The earnest question of whether Lionel Messi could do it on a cold, wet night in Stoke has persisted as a cliched joke for a few years now. So when Barcelona surprisingly sold Bojan, a 24-year-old once hyped as the next Messi, to Stoke City, the only explanation was that Messi personally asked him to go there on an expedition to see if the conditions in this mythical place are as challenging as the fables suggest. This is Bojan’s sixth letter back to his friend.
I’m sorry I haven’t written since my injury all those months ago. I know you were worried. Thank you for sending Afellay to make sure I was OK. Mr. Hughes, our manager here, is thrilled to have us, Marc Muniesa, and Xherdan Shaqiri all together. He wants everyone to call the club “Stokealona” and him “Mark Hughdiola,” but no one is doing that.
The reason I didn’t write sooner is because I wanted to wait until I had good news to share with you and I am happy to report that I finally do. The Crouchie finally used his enchanted broomstick limbs to cast a healing spell over my cursed knee and now I have returned from my injury. I started my first Premier League match of the new season last weekend against Leicester and I even scored a goal!
Of course, since it’s only September, it was quite warm and dry, but I know that this is my first step towards reaching my objective after coming so close last season. For that reason, I am happy. I am also happy because Charlie Adam is only taking my lunch three days a week now. He is still not my friend, though.
Sitting in the stands and being helpless to prove that it can be done on a cold, wet night in Stoke last season was more difficult than listening to Pique try to explain the importance of Catalan independence. But while my body could not compete, my mind kept dreaming. Sometimes about dragons and mattresses made of waffles that allow you to have your bed for breakfast while having breakfast in bed, but also about how succeeding in this mission would be more delicious than any waffle mattress I could ever imagine.
I am going to do this, Leo. We are going to do this. And nothing can stop us. Not injuries. Not Charlie the troll Adam. Not the legendarily uncomfortable weather of Stoke. Future generations will live in peace and harmony, knowing that anything is possible and no one’s talents should be underestimated.
Yours in bravery,
P.S. Congrats on the new baby.
Previously in Letters from Bojan: A dream shatters