Chapter 30: Kaka
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Every Thursday at noon, Shu Guang High School would only have two sessions of cultural classes; the rest of the remaining hours were left for free time and another two hours were for self-studying. But since Shu Guang High School was well known for its relaxed environment, those last two sessions of classes were equivalent to free time as well.
On this particular Thursday afternoon, the seats in the soccer stadium were occupied by many spectators after their two classes. The soccer team’s results last year were superb and there was a lot of popularity among the boys in school. Additionally, a handsome guy named Li Ni just joined the team, so it was not a surprise that he would be attract quite a few young girls as his fans. Life in school had actually been really boring but now, the soccer team’s practice sessions became a past time for many students in school every Thursday. The spectators in the stadium always watched the soccer match as they exchanged their thoughts with the those who sat next to them.
“This is a good match!”
“That shoot for the goal was awesome!”
It did not matter if the person was someone you knew or not. As long as you were sitting in the stadium, everyone would treat you like old friends who have known you for a long time. Everyone would cheer gleefully with each beautiful goal that was shot whereas they would give a huge sigh when the ball missed the goal. Additionally, they would also crack jokes and laugh with one another on the open field. Hence, the burdens of everyone’s studies were quickly swept away, adding many happy memories to their high school life.
Due to the internal match among the team, it attracted many people this afternoon.
During the game, players were divided into two teams; the white and red team. The read team donned brightly colored shirts while the white team wore white to represent their team.
Zhang Jun looked at Yang Pan, who was wearing the red team’s uniform. He was in the opposite direction, getting ready to launch the ball. An Ke and him were on the same team, but Ren Yu De and Li Ni were his only teammates from the same year.
Liang Ke was the referee and he proceeded to announce the rules, “The time given for the match will be 20 minutes for each half with 5 minutes of break time. We’ll be playing a match consisting of only nine players since the venue is small. There aren’t any differences in the rules of the game. Once everyone has understood this, the match shall begin!”
Yang Pan’s new partner passed the ball to him. He did not take the lead, using his right leg to kick instead to aim for a direct hit!
Zhang Jun’s first reaction was to dodge to the side. He could not possibly hit the ball, which was so near to him.
The soccer ball broke through the air as it whizzed towards the goal.
Everyone, including the white team players was dumbfounded. All they could do was gaze at the soccer ball while it rushed towards the goal.
As soon as the whistle sounded to start the game, another whistle was immediately heard when they scored a goal. This boy has improved his long range kick yet again, just after the winter holidays ended! Liang Ke thought to himself.
Li Ni was still at his seat, looking far ahead at the goal. Although the team consists of 9 players in this match, they still managed to score a goal from the middle of the field. It’s unbelievably amazing! Dad, I didn’t know China had such great soccer players! He beamed with a smile.
The white team kicked off and the match resumed.
Zhang Jun passed the ball to Li Ni. Without stopping, Li Ni continued to pass it directly to Ren Yu De. He was like a ferocious tiger, charging into the others head on. That dazzling dribble Li Ni presented resembled that of Brazil’s master of dribbles, Denilson. “Another expert!”
After getting through two players, Ren Yu De passed the ball back to Li Ni, who was running towards him. At the same time, Li Jieguang of the red team was forced to make his appearance.
Although Li Ni did not see Li Jieguang, he made a swift, sharp kick followed by a spin, allowing the ball to fly above Li Jieguang’s head. Li Ni then proceeded to receive the falling ball and continued to advance.
Liang Ke took notice of Li Ni’s actions and he was reminded of Shu Guang’s battle against Nanyang last year. Shu Guang was devastated as he watched Nanyang’s captain, Liu Yang foil a trick devised to get rid of him. Nonetheless, Li Ni’s current skills in spiking the ball were just ordinary. The level of skill he possessed was simple in his eyes. Perhaps, Li Ni’s specialty came from combining highly difficult movements along with his own set of skills to suit his playstyle in any environment. Just from how he kicked the ball, you may think that those were complicated moves, but to him, they were all natural reflexes. Every little movement he made was seriously amazing.
Lee Ni continued taking the lead as the ball obediently stuck below his feet. Thus, the defenders had no chance to snatch the ball away. He made his way to the penalty area, catching every defender’s attention until he suddenly passed the ball.
Zhang Jun, who was left unnoticed received the ball and scored. This left An Ke muttering painfully in a low voice.
