The Best FIFA Football Awards
“It was extraordinary,” Marivaldo Francisco da Silva, gesticulating rapturously, instructed FIFA.com after getting back from Sao Paulo, the place he acquired the FIFA Fan Award. “It was a moment I will remember every day for the rest of my life.”
Yet Marivaldo, who gained the prize for strolling 60 kilometres to each dwelling Sport sport, wasn’t rhapsodising over receiving the distinguished trophy from an 84-occasions-capped former Brazil midfielder. He was speaking about stepping on to a airplane for the primary time in his 48-yr existence.
“I’m poor – I’m not complaining because I’m happy, but I’m poor,” he defined. “I’ve by no means had the cash to dream about shopping for a bike, but alone a automotive. I by no means even dreamed that at some point I’d fly on a airplane. It’s one thing means past somebody like me.
“It was higher than my wildest desires. I bear in mind strolling up the steps. It felt like gradual-movement. Then after I stepped on to the airplane it was extraordinary. What a sense!
“It was totally different to how I imagined. The second you’re taking off is thrilling. The views up within the air have been spectacular too.
“I bear in mind getting off and strolling in direction of the airport, I used to be making an attempt to take every part in however I simply stored considering, ‘I’ve simply been on a airplane flight’.
“We acquired picked up and brought to the lodge. What a lodge! It was state-of-the-artwork. All posh, gorgeous work on the partitions.”
Marivaldo’s journey was about to get higher – a complete lot higher.
“You understand how a lot I wished to obtain the trophy – you have to be sick of me asking you about it (laughs). Even although I gained the FIFA Fan Award, holding it in my palms was one thing I desperately wished.
“Obviously [COVID-19] stopped every part. I’d have been at [The Best] FIFA Football Awards with Cristiano Ronaldo, [Lionel] Messi, [Robert] Lewandowski. That is my greatest dream – to at some point go to the FIFA Awards ceremony.
“But we couldn’t travel and that’s the way it is. I was worried I wouldn’t get the award, but then suddenly I got a phone call telling me I would receive it in Sao Paulo.”
Marivaldo travelled to the metropolis with two members of Sport’s media staff. Unbeknownst to them, FIFA organized for former Real Madrid and Bayern Munich ace Ze Roberto to hand him the prize.
“Just before I was going to receive the award someone from Sport told me a former professional player would be presenting me with it,” mentioned Marivaldo. “I assumed, ‘Really cool’, however I assumed it could be a decrease-league participant, somebody I’d by no means heard of.
“Suddenly I noticed Ze Roberto coming in direction of me. I froze. Ze Roberto is somebody I’ve watched on TV, taking part in within the World Cup, and there he was in entrance of me, Marivaldo. I couldn’t consider it.
“I used to be very emotional. I had to attempt laborious not to cry. It was tough to get my phrases out. But he was very nice to me. What an exquisite man. Everyone at FIFA was so good too.
“Ze Roberto gave me the award. Beautiful, stunning, stunning. Since I used to be introduced because the winner by [Ruud] Gullit, I’ve thought of that incessantly. It was the most effective day of my life. This was the subsequent finest and I can’t cease fascinated by such an unbelievable day.”
“From the underside of my coronary heart, I would like to thank each single one that voted for me. I can’t inform you how grateful I’m. Things like this don’t happen to people like me.
“I didn’t begin strolling to Sport matches for any of this, for any fame – completely not. I did it as a result of Sport is my greatest ardour and it was out of necessity. I didn’t have the cash for the bus fares and, in addition to, I believe strolling is one in all life’s huge pleasures.
“But flying on a plane, staying in an incredible hotel, and being presented this beautiful award by no less than Ze Roberto… that one day was worth ten years to me. It was beyond anything I could have imagined and I will remember it every day for the rest of my life. Thank you. Thank you everyone.”