And that smile, it. does. him. in.
After sending the ball to Riise on the other side of the pitch, he looks ahead and sees Xabi looking at him, sending a smile his way.
And again, after Stevie lifts the cup, after Riise hands it to him, after he hands it to Xabi, no, when he hands it to Xabi.
It reminds him of himself when he was younger, when he had a crush on Dennis Bergkamp all those years ago when he was still young, merely in his twenties. He had been just a boy, sent far away from home.
He hates thinking about the past almost as much as he hates thinking about the future. He keeps thinking about all the mistakes and even the good things feel like mistakes when they're a part of a bigger entity, a larger mistake.
If he could change one thing, just one thing, he could have saved himself loads of trouble and years of loneliness and fear and more mistakes.
If he could go back, he would, and he wouldn't leave behind a girlfriend but a boyfriend. Well, not in secret this time.