In general, when football players talk about their childhood, we are used to saying that they had a difficult childhood, marked by poverty, lack, war, crime, etc…and that football became their exit to all those situations.
However, there is a player whose childhood lacks such tragic nuances. Still, despite being born into an economically well-off family, he lived experiences that marked his life and personality forever. This is the Swedish John Guidetti, a footballer with a more than peculiar life.
To be more specific, his full name is John Alberto Fernando Andres Luigi Olof Guidetti. With that name could easily be a monarch of some European kingdom, but decided to devote himself to football. Within the field, Guidetti has always stood out for being a scorer, with an extraordinary physique, associative capacity and a distinctive touch of quality. When it began to break out in his country, the comparisons with Zlatan Ibrahimovic soon came out.
But beyond his footballing qualities, what is most striking about this “Viking” is his curious history, because his short 26 years have a lot of experiences that have forged his particular character, both on and off the field.
The love developed by the character of Meryl Streep for Kenya and its people in this film is only surpassed by the connection that exists between John Guidetti and this African country. When John was only 3 years old, his family decided to move to Kenya. His father, who was a former rugby player of Italian origin, was appointed director of a Swedish school in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. It was there that Guidetti had his first contact with football. After spending a season back in Sweden, the Guidetti family returned to Kenya due to their immense passion for the country.
He was the only white-skinned child in the area, but that did not stop him from joining the rest of the children behind the ball. It was on a dirt court, with two stones as goals and playing with bare feet where Guidetti discovered his love for football. Little John, amid his innocence, just wanted to play with the rest of the children, ignoring the immense racial and social differences that distinguished him from the rest. Playing there, with his feet full of dirt, John learned one or two life lessons that marked him forever.