90 Minutes: Football as a metaphor for Life, available in eight languages
By: Leo Aquina | March 21, 2019
The idea originated during a break moment in a football match at Camp Nou. “I am 45 years old, exactly at half of my life,” says Eddy de Heij. “It’s half time, I can’t change what happened in the first half, but I can prepare myself for the second half.” De Heij wrote the book “90 Minutes” in which he used football as a metaphor for life. “In eleven chapters, I discuss various aspects of life on the basis of football situations. This way I want to provide the youth of today tools to think about their own lives.”
The book has been translated into eight languages and it is published in thirteen different countries.
De Heij lives in Barcelona and has a season ticket in Camp Nou. He calls himself a lucky man. “I have set up a number of companies, I have lived in New York, Tokyo and Buenos Aires. Of course I have had setbacks in my life, but I look back with satisfaction on the first half of my life. Despite the setbacks, I have never given up. De Heij initially wrote ’90 Minutes’ for his ‘nephew ‘. “The book is for all youngsters who want to develop, whether its in sports, at school or in life.”
De Heij tells us about the origin of the book: “I regularly go to FC Barcelona with my best friend Daniel.” We have known each other since we were sixteen and together we have experienced a lot. We are actually brothers without having the same parents. Daniel also has a son and he plays football very well, but as with many boys in adolescence, he sometimes has a hard time with different things . We talked about it in the Camp Nou stadium and then I asked him the question: Do you want to be substituted or do you want to play? He immediately understood that comparison. If you put complex things into football terms, it often suddenly becomes much clearer. “
De Heij uses the football metaphor more often. “I have done a lot of business in Japan and there, they have a different culture. They do a lot of things in the way they should as a collective, so that individual creativity often is not a common thing. At the time, Ronaldinho was very popular in Japan and I used him always as an example. Like Ronaldinho, the Japanese always have a smile, but it’s another smile. I told them that instead of a smile out of politeness, they had to link their smile to creativity as Ronaldinho showed. Everyone can understand that comparison. You can get all the management books from the library, but football is universal. “
After the conversation with
his nephew in Camp Nou, De Heij decided to write it all down. “Before
I knew it, I had eleven chapters,” he says. “The book is about
the fictional ex-football player Steve (45), who looks back on his career. What
went well? What failed? What did he learn? What does he want to
change? And what does he want to achieve? The book is a coach to help
the reader to view his or her life as a football match. ” Steven
Woudenberg’s beautiful drawings did the rest.
Of the eleven aspects he covers in the book, La Doce is the favourite of De Heij: “Then I think again of Argentina, where I went to Boca Juniors in La Bombonera, the stadium of that club. The hardcore fans are called ‘La Doce’ meaning the twelfth player. I recognized this. When in my life things went not like I wanted, I always had people around me, family that put me back on track. Fair Play is another aspect that is close to my heart, I have sometimes been tempted in my business career to take an ‘envelope’ somewhere, but then I always heard my father’s voice in the background: just do it the right way, that will eventually take you further. “
Steve, Lisa and Siama
90 Minutes is available in 8 different languages and De Heij has also adapted the content for different cultures. “There are actually three booklets and three different main characters. I started with Steve and for the American market I took Lisa as the main character. In the United States, ‘Soccer’ is primarily a girl’s sport. Steve and Lisa are twins and in the Middle East, Siama is the main character, she wears a Hijab. ” De Heij has concrete plans to turn 90 Minutes into a film and a theater piece. “In that film, Steve, Lisa and Siama meet face to face,” he says.
The book is for sale in bookstores in the Netherlands, , but De Heij does not want to earn anything from it. “In the first instance it was downloadable for free through my website, but then a publisher asked if he could publish it on paper. I thought that was great, but I don’t want to earn anything and I think the book should be available to everyone. If people send me an e-mail because they have no money, but want to read the book, I will send it for free. I also want to reinvest the income from book sales back into the project. I created this book because I have children and I want to make the world a little better for them with this book. “
For more information: www.90minutes.life | firstname.lastname@example.org