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Series / Rumbata, Ronaldo and I

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The title card for the show. Depicted in the image: Assen "Ronaldo" Rashkov

Rumbata, Ronaldo and I (original title Румбата, аз и Роналдо [Rumbata, az i Ronaldo]) is a Bulgarian TV mini-series that aired in 2020. It consists of 8 episodes revolving around the title characters Rumen "Rumbata" Angelov, Dimitar "The Titan" Zlatarov and Assen "Ronaldo" Rashkov, and their friends on a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits football (or soccer, if you will) team. The main plot-driving story is the boys' fight for their football field against a corrupt mayor and a construction company owned by the father of one of the boys. It is interspersed with the grown-ups' own battles with past and present issues, the rekindling of an old flame, and Puppy Love among the youngsters.

The series is a dramedy mixing children's games and young love with a subtle commentary on racial segregation and standing up to The Man


The series includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Accidental Public Confession: In episode 2, Bobby finds out Ronaldo was the one who stole his poetry notebook after Ronaldo accidentally blurts out a couplet he read in it. Of course, he feels bad for stealing and returns the notebook to Bobby.
    • In the finale, Titan leaves his tablet in the changing room, forgetting to turn off his live stream. Bobby talks to Rumbata about having missed his chance with Ralitsa, how Yanko is lying to her and how he never managed to tell her he loves her. Titan's entire audience, including Ralitsa, hears this in real time.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: The Titan often uses vocabulary and displays knowledge far beyond what is expected of a 10-11-year-old, and is definitely very adorable with his boyish face and blond hair.
  • Adult Fear: When Rumbata, Ronaldo and Titan end up lost in the woods, don't answer their phones (since there's no signal) and aren't found for a whole night, their friends and families spend the entire night worried sick, looking for the boys with the help of the police. That night ends up being more frightening for the parents than for the three boys.
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  • Adults Are Useless: Averted for the most part - nearly every adult is either an antagonist or an ally to the kids. A special shout-out goes to Titan's grandfather and Rumen's father, who are the most active in helping the boys get their football field back and prepare for the tournament.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: In episode 3, after Titan's Facial Horror injury, Vassil tousles his hair. Titan flinches in mild pain.
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: In a flashback in episode 5, Ivan is seen yelling on top of his lungs while roaming the streets of Italy at night, and then he even goes behind the wheel while drunk, causing the disastrous incident.
  • Alcoholic Parent: Up until episode 3, Vassil is this to Rumbata. He then makes an effort to stop drinking and becomes his football coach.
  • All for Nothing: Vassil makes a bet with the varsity team's coach that if his team wins a match against the varsity team, they will be allowed to use their training space to prepare for the tournament. The boys manage to pull off a win, but then the coach tells Vassil they can't use their field after all. It is because Dobrev tells him not to let them, apparently just For the Evulz.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: When Yanko, Ralitsa's ex, comes into town and tries to win her back, Bobby assumes he has succeeded. Luckily for him, Ralitsa is an aversion of this trope.
  • All There in the Manual: The website of BNT (Bulgarian National Television, the network airing the series) reveals that the shooting location and implied setting of the series is Bankya, a small town near Sofia.
  • All Up to You: After Gencho's Game-Breaking Injury in episode 5, the boys tell Titan this, asking him to fill in for the injured goalkeeper despite never having played or trained before.
  • Alliterative Name: Dobrolyub Dobrev
  • Aloof Big Sister: Especially in the first episode, Ralitsa is this to the Titan.
  • Ambiguous Situation: It is unclear what Ralitsa's first boyfriends posted online to embarrass her so much that Titan's hacking skills are needed and Rumbata and Bobby offer to find the guy and beat him up.
  • Anonymous Benefactor: This is how Ivan gets the money to participate in the open tender in episode 7 and buy the old football field back for the boys. The benefector's identity is, however, revealed to the public - [[it is wild man Alexander, who was previously shown to have the treasure in his possession. The treasure is where the money comes from.]]
  • Antagonistic Governor: Dobrev, the mayor, is the main antagonist for all but the final episode.
  • Anti-Nepotism: Being the coach's son does not give Rumbata any special privileges.
    Vassil: At home, I'm dad. Here, I'm coach.
  • Appeal to Familial Wisdom: Titan about the alleged treasure:
    Rumbata: How do you know there even is a treasure?
    Titan: My grandpa's got the treasure map.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: In the first episode, when Rumbata and Bobby chase Titan around town after he snarks at them, they run into Ralitsa and she stands up for him.
    Bobby: [flustered] We were nearly about to beat up your brother.
    'Rumbata: Well, that's a bit of a stretch...
    Ralitsa: Knowing him, he probably deserved it, but he's still my brother.
    • When Ralitsa's unnamed first boyfriend posts something rude about her online, Titan immediately offers his help, deletes the post, blocks the guy and sends a virus to his computer. Ralitsa thanks him with a heartwarming hug.
