop at every moment, because the players move, elongating or shortening the sides of the triangle. If one could always be aware of one’s triangles, one would truly be a genius on the field. And perhaps the best players of the world are so because of their capacities to form several free-style triangles at the same time in their minds.

Soccer is a game of constellations–it may be the reason why I feel I am in heaven when I play it. And if you think that the opposing team forms its own constellations, every player being at the same time part of 45 triangles (45 constellations), soccer becomes the world itself.  A geometrical heaven of free-constellations-triangles.


About Tavi's Corner

Blogging on ancient philosophy, communist persecution in Romania (including deportation to Siberia), and Orthodox Christianity. I've translated books from Romanian to English, and I also write about them from time to time.
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One Response to Free style geometry or the happiness of soccer

  1. Roger Strickland says:

    Some lovely thinking here Tavi; you have given me a whole new perspective on the game which is saying something, coming as I do from a tribe of Australian Rules football players. (Given the balletic leaps and turns required, I suspect Aussie Rules more akin to classical ballet than classical geometry!)
    Please say hello to Elena for me,
    kind regards, Roger.Strickland (Country Fire Authority Victoria AUS)

    Liked by 1 person

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