Eleuterio Cabrera was in his seventies when he discovered the Anomaly. He wasn’t a scientist. He was a football fan. Born in the Puerto Madero barrio of Buenos Aires to Maria, a seamstress, and Fidelio, a longshoreman, Eleuterio led a nondescript working-class life until a rare autoimmune disorder claimed the lower half of his left leg. At this point, the young Eleuterio stopped participating in the barrio’s lively after-school football matches and became their designated umpire. Unable to play, he learned to analyse, sitting in the shade on the sidelines while his friends and older brothers dribbled circles around each other, hollering goooaall, kicking up beautiful shapes in the dust.
Secretly ashamed of his lame son, Fidelio would take Eleuterio to his favourite café on the quiet end of Avenue Azopardo every weekend to watch football on a black-and-white television mounted above the bar. It was 1974 when Eleuterio saw his father’s team, Club Atlético Temperley, defeat Estudiantes de La Plata 3–1 and qualify for the Primera División for the first time in 37 years.
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