IN MY OWN WORDS: Leandro Esquerdinha

IN MY OWN WORDS: Leandro Esquerdinha

In a letter to the Barça fans, the futsal player explains how he is dealing with confinement with his family and his recovery from injury

We read the news, we see what they are saying on television and we get a lot of information from the internet. Nevertheless, there are still a lot of unknowns. We don’t know what will happen and that is difficult to take in. These are difficult days for everyone, especially for sportsmen and women. Also it’s difficult for me and my family because all we can do is wait to see what happens. However, we have to be patient, and above all, optimistic. I know that it is difficult because a lot of different bad things are being talked about, chaos even. Yet we must remain strong emotionally as best we can and that is best to do amongst us all as best we can. 

That’s what we try to do every day at home. I have two kids, one of six and the other one and a half. Similar to most parents, my wife, Mayana and I try to help them have fun, the less anxiety they have the better; we adapt to their likes but we also have to make sure there is some kind of routine. 

We wake them up in the morning, about 9.30am and then we get into gear. First, showers, then we clean the house and we try to make it fun for them. Later, we play a few video games or we do something in the dining room. My eldest, Murilo, loves football and right now our house looks like the Palau Blaugrana...there is a goal right in the middle of everything. These little things make day to day life just a bit more agreeable.

Esquerdinha at home with his wife, Mayana, and his two children, Murilo and Túlio.

In the afternoon, as Túlio, the youngest, has a nap, we take the chance to get on with the homework my eldest has been sent by the school. It’s all good if we are entertained! 

It is true that now the internet is a great friend and it helps us a lot because it allows us to have contact with other parents. In fact, I can tell that this morning we had a video call with three of Murilo’s best friends. They were all in their living rooms chatting away as if they were in classe, it was really enjoyable.

What helps us deal with the situation? Well, family routines, video calls, spending time playing with our children...all these little things end up being key.

He understands a little of what is going on as we have tried to explain it to him, gently, in his own time. We can’t go out onto the street because there is a virus and that is why schools are closed etc. If we had not said anything to him he would spend all day asking us what was going on. On top of that we have Túlio, who is still very little and is always looking to go out with his little toy car. 

At the end of the day, it is all about trying to keep them entertained. It is good for them and also for us as what helps us deal with the situation? Well, family routines, video calls, spending time playing with our children...all these little things end up being key. 

Physical activity is another, even if it is at home. Sometimes all four of us do it together and the place looks like a gym. Even the youngest gets his mat and comes with us.

Esquerdinha sigue el plan de trabajo que le han enviado los técnicos del Club
Esquerdinha is following the Club's specific training programme at home

In my case it is all about keeping in shape. When everything began, it was the week when I was supposed to return to action with the team. A real shame but now I am doing the strength work as the coaches have asked, and as best I can at home, I do some cardio work. 

Despite the difficulties, I am getting myself ready every day so that when all this is over, let’s hope soon, and we go back to training, I will be prepared to join the rest of the squad. It is obvious that they will have to have one last look at me, but from my point of view and the way I feel and how I was feeling before this all kicked off, in theory I will be able to come back. So, all that will be left will be match fitness. 

In any case, there are more important things.

Esquedinha entreno sorra
Esquerdinha got injured last September but he is almost at the end of the road back

We have to be patient and as I said before, optimistic. We all have to stay at home for the good of all of us and we have to help the people who are giving up everything to look after us. My eternal gratitude goes out to all health workers and they have my utmost respect and admiration. They are the real heroes. 

Whilst they battle to bring an end to all this, we have to make the most of these days to spend time with our families, even if they are far away. In my case, for example, my family is in Brazil and we are in almost permanent contact. In Brazil the coronavirus arrived a little later but they are starting to close down everything and take the same measures that have been taken here. I am lucky in that at the moment everyone is okay but I always urge them to be careful. We all have to stay at home and even though nobody can promise us anything, we have to wait and ask God that all this is over as quickly as possible. Because I am optimistic, and I am convinced that everything will be okay. 

Look after yourselves, Barça fans. We will see each other soon. 

Força Barça
Força Barça

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