The Champions League group-stage draw took place earlier today in Monaco, where matchups were set in preparation for the outset of games on September 17th. For readers in the U.S., the Champions League is a soccer tournament, and soccer is that sport in which players kick a black-speckled white basketball in a field until everyone gets bored wondering where all the points are and goes home. This year, the Union of European Football Associates, or UEFA, who runs the championship, having decided that there has not been enough workplace camaraderie as in recent years, decided to hold a team building exercise immediately following today's draw.
The lack of fellowship among players is thought to have stemmed from that time when Ronaldo walked right by Messi without returning his "good morning" greeting. Ronaldo claims he was up late and didn't notice Messi was even there; however, Messi is adamant that "anyone who wasn’t [expletive] deaf could have heard [his] 'good morning' from a mile away." The other players quickly took one side or the other, and the atmosphere throughout the league has been cold ever since.
For today's team building exercise, Aleksander Čeferin, the president of UEFA, announced to all players, "I want you all to draw a nice picture. Draw whatever you want. Draw some trees or a little doggie or maybe some butterflies in a field. You will all find some paper and crayons under your seats." After finishing their drawings, Čeferin wanted everyone to share what they had drawn with at least two other non-teammates.
During the next twenty minutes, the auditorium was filled with the soft rasp of crayon on paper, broken intermittently by--could it be?--the sound of laughter. After the time was up, Čeferin instructed everyone to put down their crayons and start sharing their creations. One player drew an awesome red fire truck. Another drew the worst depiction of Scooby-Doo I have ever seen. And to top it all off, Rolando drew a picture of himself saying "good morning" to Messi. They were both smiling and kicking a soccer ball on a sunny day in a field of yellow flowers. The two shared a hug and apologized to each other, while Čeferin watched from afar with a single tear running down his cheek. He will surely remember this day for the rest of his life.
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