  • Arc Villain: Ralitsa's ex Yanko becomes this for the finale after Dobrev is overthrown in the penultimate episode.
  • Awkward Father-Son Bonding Activity: Without the "awkward" part, of course, football is a way for Vassil and Rumbata to rebuild their damaged relationship.
  • Bad Dreams: In episode 2, Vassil has one of the night he and Ivan had the car accident that caused their Career-Ending Injury.
  • Bandage Wince: In episode 1, when Titan cleans Ronaldo's wound, he winces and complains that it stings.
  • Bar Brawl: In episode 2, Vassil gets involved in one after he calls out two guys commenting on a football game playing on the pub TV for talking nonsense. His overreaction is somewhat justified, since he is in distress after Rumbata runs away from home and doesn't pick up his phone.
  • Batman in My Basement: After a falling-out with his father, Rumbata runs away from home and the Titan hides him in his basement. When Ralitsa finds out, she invites him to sleep on her bedroom floor instead - just because her bedroom is the only one whose door locks from the inside. In the morning, they tell their mother and Rumen's father comes to take him back home.
  • Big Game: The entire tournament in the finale, and especially the last game in it where The Titans face off with Yanko's Sharks. Every element of the trope is present: The Titans suffer a devastating loss of 3-0 in the first game (also against the Sharks), then Vassil gives them a big pep talk culminating in a video montage of their parents cheering them on; they go on to win several games and qualify for the final. In the aforementioned last game, the result comes up to a 2-2 draw, and then it's literally Down To The Last Game in the shootouts, where Titan makes his first spectacular save against Yanko himself, winning the game and the tournament for the Titans.
  • Benevolent Boss: In the first episode, Dobrev appears to be this to Ivan, even going as far as giving his son Bobby a present and remembering Bobby is interested in football. Later episodes prove he's not so benevolent at all.
  • Birthday Hater: In episode 3, Titan refuses to celebrate his birthday because his father hasn't called him once since the parents' separation. He ends up inviting his friends over after all.
  • A Birthday, Not a Break: On his birthday, Titan gets hit in the face with a football and finds out that his parents are getting divorced and his father is leaving the country.
  • Blatant Lies: Towards the end of the first episode, Ralitsa sends a selfie from her dance class to both Rumbata and Bobby, who are sitting right beside each other at the moment. They both pretend the notification is from Titan who is "sending them a friend request" and then make up lame excuses to leave. They meet again a couple of minutes ago, realising they're both stalking Ralitsa.
  • Blood Oath: Discussed by Ronaldo and Titan in episode 3. The latter has been thinking of taking one with the latter, but Ronaldo thinks it's too squicky. Titan agrees, saying he's actually Afraid of Blood.
  • Broken Pedestal: After Ivan lets out in front of the boys that (as far as he knows) their coach Vassil involved the two of them in a drunk-driving incident resulting in a Career-Ending Injury, Vassil accepts the possibility that they will think less of him, and doesn't tell the truth about the accident even to his own son.
  • Bully Hunter: All the boys set up Sabi, who has been beating Ronaldo and forcing him to steal, in order to get footage of him robbing Stoyan's house, and then confront him with it, forcing him to stop bullying their new friend.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Early on in the series, Rumen's father is a drunkard who pays next to no attention to his son. Rumbata calls him out on this and he makes an effort to get better, repairing his damaged relationship with his son and becoming the boys' football coach in the process. Rumbata's friend Bobby has even bigger issues with his father, the owner of a construction company planning to build over the boys' playing field, and has to enact this trope several times before his father realises the error of his ways in the penultimate episode.
    Rumbata [to his father]: I want my dad, but he's gone!
  • Career-Ending Injury: A car accident involving drunk-driving was this for Vassil and Ivan, who used to be best friends and teammates. It turns out that Ivan, not Vassil, was the drunk-driver, but Vassil made it look like it was him and took the blame to protect Ivan's family.
  • Cassandra Truth: When Dimitar Sr. tells his grandson about a treasure, Titan laughs him off. However, the treasure turns out to be real and is used as Deus ex Machina in the penultimate episode.
  • Catchphrase: Calling Bobby and Rumbata "Divas!" whenever they fight seemed to be set up to be this for Stoyan, a secondary character and member of the football team. That was his only line in the first episode, repeated on two occasions. It was dropped afterwards and he got increasingly more lines in each episode.
  • Category Traitor: According to Sabi, Ronaldo is this.
    You follow that kid around and you suddenly think you're one of them.
  • Character Narrator: While there's no narration in the series, the title is from a first- person perspective. An interview with Martin Paunov (Titan) confirms that the "I" refers to his character.
  • Chekhov's Skill: In his very first scene, Assen/"Ronaldo" demonstrates his ability to fall to the ground and act more hurt than he really is. He later employs this during training with the varsity team to make it seem like his new teammates are deliberately trying to hurt him so that he has an excuse to quit the team and go back to his original one.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Rumbata and Bobby were Childhood Friends with Ralitsa and both develop crushes on her. She ends up with Bobby.
