FC Barcelona tegen Malaga FC in Malaga© Hans Schrijer 2016

It was an exciting day, the day I saw Messi. In fact, my haircut was just like his, thanks to an English barber in Cómpeta called Andy, who in my opinion was better off being a comedian than a hairdresser in a barber shop. I´m ready for the big match ,Málaga CF at home against FC Barcelona. Almost 3 hours before the start it was fantastic to see and feel how the area around stadium La Rosaleda sizzled with positive energy. It was "the icing on the cake" of such a memorable holiday in Andalusia, where we had rented 'Casa Mula',an authentic old mule house in the mountain village of Sedella in the Axarquia.

Everywhere, people in blue and white Málaga shirts, on terraces and in obscure little bars eating tapas, even the upscale restaurants were full of supporters, bottle of beer in hand, talking about the game. No fancy waiter complaining, this is a fiesta for everyone. I saw many more families here than I'm used to at matches in the Netherlands. Also young couples: he in the shirt of the home team and she in the blue and red of Barça, or vice versa. At the entrances to the stadium swarms of shadowy figures that wanted to sell you a ticket for € 200 or even more. Better to buy your ticket in advance! This can be done on the site of the football club website: go to Malaga CF.

It is the most eagerly awaited game of the season here; much more important than Real Madrid, which after all is a Spanish - Spanish duel; Barcelona of course is in Catalonia so the Spanish national red-yellow-red flags are waving and the home fans are singing 'Viva Espana' across the stadium.

The highlight of the afternoon? Emotional softie as I am with sports stories, it was not Malaga drawing level 1-1, not the '1-2' that Messi scored, but an adorable seven-year-old Malagueño who took the plunge and ran on to the pitch after the final whistle. The following events I'm sure he will recount to his grandchildren 60 years from now...... Like a hare in a nature film he slipped between all the grasping hands of guards and police officers - like a spear he arrives at the chatting Barcelona players. We saw rumbling, pushing, shoving but through the dust we see him surrounded by two grim, heavily armed Guardia Civil officers, handcuffed and ready to bring him towards the dungeon just like the one in the opera Carmen. When the policemen with the arrested are near thesideline of the football field there is suddenly excitement by the audience. Time for a standing ovation! Under his arm, just visible, but quite triumphant, he holds up the Barcelona shirt with number 10. He grins from ear to ear. Everything about him says: ‘Well maybe I have to go briefly to jail, but people, my mission is accomplished!’

Un saludo deportivo de Hans,
tenant of Second Home Andalusia

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