Green Grass and Bright Lights – The tale of Lucrèmo, Episode 0: Prologue

“My Name is Matthew Elisha Williams.

When I was born there was not a lot of fanfare.

I was just another normal kid trying to find his way.

But when I was introduced to the beautiful game all that changed.

By age 10 the only sport I would play was soccer, or football like they call it everywhere but where I’m from.

By age 12 people were batting around terms like prodigy.

At age 13 La Fabrica and La Maisa came calling to have me play in their systems.

On my 14th birthday with enough Spanish to survive, my parents sent me and my Uncle to learn from the school that had given the world Messi.

I spent my time learning everything possible. When the big club came to visit I was sat between Thierry, Ronaldinho, and Lionel for photos. They called me the future.  These titans looked at me and saw something in my eyes. They gave me the name you will one day shout from stadiums at me. That was the day Lucrèmo was born.

I bled for Barca every day of every year after that. I trained like life could only be found in learning the bounce angle for every single inch of goal post. I pushed my body to gain more endurance than all of my teammates so I could stay in late in case we needed a last minute goal.

I studied the greats, and the goats, so I could never be shocked.

And what did I get for it? I sat behind all their treasured millionaires. At 17 they could have given me a deal for first team or reserves that proved they wanted me. So when they didn’t I knew I was walking when my youth deal ended. And so Lucrèmo became a hired gun.

There were no suitors like La Blaugrana had been. So I went to England, where I got a deal that leads us to where we are today. Exeter City isn’t much. But they had a few rich former players appear and decide to slowly rise up the ranks. They spent money on me, my countryman Julian Green, and their biggest signing was from what my dad calls the Yankees of soccer. Shinji Kagawa for far more than he was worth was clearly meant to say something, and I was clearly an after-thought at best, a gamble at worst. They also grabbed a couple of guys with potential like me. I live with Julian and one of them, Terence Kongolo.

They tell me this season they want me to prove everyone wrong about me and why I left Barca. That if I can, it will be rewarded with something special. I suspect they will be putting me on the market though if I do too well. I need to setup 8 goals, score 25 goals, shoot better than 29%, and keep a rating of 8.4 or better. I crushed that assist total already 2 games in, so I’m not worried. But I need to learn to curb my shoot first attitude because I’m only at 36% conversion on 3 goals.

Since you’re along for the ride I guess I should tell you what I am planning. Shinji told me he’s out of here soon if things don’t go well. And that I should have a backup plan. So I asked him for the number of guys with his old clubs. The Red Devils are on my radar. Because how better to make Barcelona pay than to get them in a bidding war with Real and Man U for me? Sure Lucrèmo will one day go home. But they aren’t going to get King Matthew cheaply. Until then. I need to start proving myself, and less time daydreaming about my coronation. I’m going to be the best. I’m going to make you scream my name on or off the pitch. But I’d be lying if I said I knew whether I’ll be the hero of this story or the villain. For now, just enjoy the ride.”


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