  • Community-Threatening Construction: Ivan's construction company has plans to destroy the boys' football field and build on that land. The entire town becomes involved with helping or, in the majority's case, stopping the construction from happening.
  • Cool Old Guy: Dimitar Sr. is this. He joins Titan and Ronaldo in their investigation of who is behind the Community-Threatening Construction, gathers information for them from Sevda, and confronts Dobrev face to face about his barely-legal schemes. Oh, and he watches every single one of Titan's livestreams.
  • Corrupt Politician: Dobrev. He forces Ivan into a contract for construction being done over the boys' old football field. Halfway into the series, he reveals that he has no intention of actually having any construction done and is just using Ivan's company to milk EU funds for money.
  • Coupled Couples: In early episodes, Rumbata and Ralitsa, as well as Desi and Bobby, get Ship Tease. Cue the second half of the series, and the pairings are switched.
  • Daddy Didn't Show: One of the things Rumbata calls Vassil out on in the first episode is that he never showed up to any of his games.
  • Dads Can't Cook: Subverted with Dimitar Sr. (who is the protagonist's grandfather, not his father, but still). He is often mentioned to have cooked something delicious, and even his Establishing Character Moment shows him about to cook - see Political Correctness Gone Mad.
  • David vs. Goliath: The children vs. the mayor and the construction company.
    • Also, the main characters' football team vs. both of the rival teams in the tournament, who tower over them and have had more actual training.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Titan has his moments.
  • Deathbringer the Adorable: A small, geeky, decidedly unathletic blond boy is nicknamed The Titan.
  • Demoted Memories: Both Ivan and Vassil are traumatised by the accident they had in the past and have avoided talking about it with their sons. Ivan never even told Bobby that he was a professional football player until episode 4.
  • Descent into Addiction: Presumably after his wife's death, Vassil becomes an alcoholic and mildly abusive to his son Rumen. He gets better by the middle episode, fixes his relationship with his son and becomes the boys' football coach.
  • Designated Driver: The episode 5 Cold Open is an extended flashback to the night Ivan and Vassil had their accident. They're celebrating their transfer to an Italian team with their old teammates and everyone but Vassil is very drunk. While he doesn't remain perfectly sober, he declines a refill offer and is visibly much fitter for driving than Ivan, who insists on driving and ends up crashing the car.
  • Divided We Fall: Whenever Rumbata and Bobby argue, the team falls apart temporarily.
  • Do You Want to Haggle?: In episode 2, Titan haggles the price of a pig he wants to use for truffle-digging. He and Ronaldo even challenge the seller to a football match for it.
  • Don't Go in the Woods:
    • In episode 2, Titan and Ronaldo take their brand-new pig, Little Titan, out into the woods to train him to dig for truffles. When the Titan drops the leash, the pig runs away and the boys roam the woods for hours looking for him well into the night.
    • Later, when the three title characters follow a treasure map into the woods, they end up chased around by two adult treasure-hunters, get lost, have to spend the night in the middle of the woods and meet a strange wild man. He ends up saving them from the treasure-hunters and giving them shelter and food until their parents find them.
  • Drama Queen: Titan tends to act like this at times, especially where his Facebook live streams and his tablet (which he mostly uses to do them) are concerned.
  • Dramatic Wind: During the boys' confrontation with Sabi (see Bully Hunter above), accompanied by dramatic shots switching between Sabi and the group as they approach each other.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: This is Vassil's way of coping with his wife's death, starting years before the series takes place and stopping about mid-series.
  • Drunken Song: In the above mentioned flashback, the entire team ends up singing after drinking for a while. Special note goes to Ivan who then sings Toto Cutugno's Lasciatemi Cantare (fitting since the scene takes place in Italy) before falling asleep behind the wheel.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The flashback of Vassil and Ivan first appears very briefly in episode 2. It's only elaborated upon in the second half of the series.
    • In the same episode, Titan calls the team "The Titans" for the first time. It's given next to no attention, but the name returns in the penultimate episode as the team's official name for the tournament.
    • Also in that episode, Titan and Ronaldo stumble into Rumbata after dark and he claims to have seen someone creepy in the dark. The episode end credits reveals that it was wild man Alexander, whom they would encounter the next time they spend the night in the woods.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first episode stands out from the rest: Raina and her children Dimitar "Titan" and Ralitsa are newcomers to the town, the football team isn't quite formed yet, Assen hasn't got his nickname Ronaldo yet and does not hang out with white kids (and is forced by an older Romani boy to steal), Rumbata and Bobby are rude to Titan when they first meet him, and the plan to build over the football field isn't announced yet. The status quo for later episodes is established by the end of the episode.
  • Earn Your Title: The Titan dubs Assen "Ronaldo" after he scores an amazing goal. This is when the Romani boy joins the team.
