Goalkeepers—as 20th-century existentialists knew—provide football’s paradigm for action in the face of uncertainty.
We publish a translation of a 1978 short story by Brazilian author Sérgio Sant’Anna in which a goalkeeper’s anxiety and his separation from fellows figure large: “The stadium explodes and I feel my own head bursting apart. … It’s like everything is very far away, without any relation to me.”
Jean-Marie Pfaff, in his heyday as a goalkeeper for Belgium and Bayern Munich, built a popular following.
Now 54, he is the centerpiece of a long-running Belgian reality TV show De Pfaffs. Pfaff’s affinity for performance will further be tested as part of the upcoming Antwerp Winter Circus.