Football is for everyone. Silvia Grecco understands this fully. Her son Nikollas was born five months premature, weighing just half a kilogram, and due to the complications at birth, his retina did not form. Along with being blind, he was also diagnosed with mild autism.
Silvia’s lifelong love for football then came in to play as she looked for ways to help Nikollas cope with day-to-day life.
“Since my childhood, I live football,” Silvia said, speaking to FIFA. “I live Palmeiras. The football in my life, in the life of my son, is life changing. It is a love that transforms; a love for the art of playing football.”
Nikollas developed his own passion for football and it’s something that brings him and his mother together in a special way.
Silvia and Nikollas’s story was the first in a six-part series called ‘Sheroes’ featured on FIFA.com. The series highlights females with inspirational stories that fuse ‘The Beautiful Game’ and love. Watch the full video below.
Silvia began bringing Nikollas to watch her beloved Palmeiras, but after the first few times, she realised Nikollas would take his radio headset off and listen to the chants and screams of the fans, not really knowing what was going on around him.
“And then subtly I began to narrate all the plays. So from then on it became a common thing for me to be narrating to him.
“I’ll describe the details of the environment as well, the characteristics of each player, if they have dyed hair, long sleeves, the colour of their boots. Narrating the goal is the most exciting part, I have no doubt about that.”
Nikollas is able to appreciate the game at such a high level thanks to Silvia’s dedication and love for him.
“At the stadium is complete freedom, he is transformed, he feels at ease, stands up, cheers and jumps. Nikollas becomes another child. I am the eyes of Nikollas. I really try to pass on what I’m feeling to him, with the emotion of a mother who is a fan and a narrator.”
What Silvia is doing not only aids Nikollas in his socialisation greatly, but it also gives others the opportunity to interact with the disabled, who are often left to the margins of society.
“Being a mother, to me, is the best thing in the world, it’s heart, it’s soul, it’s life, it’s everything.”
Fans from around the world can now vote for their favourite for the Fan Award. The three finalists are all unique and inspiring in their own way. Learn about their stories, sign up for the FIFA.com Club and make your choice now. Voting is now open, and will close during The Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony on 23 September.