  • Economy Cast: Particularly noticeable with Ivan's construction company that seems to consist entirely of... Ronaldo's father. There are a couple of other workers shown, but just in passing, and there are certainly way fewer than would be necessary for a big project qualifying for EU funding. This might be a good way to demonstrate that no actual construction is supposed to take place...
  • Establishing Character Moment: After a game that they lose, Bobby and Rumbata immediately start fighting about whose fault it was, with Rumbata specifically remarking that Bobby doesn't act like a good team player. Then, a Flyaway Shot shows the rival team leaving the field as one, with their arms over their teammates' shoulders, while the protagonist team members all leave in different directions to show how they're not quite a team yet.
  • Everyone Meets Everyone: While Rumbata, Bobby, Stoyan and Gencho are an established friend group, Titan, Ralitsa and Ronaldo are introduced to them in the first episode.
  • Ethnic Menial Labour: Assen's father is one of the workers who do the menial labour for Ivan's construction company.
  • The Face: As manager of the team, Titan is this. He investigates into Dobrev's schemes to take away the boys' football field, leads several missions to help the team get said field back, and is the Slogan-Yelling Megaphone Guy in their climactic protest against Dobrev.
  • Facial Horror: In episode 3, Ronaldo accidentally kicks a ball into Titan's face. He ends up bandaged and with a special plate protecting his nose. He dubs this contraption "the mask of Zorro". After it is removed, he is left with big bruises around his eyes that slowly heal in the next couple of episodes.
  • Fake Memories: Ivan's memory of the accident is not identical to how it really happened. Then again, it's justified since he was too drunk to remember. In reality, he, and not Vassil, was the Drunk Driver. He even ends up blacking out, so Vassil grabs the wheel before they crash into another car, crashing into a tree instead. What is not shown but recounted by Ivan's wife in episode 5 is that Vassil then proceeded to switch seats with Ivan and take the blame, never telling anyone the truth. He later explains to an apologetic Ivan that he though it would be better for Ivan to blame someone else and not himself.
  • Fake Video Camera View: Titan's live streams are shown like this, with viewers' comments appearing on screen.
  • Five-Man Band: Not very clearly defined, but still present:
    • The Leader: Either Titan or Rumbata, with the former being manager of the football team and the one who initiates most of the boys' endeavours, and the latter being the one who comes up with the idea of forming a team to compete in the district tournament in the first place.
      • The boys, with the notable exception of Bobby, seem to see Rumbata as the heart of the team. In episode 2, Gencho even makes the following analogy:
        The team is like an engine, and without Rumbata, it can't start.
    • The Lancer: If Titan is the leader, it's Ronaldo; if the leader is Rumbata, it's Bobby.
    • The Smart Guy: Titan and Stoyan both qualify, with Stoyan being an actual piano player (as per the musical variant of the Five-Man Band trope).
    • The Big Guy: Gencho, who is good with machinery, and also big in stature compared to his teammates.
    • The Chick: Ralitsa, who, although very marginally involved with the main plot, is connected to several members of the football team - she is Childhood Friends with Bobby and Rumbata, has both of them crushing on her (and eventually dates one of them), and she is Titan's sister.
  • Flashback: There are two recurring ones in the series:
    • Vassil and his late wife Sonya watching toddler Rumen playing around with a football. Both Rumbata and Vassil remember this moment at different points in the series.
    • The aforementioned one of Vassil and Ivan's accident.
  • Flat Character: Gencho and Stoyan get very little characterisation, especially in contrast to the rest of their teammates who are all main characters with backstories and even some Hidden Depths. All that is known about these two is that Stoyan plays the piano and Gencho is interested in engines, beside their interest in football.
  • Flipping the Bird: In episode 5, during the game against the varsity team, Ralitsa and Desi are cheering from the bleachers. After Ronaldo is pushed down by several varsity players, the girls call them "rotters". One of them flips the girls off, as if to confirm this epithet.
  • Follow That Car: In episode 3, Titan, along with Ronaldo, gets a taxi to chase after Dobrev by pretending to be his son. When the boys haven't got the money to pay the driver, things quickly get dramatic. The resolution happens off-screen.
  • Foreshadowing: In episode 2, when they haggle for a pig (It Makes Sense in Context), Ronaldo has Titan be a goalkeeper against the pig seller. Guess what position he ends up filling in for when the team is down a member later in the series.
  • Forest Ranger: Titan, Rumbata and Ronaldo encounter one when they go into the woods looking for a treasure.
  • Forgettable Character: The little boy who plays football with the boys in the first episode. He is never seen again afterwards.
  • Former Friends Photo: In episode 4, Ivan shows Bobby an album of photos from his days as a professional footballer, including several with him and Vassil side by side.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Titan (Sanguine), Rumbata (Choleric), Bobby (Melancholic) and Ronaldo (Phlegmatic).
  • From New York to Nowhere: The series starts with Titan's family moving from the capital city of Sofia to small town Bankia.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Gencho, the goalkeeper, breaks his arm just before a game against the varsity team where the boys' training space is at stake. Titan, who has no experience at all, has to step in with zero preparation. Even though he's terrible at guarding the goalpost, the team manages to pull off a win by scoring even more goals.
