true faith – THE WORLD CUP / REAL SPAIN

by • June 29, 2014 • Blog español, tf blogsComments (5)750

Well Spain the holders are now back home after surviving a scare when their plane was hitTinoMaradonna by lightening on its decent into Madrid-Barajas airport last week. Nevertheless despite their early exit the World Cup is still continuing to entertain but to be honest I’m finding it difficult to catch as many games as I would like to. This is down to two reasons one being work commitments and the other is that Spanish terrestrial TV is only screening one game per day, the others games you have to pay for by subscribing to one of the satellite companies over here. What I have seen of the tournament though I have been well impressed, mostly by the contribution of the South American teams and not the usual suspects of Argentina and Brazil.

Chile and Columbia have been like a breath of fresh air but I was also impressed with the Colombianfanscontribution of Ecuador, even though they went out in the group stages. I watched their last group game, versus France, in a local Ecuadorian bar in Caravaca. There are lots of Ecuadorians and Bolivians in Spain and for me they get a bit of a raw deal from the Spanish. I view these people as hard working and admire the way that they seem to look after one another thousands of miles away from home. I have to say I got some funny looks when I entered their bar and took may place in front of the big screen, I’m about six foot and fair, very different from your average indigenous Ecuadorian, but I enjoyed the experience and was disappointed to see them only secure a draw against the French which meant that Switzerland went through in their place.

Also in the last round of group games I was disappointed for the Chileans when they were beaten, 2-0, by what looks like a formidable Dutch team in Group B. This meant that Chile would face hosts Brazil in the quarter finals. I managed to see this game and again I was again impressed with Chile, as they pushed the Brazilians to the line only to eventually lose 3-2 on penalties. I have to say though that their penalty taking was woeful and that they missed out on the chance to cause a major shock at this tournament through it.

Columbia for me have been the team of the tournament so far and their Monaco star James (pronounced Ham-ez) Rodriguez one of the players of the tournament. They were paired with the Luis Suarez-less Uruguay in the last sixteen. Lots has been written about the Suarez biting incident and I don’t really want to add much more other than to say the lad obviously has issues that need to be sorted. It’s hard for us in Europe to try and understand the South American psyche and to get our heads around some of the poverty that these lads come from and end up being thrust into the limelight with its abundance of riches. The best article I’ve read on Suarez is here.http://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/columnists/donal-og-cusack/donal-og-cusack-suarez-is-just-another-crazy-mixed-up-kid-not-a-bad-person-273535.html

Columbia swept Uruguay aside with ease in a 2-0 victory which included a wonder goal from James and out at the game was old United favourite Tino Asprilla. Tino is in Brazil working for TV just like Argentinian legend Diego Maradona and a great photo of the pair has appeared on Twitter. I have to admit I really like Maradona and if you want to get an insight into the man I suggest you watch the documentary/movie Maradona by Kusturica.

In his role as a presenter for a Venezuelan TV channel he has been working himself in his
usual way with FIFA and the Argentinian FA. He left the game early against Iran missing the winner from Messi and the president of the Argentinian FA, Julio Humberto Grondona said that Maradonna was a jinx. Maradonna responded by saying that he had worked for everything that he had as opposed to 82 year old Grondona who he accused of getting on through cronyism and favours from FIFA and endedby giving him the finger sign, watch it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5-YpFRzF3s

He has also appeared on TV with a t-shirt in favour of Suarez saying that he is being victimised by FIFA in a similar way in which he was during his playing days. All good fun and adds to the entertainment and my opinion.

Adios until next time ,

Tony Higgins 

 

 

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5 Responses to true faith – THE WORLD CUP / REAL SPAIN

  1. Vin Crockwell says:

    It appeared to be very low key in Spain as I was there for two weeks prior to the World Cup finals and I didn’t see ant Spanish flags or any advertising in any of the bars. Mind you I was in Galicia, Asturia and Cantabria so maybe they aren’t that patriotic, a bit like us Geordies. I was lucky because the first Saturday we were in Spain La Coruna had a game at home to secure promotion and we spent from 1pm to 7pm sat outside The Riazor having a drink with the locals. It was great to actually enjoy a football experience after 7 years of Ashley. Mind you between 7pm and 9pm there were hardly any bars open as they all must have been at the match or at least watching it.

    The following Saturday we were in Gijon who secured their place off place but they eventually lost in those play offs. I couldn’t get too involved as they play in red and white stripes.

    • Tony Higgins says:

      Thanks for the feedback Vin! When it comes to WC/Eurios Spain in my experience is very different to England . You don’t see many flags from windows or on cars, not in my neck of the woods anyway. The Spanish flag is still seen by some people as repressive and done of the people I’ve been going to football with this season would never touch it, preferring the Spanish 2nd republic flag. Up in the north you have 2 strong nationalist independence movements in the Basque Country and Galicia , in the north I think they have a much more English fan culture than in the south. Keep following the blogs mate which now feature in the main fanzine.

      • Vin Crockwell says:

        Will do Tony. I am hoping to retire to Spain but I’m not quite sure where yet. Wor lass doesn’t cope well with the heat so I think North West Spain looks the favourite. Plus the food is better and I sitting watching the Holland/Mexico supping Estrella Galicia. One of the best lagers I have ever tasted although normally I am a real ale man.

  2. Guy HW says:

    Another excellent blog Tony. I’ve been greatly enterained by the apporach of Colombia and Chile and wishing the S.Amercian teams outside the big 3 to do well, and bar Unlucky Ecuador, they have. I think Columbia could well beat Brazil and a realistic punt for the Cup itself.

    I’ve kicked around the issue of Suarez and trying to understand the Latin American angle. I cant excuse what suarez did and he’s an idiot to get caught biting (thats biting not late tackling someone) a 3RD time, and this on the biggest stage of them all. I do think the 9 game (Int) and 4 month ban is harsh though. De Jong didnt even get a card for stamping on Alonso in ’10….whats worse?? There does seem a real difference in culture between LA and Eur and that does rankle with LA who will remember Ramseys “animals” quote in ’66 and the hostility towards Maradona during Italia ’90, particularly in Milan. However, I’m not sure how much Uruguay tried to use this to create a them and us mentality.

    As someone who’s never been to LA but is desperate to go at some stage, it’s something I’d like to understand more about.

    Anyway, cracking WC, and currently Mexico are on course to provide another WC shock.

    • Tony Hoggins says:

      Hi Guy yeah great WC not getting to see as much as I’d like due to work but never mind. I’m no way condoning what Suarez did but I think the article I linked sums the situation perfectly. I’d love to go to LA too , I’ve never been. Keep enjoying the football mate , speak soon

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