An Ke was played by Zhang Jun yet again. He jumped and pointed straight at the defenders. “Hey! You guys are useless! How did you not see Zhang Jun coming? Don’t bother about that Brazilian guy. If he wants to score a goal, I’ll deal with him!” he scolded.
An Ke’s loud, angry voice could always be heard during the match.
“Another person got through again!”
“How dumb, don’t charge in!”
“Get back, it’s too close!”
When Zhang Jun scored the second goal, the players’ movements became more obvious and their rhythms sped up. It definitely became a confrontation of knives and guns.
“Oh no! How did things end up like this? This is just a team practice session!” Liang Ke could not help but laugh as he looked at the tired, hardworking players.
In the meantime, it had been long since Yang Pan scored a goal. The white team’s attacks were too intense. He recovered the defense on one side and quickly became a bystander at the back. Li Ni’s control of the ball was too good. In addition, there was Ren Yu De’s dribbling and also Zhang Jun’s shooting. If it had not been for An Ke’s exertion of stability, it would be even scarier than the nationals now.
He had to admit it: Li Ni had been immersed in Samba soccer since he was young, but his level was actually not that strong. He could control both the ball and his rhythm on the field, hence it was hard to break his movements.
“This won’t work! Think about it, our opponents are way stronger than us. We’ll drown in shame if we lose!” An Ke continued angrily. “Yang Pan, you only had one shot in the first half, is that enough? You need to score more in the next match!”
“I know that already, you’re nagging too much!” Yang Pan exclaimed as he impatiently waved his hand. The first half of the match was too devastating for them!
The five-minute break time ended. Both teams returned to the field.
“Li Ni! You’ll exchange with XX. Go to the red team.” Liang Ke’s sudden instruction shocked everyone.
But Lee Ni went without a word.
After the white team failed to attack, the red team allowed Li Ni to take control of the ball. He passed a long shot and Yang Pan sped up, getting away from his guard. He then proceeded to launch a beautiful direct kick into the goal!
The ball went in! The scores were now even with the white team.
After that, the rest of the remaining time reflected the red team’s first half of the match. The white team was forced to be on defensive mode, where Zhang Jun had to be a defender too.
Li Ni led the entire red team while Yang Pan became more active compared to the last match.
Zhang Jun finally understood Liang Ke’s good intentions. Greeting Li Ni was only an excuse. In truth, Liang Ke wanted to use this method to get Li Ni involved in the team. After Wang Bo left, Li Ni needed to become the team’s main force. For him to improve, he needed to first understand the team, which was a problem with him being the new kid. To solve this, they needed to combat their damage effectiveness and improve the team’s attack power. Using this method of playing in the first half, Liang Ke could ensure that the players realized what the situation was like with or without Li Ni. Li Ni could then be considered as a replacement for Wang Bo.
And so, the result of the match was as expected.
The game ended in a draw, but no one seemed to care about the score. The team gathered around Li Ni and praised his spectacular skills. Even Yang Pan put his hands around Li Ni’s shoulder and praised him because he made a few great passes to him.
Zhang Jun approached Li Ni, wanting to greet him. He wanted to say something but he hesitated because he felt weird calling his name, “Li Ni”. Was it a must to pronounce such an awkward name? No! Zhang Jun gave it a little more thought before he asked Li Ni, “Did your father give you your name?”
“Yeah, my father’s surname is Li.”
“But your name doesn’t sound very pleasant.” Zhang Jun shook his head.
“Oh, so you actually feel that it doesn’t sound pleasant? I had a feeling about it earlier. But I can’t come up with a good name at all!” Li Ni expressed his worries about his name too.
“I did think of one, but I’m not sure if you’ll like it?”
“Come on, say it! We want to hear it!” The person next to Zhang Jun felt the same as him.
“Kaka. How’s that?”
Li Ni stared at him and thought for a bit as he murmured, “Kaka, Kaka, Kaka… This name isn’t bad at all! I like it! Hehe, from now on, I will be called Kaka!” he announced it to everyone. “Oh my god! You really are a genius!” Li Ni instantly embraced Zhang Jun and kissed him.
“Whoa, you’re overreacting!
“Is this how foreigners express their gratitude?”
Zhang Jun had a hard time breaking away from Li Ni’s hugs and crazy kisses. He felt embarrassed. “Oh god! My first kiss…” But there was no time to be distressed as he suddenly felt a murderous aura. When he turned back, the girls on the sidelines were glaring at him, full of hatred. Zhang Jun gulped as his body was drenched in cold sweat.