  • Geeky Analogy: Especially (but not limited to) in episode six, Titan makes Lord of the Rings analogies on a dime.
  • Generation Xerox: Rumbata and Bobby are a lot like their fathers Vassil and Ivan - best friends and football teammates who, however, fight a lot. Both friendships are rekindled beautifully in the end.
  • Glamorous Single Mother: Raina. While she moves in with her parents after her separation from her husband, she never asks them for assistance in raising her children.
  • Going Cold Turkey: In episode 3, Vassil pours his liquor bottoms-up down the drain in an effort to stop drinking. He briefly starts again later in the same episode after a confrontation with Ivan causes him to quit coaching the boys' team.
  • Good Parents: Raina to Titan and Ralitsa. Vassil to Rumbata, after getting over his drinking problem. Dimitar Sr. and Elena to Raina, showing great support for their daughter after her separation from her husband.
  • Good Samaritan: In the first episode, when he tracks his tablet down to Assen's place, Titan encounters a beaten-up Assen and insists on cleaning his wound before leaving. The two end up becoming friends after that.
    Assen: Why are you helping me? I stole your tablet.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Two of those watch the game of Titans vs. varsity team in episode 5. They mercilessly complain about the team's playing, Ronaldo's inclusion in it and the girls' cheering. Ralitsa and Dessi don't spare them the snark.
  • Hands-Off Parenting: Titan and Ralitsa are pretty much unsupervised most of the time. Vassil is at first too busy drinking to pay attention to his son, and then becomes closely involved with his life in an aversion of this trope. Ivan also averts it by disciplining Bobby whenever he can.
  • Happy Dance: Titan does one in the first episode when his mother tells him his tablet has been found.
  • The Heart: In the beginning, it's Rumbata, then Titan, and then, in the finale, Rumbata again - as Titan is struggling with hate comments and Bobby - with Yanko's smarmy attempts to get back together with Ralitsa, and it seems like the team is falling apart just before the big tournament, Rumbata takes it upon him to bring them back together.
  • Heroic BSoD: In the first half of the finale, the entire team goes through this thanks to Yanko who gets close to Ralitsa just as she was about to get together with Bobby, and his team who flood Titan's live stream with mocking comments just before the two teams face off in the first game of the big tournament.
  • Hidden Depths: Bobby writes poetry - and he hides it very carefully, too. However, Ronaldo finds out when he happens to steal Bobby's poetry notebook. Later, after a letter ends up in the wrong hands, his secret more or less comes out.
  • Hollywood Darkness: The night when the boys sneak up to the machines at the construction site (a.k.a their football field) in order to sabotage them, is unnaturally clear and bright.
  • Hollywood Genetics: Rumbata has curly hair and darker skin and looks nothing like his father. His mother is shown to look more like him, but the dark skin is still not quite explained. Also, Titan is a blond in a family of brunettes, and looks very different from his mother and sister.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: Lampshaded by Bobby in the first episode when Rumbata asks him if he's spying on the girls because he likes Ralitsa. As she hasn't been brought up in their conversation until that point, to Bobby this is proof that he and Rumbata are crushing on the same girl.
  • Invisible Parents: Out of the main seven kids, Desi and Stoyan's parents are never shown. Gencho's father appears in one scene, and his mother is never mentioned. The rest of their parents show up at least a couple of times each - even Rumbata's late mother is shown in photos and flashbacks.
  • Interclass Friendship: Working-class Ronaldo, middle-class Titan, Rumbata, Gencho and Stoyan, and upper-class Bobby are all good friends.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Downplayed with the Titan and Ronaldo and the other boys, who are a few years older, at the stage of life where they start crushing on girls. Played straight with the boys and Rumbata's father Vassil, who is their football coach, as well as Titan's grandfather Dimitar Sr., who helps them in their battle for the field.
    • Speaking of Dimitar Sr., he and town hall employee Sevda could qualify as well.
  • Jerkass: Yanko, Ralitsa's ex-boyfriend and captain of rival team Yanko's Sharks. His first notable action (while he was still The Unseen) was posting bad things about Ralitsa on the internet. When he finally appears in the final episode, he provokes Bobby, makes smarmy attempts to win Ralitsa back, makes fun of Titan's geeky interests and has his teammates flood Titan's FB profile with mean comments to psych the Titans out before the tournament.
  • Kindhearted Simpleton: As per many Bulgarians' stereotypical view of Romani, Assen/ "Ronaldo" is under-educated and Book Dumb, but insists on returning the items he has been forced to steal from Titan and Bobby, and becomes good friends with the boys, joining their football team.
