LÍBERO: Football for humans and humanists

By Cristina Álvarez Cañas. June 5, 2013


Football, pobrinho. Despite its buoyant economic situation – even if Real Madrid is up to its ears in debt – "the king of sports" must survive a difficult inner conflict. “Am I brutish and uncouth if I enjoy sitting in front of the TV every week, decked out my team’s shirt, yelling at the screen?” Let’s settle the dispute. “Yes, but it doesn’t matter.” It’s merely the animal part of human nature that we carry inside of us, and which we must accept. You are many other things besides.

Once we accept its irrationality, the strange thing is that we see different skills in football: art, maths, music, literature... simply life. Like a hyperactive child, it needs someone to sit it down in a chair for reflection. Líbero magazine has volunteered to be the very teacher that brings the best of out it.

With four issues under their belt – they started in summer 2012 – this quarterly paper publication, which revolves entirely around football, prioritises original content and quality. Another turn of the screw at the corner, the offside and the red card. A range of personalities appear in it: Jorge Valdano, who featured on the front page of the launch copy, Kiko Veneno, even a Moroccan women’s team. It might figure footballers or coaches recounting an experience, but there are also musicians, photographers - in general, anything with a good story to tell about the field of football – sometimes kept secret or unknown up to this time.

, opinion pieces and interesting meta-football reports – such as Fútbol para la paz y la reconciliación, (Football for Peace and Reconciliation); issue no. 3 –, divided into sections that follow the usual liturgy of a match: Gradas (terraces), Hierba (grass), Himnos (anthems), Vestuarios (changing rooms) and Actas (acts). All under the brilliant bylines of journalism - Enric González, Manuel Jabois and Ramón Lobo, among others – as well as other renowned cultural figures such as the poet Luis García Montero and playwright Angélica Liddell. Líbero takes risks; Líbero consigns prejudice to oblivion.

As a well-known sports journalist would say: “Listen up” - because talking about football can always surprise you. Let’s go back to the classroom of the hyperactive child. How many people would know that ex Real Madrid football player Manolo Sanchís is one of the biggest collectors of contemporary art in Spain together with another national emblem, Manolo Escobar?

*You can buy the digital version of Líbero on our bookstore visualMANIAC.

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