Date: May 8, 2003
Hi guys, my children and i had the same chance as Mariela, we realized our dream : a short moment with our favorite football player : Batigol !!!
When we came to Appiano the first day, the training session had finished and everybody had gone home. As i'm italian, it was easier for me to speak with the guards, so i decided to ask one of them when will the training session take place the following day. I explained to him that we came from Belgium and that the children's dream is to meet Gabriel. Would you believe me if i tell you that it was the same man that helped Mariela and that he remembers her. Unfortunately he told me that he won't be there the following day and that the other guards aren't so kind.
I must tell you that a few months ago while i was trying to find Bati's book, i wrote to violanews and the girl who answered me knows Gabriel and has wrote a book for him !!! So we kept in touch and she offered to help us meet him.
So when i found out it won't be easy to meet Gabriel, i sent this girl an SMS, asking her to let him know that we'll be there the next day and that the children'll be dressed in white t-shirts with photos of Him. The following morning i received an SMS from the girl telling me that she had told Bati about us but as he doesn't like SMS he didn't answered. So, she didn't know what he'll do.
We were at Appiano at 9.30 am and after a while we saw a black Jaguar with Gabriel in it. It didn't seem he'll stop... But suddenly he stopped: my daughter says that Gabriel stopped when he saw her...I wasn't nearby so I ccouldn't tell why he did it. All the people asked him to sign autographs and he did it, always smiling... After a while, i went to the car and explained to him that we came from Belgium and that he must have received the SMS message... he acknowledged and i asked him if it is possible to take some pictures. He told me it'll be better to do it inside the center... He asked the guards to let us inside but they refused. So he went inside...
I asked the guards if we could go in and they explained to me that there's nothing Gabriel can do and that only the Director can decide who can enter. So we went away and waited. After a while one of the guards came and said that we must follow him. After a few minutes Gabriel arrived and i took some pictures of the children and him. When i gave him some letters from Argentina and China he was very surprised and asked how i knew those people. I told him it wasn't from his official site... and explained to him that there's a more interesting and more well done website out there than his official site. He seemed very interested and asked me the address 'cause he wants to have a look at it. We spoke for a few minutes more and after that he kissed the children and shaked my hand firmly
We had met a very pleasant and always smiling person who is always surprised at how much people all around the world love him.
It was a nice meeting that we'll never forget. The children are already speaking about their further meeting with HIM.