  • Leader Wannabe: In the beginning, Bobby is this in the not-yet-established football team. He never passes the ball to anyone even if they're open, and constantly fights with Rumbata because of this. In episode 2, when the team is being assembled and Rumbata refuses to join, Bobby lies to Gencho to get him to join, saying that Rumbata will, indeed, be playing. As soon as Stoyan says Rumbata explicitly told him he won't be joining, Bobby is left alone. Cue the end of the series, and Bobby gets to be co-captain of the team along with Titan - not before some serious Character Development, of course.
  • Letter Motif: Several characters' names start with the letter R (even when not counting Ronaldo, which is a nickname) - Rumen "Rumbata", The Titan's mother Raina and sister Ralitsa. This ends up creating quite a confusion when a love letter with the letter R on the envelope (unspecified whether it stands for the sender or the recipient) ends up in the wrong hands - see Love Letter Lunacy below.
  • Like a Duck Takes to Water: Although they are initially annoyed and upset about moving to their grandparents' small town from the capital, both Ralitsa and Titan manage to make friends and find good reasons to want to stay.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Both Rumbata and Bobby take after their fathers' talent and passion for football. This worries Vassil and Ivan at first because they don't want their sons to make the same mistakes they did.
  • Little Professor Dialogue: The Titan has his moments of this as an Adorably Precocious Child.
  • Love Letter Lunacy: Bobby writes a letter to Ralitsa and gives it to Titan to pass on to her, but he forgets to and his mother ends up finding it in his shorts' pocket while doing laundry. She assumes it is from Vassil to her, and then, after proven wrong, that it is from Rumbata to Ralitsa. Ralitsa eventually figures out who it's from.
  • Meaningful Echo: The scene where Ronaldo's new friends confront Sabi is a visual echo to the earlier one where Ronaldo finds himself surrounded by older Romani who threaten him. It shows how Ronaldo is now accepted by the white boys and is not alone on his way to becoming a better person and abandoning his life of petty crime.
  • Meaningful Look: When Titan and Gencho reveal Gencho's broken arm to the team just before the game against the varsity team, the boys stare at Titan as if measuring him up for the position of goalkeeper. He soon catches onto that.
  • Meaningful Name: Quite ironic in the mayor's case - he is a Corrupt Politician named Dobrolyub Dobrev (both names have the word for "good" in them).
  • The Mentor: Vassil becomes this to the boys. While he can be a Drill Sergeant Nasty during training, he is usually the Team Dad (outside of being Rumbata's actual dad).
  • Missing Mom: Rumen's mother died before the show's beginning and only shows up in flashbacks.
  • Mistaken for Thief: When he tries to sneak into Titan's house at night to return his stolen tablet, Assen stumbles upon two patrolling policemen on the way out. Seeing the tablet power cord hanging out of his shorts' pocket, they assume he is the thief. While he technically was involved in the theft, this time he is trying to make up for it.
  • The Missus and the Ex: In a male example, shortly after Ralitsa and Bobby get together, Bobby is confronted with Ralitsa's ex boyfriend, who also happens to be a member of one of the rival teams in the football tournament.
  • Multi-Character Title: Three of the four main protagonists are featured in the title - the "I" refers to the Titan.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: In the official trailer, it seems as if The Titan is the team's goalkeeper from the start. He actually starts out as the team manager.
  • Nerd Glasses: The Titan wears them. Not too often, though, so he's clearly far from Blind Without Them.
  • Nobody Can Die: In the penultimate episode, Titan's grandfather Dimitar Sr. has a heart attack and the possibility of him dying is actually discussed, but he turns out fine at the end.
  • Old Soldier: Dimitar Sr. was in the military in his youth and helps Titan investigate about the construction work at their playing field.
  • Once per Episode: The theme song plays during a climactic scene in each episode, sometimes even more than once per episode.
  • Opposing Sports Team: Yanko's Sharks in the big tournament. They play against The Titans twice, in the first and last game of the tournament.
  • Oral Fixation: During the boys' confrontation with Sabi, Rumbata menacingly chews on a blade of straw.
  • Papa Wolf: Dimitar Sr. to Raina. When her soon-to-be ex-husband Anatoli shows up unannounced to Titan's birthday, makes the boy cry and visibly distresses Raina, her father threatens to dust off his old rifle if Anatoli doesn't leave.
  • Parent-Child Team: In the penultimate episode, all the main kids' parents come together to support their children's protest. Bobby's father Ivan especially comes through at the very end.
  • Parental Bonus: When Titan expresses his worry that his parents might be getting a divorse, Ronaldo tells him that his own parents, too, often fight and threaten divorce, but always "make up in the bedroom".
  • Parents as People: Raina goes through a separation (not yet officially divorced) from her husband, uproots her kids from Sofia and moves in with her parents, starting a new life. She has to deal with her husband's enormous debts towards the end of the series. Vassil is drowning his sorrows and neglecting his son after his wife's death and his Career-Ending Injury, but manages to recover and becomes the boys' coach. Ivan deals with past trauma, career setbacks and becoming a victim of Dobrev's Corrupt Politician antics.
  • The Philosopher: Wild man Alexander tends to be this.
