Several weeks ago, the Real Madrid soccer team came to LA to play Galaxy. One of the guys I was working with at the time, Philly, showed me some photos of the Real Madrid team that he had taken before their soccer practice earlier that day. He asked me if I wanted to go with him to see if we could meet the team after work. Of course I agreed. I didn't really care about the autographs, I just wanted photos with the players -- Ramos and Ronaldo in particular -- to make my sisters jealous.
There were so many people waiting and most of the players quickly walked into the hotel that my photos were literally TERRIBLE. But the story gets better, I promise.
[Notice Ramos on the left next to that guy's arm.]
I walk through the hotel and go directly to the bar. I assume that since their game was the next day, they would not be allowed to go out that night. What else is there to do in a hotel other than watch TV in your room? Go to the bar. My instinct was dead on. When I got to the bar, I realized that there were about 5 of the Real Madrid players already there. I immediately called Philly to come meet me there. As it turns out, Philly was about to be kicked out of the hotel when I called. I managed to convince the hotel manager that Philly was meeting me for a few drinks so he let him stay. We sat next to 5 of the players for about an hour. I was afraid that I would be kicked out if I walked up to them and asked for an autograph, so I just sat there and stared at them. Philly would point out each player and give me a recap of their life history. I honestly think Philly is their number 1 fan. After about an hour, the players started to leave, one by one. As Philly's favorite player got up to leave, I told him to at least say hi and ask for an autograph. Philly asked me whether he should get his shirt or ball signed. I asked which meant more to him, he said the shirt. He put the ball at his feet and stared at his shirt and sharpie.Sure enough, Philly introduced himself to Higuain and asked for his autograph. They chatted for a few minutes. Just before walking away, I asked Higuain if he would also sign "my" ball, which he gladly did. So, my friend not only got to meet Higuain, but he got his shirt and ball signed. I have never seen him so happy. Apparently Higuain is his favorite player. I was so happy that Philly was able to get both autographs.
At the end of the night, Philly handed me the signed soccer ball and said that he would have been happy just to see the players. That, if it weren't for me, he wouldn't have met Higuain or gotten his autograph. So, although I did not get the photos that I wanted with the players, I did end up with an autographed soccer ball of Higuain.
I ended up leaving the bar early to meet with M and some other friends. Philly ended up staying there for another hours or two. As it turns out, the entire team came back about 20 minutes after I had left. Even Beckham showed up! Philly ended up getting some photos with a few of the players and I was definitely jealous. Although photos would have been ideal, I'm not complaining. It was one of the best nights I have ever had in Beverly Hills and I have an autographed ball to remember it by.