Spain Won UEFA EURO, Again

It was the red versus the blue, the Horde against the Alliance.  I wasn’t too sure about the outcome.  Spain could not beat Italy in the quarter-final.  Spain had to go into penalty shootout against Portugal in the semi-final.  I began to have my duda: Can Spain score at all with this new formation?

Image courtesy of UEFA official website

Cynthia and I are happy with the results of course.  We have plenty of Spanish and Spanish learning friends in Singapore.  We have visited Spain twice.   Photographs of last year’s visit are still … in process but you can view the pictures taken on our 2009 trip here.  We practically love everything Spanish.  Perhaps, just perhaps, I may finally get Cynthia into watching Formula One now that the Spanish fever is burning higher than ever.

It was just last weekend when Spanish F1 driver Fernando Alonso won the European race that took place in Valencia, Spain.  At the end of the race, he was meant to cruise to the podium.  Instead, Alonso stopped his Ferrari at the grandstand, with a Spanish flag on his hands, and he paid tribute to the Spanish fans.  Such emotion he was in, it was as though he has won the Championship (which is still a long way to go).  Alonso is a big fan of Spanish football.  I bet he is delighted about the UEFA win.  With the economy black hole Spain is in today, her people could really use some good news.

Some say Spanish football is boring.  Some say watching Formula One is boring.  For some strange reasons, I find either very exciting to watch.  I enjoy seeing how the Spanish football team set up the attack by slowly inching towards the goal through their accurate passing.  There is great teamwork involved and the Spanish team has sufficient star power as well.  To me, the experience of watching football and F1 is similar.  Both take one and a half hour to watch.  The first 5 minutes of a football match is as exciting as the opening laps of a F1 race.  Thereafter, the pace settles down.  Draw in a match to me is like a pole-to-podium-finish in a race.  There ain’t many goals in a typical football match.  Just like F1, there are only one or a few overtakes that truly matter.

Four years ago when Spain won UEFA, I doodled a picture of Torres.  And we enrolled ourselves into a Spanish class shortly after.  This year, I will be doing neither.  Cynthia is still practicing her Spanish.  In fact, her blog entry on this very topic written in Spanish is published faster than mine!  As for me, I will stick with my Spanish guitar.  She needs some love.

So Cynthia’s Going to Learn Spanish (Working Title: So Spain Has Won the EURO 2008 Eh?)

My [male] bimboic approach to football tournament – no offence to the fans out there – is more like watching the American Idol.  And hence, my only contribution to the blogosphere (if you can call it one) is my quick drawing of one fine Spanish player who scored the golden goal.  Spain has won the UEFA Cup first time in 44 years, so I read.  44 years is a long time.  I for sure am much younger than that.  Ha!

Before I met Cynthia, who is one football fanatic, I seldom watch football matches on TV.  I can’t remember the name of this dude whom I’ve met in an International school back in the UK, when I was 17.  I think he is an Malaysian and on his wall, he had this huge tournament chart that tracked the World Cup progress.  What a hardcore fanatics he was.  Not only that, he had a large collection of magazines and I remember there was a ring binder – from a magazine publisher I suppose – that contained some of the finest moments in the soccer history in forms of illustration and writing.  I guess that was what people did prior to the advent of Internet, filing contents month after month.  My friend would show me all the wonderful passes from the world famous sorcerers using the materials inside this ring binder of his.  Pele, he pointed out, is a legend and here is why.  I have not met anyone that passionate about football until I met Cynthia.

She is really one of the kind.  And because of her, I found that watching football matches can be entertaining.  For the past couple of world tournaments, I have religiously watched every single match live, even more so than Cynthia.

This year, because no one talks about football in my work place, I can afford to watch some of the recorded matches during the sane hours.  Still, we took leave and watched the final match live.  Cynthia joked that she would pick up either Spanish or German as a new language depending on the outcome of the UEFA Cup final.  I guess it is going to be Spanish then.  And ya, we love the music played whenever there was a goal.  Both of us would jump out of the sofa, hands waving in the air – that is if the goal is not against the team we support.

PS. Interestingly, I have also equated watching the football tournaments to the American Idol back in the Word Cup 2006.

Don’t we all speak … football?

Over this couple of weeks of World Cup fever, I have come across people whom I have met but not talked to in random occasions and out of nowhere, they would start dumping their soccer related opinions to me and without really listening to what I have to offer in return, they would disappear back into their own worlds and literally disappeared. Today’s occasion was different.

I don’t even know this gentleman’s name. He has won some long service award of 25 or 30 years, worked in the same department as me, but I have not talk to him for the 3 years of so of my employment in the very same department. I blame it on the age gap. Anyway, today I bumped onto him in the restroom and all of a sudden, at the washing basin, he looked at me in this radiance smile and a level of energy that I have never discovered from our brief encounters over the years. He spoke and talked about the World Cup final. I threw in a few insights – after all, I was an avid audience of the World Cup tournament – and that triggered him into an even livelier speech on the controversy that happened during the final.

Towards the end of the conversation, or rather his long speech (as I seldom interjected, just offering insights), I gently pointed out to him that it is the same referee who sent off Rooney (of course we were in topic of the send-off of Zindane). Rather than just taking my words for it, he silenced for a moment, pondered, then exclaimed, “Yes, the Argentine!”. And I saw that he suddenly saw me in a different light, felt that he has discovered something important, and disappeared back into his own world … and again, literally disappeared.

Don’t we all speak “football”?

A Birthday Treat – World Cup Final

One of my best friend once complimented my passion I find in life. That’s true. Once I find a new passion, I hook onto it, savor it, and persist all the way through. I am not a big fan of football. My father supports Brazil and I simply follow the World Cup – especially my father’s favorite team – ever since I was young.

I have not quite watched the World Cup like I did this year. I have nearly watched each and every matches. It was almost like an obsession. I wanted to know every team, all the players, how they played, how they progressed, and what their strategies were like. And matches after matches, I was thoroughly entertained. It was like the whole season of American Idol cramped into a month. The problem, of course, is that I am now living in the European time zone instead (time now is three in the morning).