  • Phoneaholic Teenager: Although a pre-teen (turns 11 in the series) and not a teen, The Titan is portrayed as this in the first couple of episodes especially, being very distressed after his tablet is stolen by two Romani boys. The involvement with the football team and saving the playing field helps him get over this in later episodes.
  • Physical Fitness Punishment: As coach of the boys' team, Vassil often makes them run laps or do push-ups and sit-ups. A memorable moment happens in the penultimate episode, when the girls watch their training from the sidelines, so, naturally, Rumbata and Bobby haven't quite got their heads in the game. Vassil immediately makes them do push-ups.
  • Police Are Useless: At least according to Titan, they are, when it comes to finding his stolen tablet. That is why he downloads a tracking app and tracks the tablet down himself, introducing himself to Assen properly in the process.
    Yeah, right, the police. In six months, they'll send a text that it hasn't been found, and that will be it.
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: In the first episode, Titan calls his grandfather out for ruining his live stream by walking by with a large knife on his way to get a chicken for a special welcome dinner. Titan worries about how any vegans among his followers might react to that.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Several of the boys use racial slurs to refer to Assen in the first couple of episodes before they get to know him. However, as soon as he joins the team, that's over.
  • Pop-Up Texting: Occasionally used.
  • Poster-Gallery Bedroom: Rumbata and Bobby both have many football-themed posters in their bedrooms. They are also both sons of former professionals, as well as the only two members of the team for whom football truly is everything.
  • Previously On…/ On the Next: The series employs these in every episode.
  • Puppy Love: Ralitsa and her friend Dessi get a lot of Ship Tease with Bobby and Rumbata, even forming a Love Dodecahedron at one point.
  • Racist Grandma: In the first episode, Titan and Ralitsa call our their grandmother for calling Assen and his family racial slurs and perpetuating stereotypes about them.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: In the final episode, the team's official uniforms are hot pink.
  • Refusal of the Call: In episode 5, when the boys need Titan to be goalkeeper in their upcoming game, his reaction is the following.
    Titan [walking away]: No way! Not happening. No.
  • Retcon: In the first half of the series, Rumbata has a crush on Ralitsa and as such is in a Love Triangle with her and Bobby. Towards the middle of the series, his interest suddenly shifts to her friend Desi.
    • It actually doesn't really come out of nowhere. In episode 3, he has to kiss Desi in a game of Spin the Bottle. They don't go through with it (not in front of the others, at least), but Rumbata ends up walking Desi home and the rest is history.
  • Reverse Mole: In episode 3, Ronaldo goes back to Sabi, acting like befriending the boys was a mistake, and pretends like he wants to assist him in another robbery, this time at Stoyan's. Little does Sabi know that it's a setup and the boys have installed a camera to catch Sabi in the act and make him stop abusing Ronaldo.
  • Rewatch Bonus: A brief scene in episode 2 that is easy to overlook and not very memorable at first sight shows what is later revealed to be the night Vassil and Ivan ended up crashing their car. It's clear to see that Vassil was not the one driving, and that Ivan was very drunk.
  • Roguish Romani: Assen is forced into this trope by his older "friend" Sabi, who certainly lives up to nearly every stereotype Bulgarians have about Romani.
  • Romantic False Lead: Ralitsa's first boyfriend, who posts something rude about her online (it's never specified what it is exactly).
  • Running Over The Plot: Downplayed. The plot kicks off with Ronaldo pretending to get hit by the car in which Titan's family is arriving into town.
  • Salt and Pepper: Titan and Ronaldo are best friends from different ethnical backgrounds and opposing personalities.
  • Self-Applied Nickname: "Titan" is this. He introduces himself using this nickname along with his actual name, and most characters actually call him that, with the exception of his family.
  • Self-Serving Memory: Ivan's memory of the accident. He believes it's Vassil's fault until his wife tells him how it really happened.
    Ivan [about Vassil]: You, as a concerned parent, can't allow your son to be trained by an alcoholic loser who ruined my career!
    His wife: He saved your family.
  • Simple-Minded Wisdom: Ronaldo has a lot of this, being less book-smart than his friend Titan, but wise nonetheless.
  • Skyward Scream: Titan's reaction to his tablet being stolen in the first episode.
  • Snooping Little Kid: Titan and Ronaldo in episode 4, infiltrating town hall with Dimitar Sr.'s help to find out who is behind the Community-Threatening Construction.
  • Spiritual Successor: To War of the Hedgehogs, a 1979 book, and its mini-series adaptation. In the book, a group of basketball-playing boys fight for their right to a playing field and win. Producer Evtim Miloshev admits to drawing inspiration from this classical story for his mini-series.
  • Sports Dad: Inverted with Ivan and Vassil - they're actually not very happy, at least at first, about their sons playing football, since they had a bad experience with it themselves.
