"Giochiamo a pallone?" - literally "Let's play ball?", it's a typical invitation to play street football in the south of Italy, when a bunch of kids meets in the street.
It was one of the questions i most adored being told when I was little, when there were still no internet, game console and social media. An obvious question for an obvious answer as a few moments later we were already down into the street, or on the square, or in an abandoned pitch or, indeed, in the churchyard of a church. We just placed four stones as goal posts, and suddenly, that anonymous place, becoming, in our eyes, a beautiful stadium with a greenfield of fresh grass and two professionals goals, without the need to wear 3D glasses ...
Today, unfortunately, it happens very rarely to meet this kind of situation, but, traveling, especially in Latin areas or in the southern part of the world (Sicily, Morocco, South America ..), as soon as I see children playing football in the street, I stand still, observe them, feeling a shiver down my spine, and like magic, i go back to when i was a child and i start to breathe those wonderful feelings of the past.
My feet and my legs start pawing, instinct and heart ask me to throw me in the middle of the action and start chasing the ball, but the love for photography stops me, as if to add magic to a place that is already full of, I run after that ball looking through the viewfinder of my camera and that adrenaline that I had as a child when I was in front of the goal ready to kick, it's transferred on my finger on the shutter button, as the ball under the sole of the shoe, ready to kick or, in my case, to capture the moment.
Aahh, how I envy those kids and how much I admire them, because they still know how to enjoy the beauty of their years and their dreams and, above all, the richness of having nothing more than a dirty, worn ball, to play football until is dark.
© Sabino Parente photographer