  • Talker and Doer: Titan and Ronaldo, especially in the first two episodes. Seeing Assen's undeniable talent for football, Titan dubs him "Ronaldo" (as in Cristiano) and becomes his manager, "selling" him to the team who are still bigoted against him because he is a Romani and personally known for stealing. Titan sticks by his new friends through it all and manages to convince the boys to accept Ronaldo.
  • The Team Benefactor: Wild man Alexander acts as this in the penultimate episode, giving the treasure money to Vassil to use for the team. Vassil in turn gives the money to Ivan who uses it to participate in the open tender and get the old football field back for the boys to train on.
  • Team Hand-Stack: The boys do this before their game against the varsity team, and again after their first game in the final tournament.
  • Team Spirit: After a pep-talk from Titan during half-time of the episode 2 game, Bobby passes the ball to Rumbata for the first time and the team finally scores their first goal. This teaches them that the only way to win is to play as a team.
  • Technician vs. Performer: The Titans are the Performers to the varsity team and Yanko's Sharks' Technicians. They've had less training time than either of those teams since they've had to fight for their football field for most of the series, but it is precisely this struggle that has made them into a real team who play as one, guided by their hearts. As such, they manage to come out on top despite being less technically advanced.
  • Throat-Slitting Gesture: In the penultimate episode, during a confrontation with a rival team at the tournament inscription-table, Ronaldo does this at the team captain, who also happens to be Ralitsa's (now ex-) boyfriend.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Assen's parents are like this. His father is tall, but on the lean side, while his mother has a more imposing figure.
  • Treasure Map: The Titan's grandfather shows him one. The boy thinks he is lying about the treasure at first, but later, in the sixth episode, recruits Ronaldo and Rumbata to help him find it when they need money to save their football field.
  • Turn Out Like His Father: Ivan isn't happy with Bobby wanting to pursue a career in football due to his own football-related trauma in the past.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Ralitsa and Dessi to the cast of boys. The adult cast are more even.
  • Unconventional Vehicle Chase: In episode 6, Titan, Rumbata and Ronaldo go into the woods looking for a treasure. Two treasure-hunters chase after them. The boys end up "borrowing" a horse and buggy from a random Romani in order to escape. They later have to abandon the horse and buggy, leaving their backpack as a decoy.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Between Vassil and Raina, who are implied to be each other's New Old Flame.
  • Useless Bystander Parent: Assen's parents don't seem to know or care that their son is being bullied into stealing by Sabi. His friends deal with that on their own.
  • Vague Age: Rumbata, Bobby, Stoyan and Gencho are supposed to be in their early teens, a couple of years older than Titan and Ronaldo (who are presumed to be about the same age), but their ages are never specified.
  • Villainous Face Hold: In episode 5, Dobrev does this as he demands from Sevda to tell him who asked her to sneak classified information out. He threatens to fire her unless she rats Dimitar Sr. out to him.
  • Walk and Talk: There are a lot of scenes like this, usually with Rumbata and his father walking home after training or one of the boys walking a girl home.
  • Waving Signs Around: In the penultimate episode, the children organise a protest in front of the town hall complete with signs they make themselves and the Titan acting as a Slogan-Yelling Megaphone Guy.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Rumbata has one instance of this: in episode 5, as his father is explaining the game tactics to the team, he gives an example from football history and asks Rumbata to complete it. When Vassil says his answer is correct, Rumbata's face lighs up with a goofy smile.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In episode 1, a younger boy is seen playing with the team in a friendly game against another local team. As soon as they start assembling an actual team for the tournament, he is never seen again, as Ronaldo replaces him as the fifth member.
  • Whoopi Epiphany Speech: In episode 4, after Bobby finds out his father's company is the one doing construction over their training space, Ronaldo visits him at home and tells him they're Not So Different after all (despite one being a poor Token Minority and the other a rich white boy) - Bobby has nothing to do with his father's company, and Ronaldo did not choose to be a... "you know" (in his own words).
  • With Friends Like These...: Especially in early episodes, it takes very little for Bobby and Rumbata to start yelling insults at each other before storming off in opposite directions, and yet they're supposed to be best friends. They get better.
  • Wolves Always Howl at the Moon: In episode 2, while Titan and Ronaldo are stuck in the woods after dark, they discuss the potential presence of wolves there. A few moments later, the full moon is shown - cue the howling noises.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: In the first episode, Assen is forced to do this by an older Romani boy, Sabi, pretending to get hit by The Titan's mother's car so Sabi can rob it. His not-so-smooth execution of the plan (the car stops right in front of him, and then he throws himself at it) is Played for Laughs. The Titan's tablet is stolen in the process, but not much else.
    • In the final game against Yanko's Sharks, Bobby is advised to do this by wild man Alexander. He gets mildly injured, but plays up his pain to throw the Sharks off.
  • You Are Grounded: In episode 4, after Bobby finds out his father has a part in the Community-Threatening Construction going on, they have a falling out and Bobby ends up grounded. He is soon released, though, after Ivan finally tells him about his career in football.
  • Your Worst Memory: The accident is this for Vassil, who first sees it in a nightmare in episode 2.

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