One week into the Euro’s but more importantly, ten days into my holiday in the sun of Spain. While I’ve been checking out the hot bods, the Spanish were beating the Cech Republic at football. I think. Shakira’s fella got the winner, I know that much.
Spain. Lovers of football
One World Cup. Three European Championships. Olympic Gold medallists. FIFA Team of the Year each year from 2008 through to 2013. A blur of movement, precision and flair. They’re so good, they somehow enjoyed 106% possession when they thumped Ireland 4-0 at Euro 2012. Well, that’s what Wikipedia told me.
At club level, the dominance is even more convincing. Eight European Cups since the turn of the millennium and with eight wins in 13 years, a commendable devotion to winning the Champions League’s less popular younger brother, the Europa League. Real Madrid have assembled teams previously only thought possible on a PlayStation while Barcelona’s devotion to home grown talent has set aesthetic standards that comparably favourably with the greatest teams in football’s history. Viva la Furia Roja!
Beer in an ice cream? Perfecto
I’m sure by now you are wondering why I have such a lady-boner for the Spanish and their love of the round ball. It’s no mystery. I am in Spain and I have wine. While the nation clearly excels at the world’s game, it’s not reflected in the social lives of the locals. In every city around the UK and Ireland pubs are heaving at around 3pm, 6pm and 9pm; it doesn’t really matter who is playing. ‘What’s that? Iceland and Hungary kick-off at 5pm? We’d better clock off work at about half two just to make sure we get a seat for this guaranteed epic’. You know the story.
Granted, the Spanish haven’t taken to the beer quite like the Irish and British, but I still expected more of a buzz and a few more locals stylishly sipping espressos while looking derisibly at other nations’ amusing attempts to play ‘football’ as I took my afternoon wander.
I walked and walked, into every single pub, restaurant, and godforsaken Heladeria (known to us as ice-cream parlour – who, in a quite frankly brilliant move, serve beer and gin – who said kids kill your social life?) and not one single one had the Euro’s on, specifically the Ireland v Sweden game – NOT ONE. I’m letting CAPS LOCK try to communicate the scale of this tumultuous shock to me.
To infinity and beyond…
In searing heat, we walked the 3km of the beach front togged out in our supporters gear looking like the muppets who actually respected the invitation to the ‘fancy dress’ party. Yes, if Spain during the Euros is a living room at a house party, we’re the only ones wearing cat suits and bunny ears.
It’s not long before I feel a gentle tug on my electric green sarong and a timid voice asking, ‘Mummy, why does no-one else look like they care about the Euros?’ I resist the urge to mutter ‘because we are bunch of f*cking mugs, young man’ in a voice reminiscent of Clint Eastwood just before he goes on a kicking ass spree and tell the young fella ‘maybe the TVs are all broken’. He gives me a look of suspicion I’ve not seen since I first told him you needed to be eating broccoli for 20 years to have any chance of being an astronaut. He’s not buying it and I’m kinda proud of him for that.
And yes, the fancy dress thing did happen to me, but it will never happen again. I’m still not quite over the shame and yes the cat suit was waaaayyyyy too fitted.
So we sat and had tapas whilst LISTENING to the game. In SPAIN. The land of winning at football. Spain, really WTF? One match at day at 9pm UNLESS it’s Spain, at which point the will show the earlier game but the 9pm one gets bumped. I haven’t been this shocked I saw the blue cross on that last pregn … whooooooppppps.
Spain – your bravas are brilliant, your paella perfect, your calamari cosmic but you seriously need to get your asses in gear when it comes to showing the sport that you so love and are SO good at.
I am therefore shunning the Euros for Mum’s bet and turning my attention to another top class event teeing off this week – The US OPEN – probably strange explaining to my girlfriends how that sends a shiver down my spine.
Me: ‘Girls – I tried this thing with my husband last night and wow … it was just sensational’
Girlfriend: ‘What was it? The Alaskan Angler? The New York Cinnamon Roll? The Colchester Car Wash?’
Me: ‘Er … no – we’ll come back to those later – I’m talking about the Miracle at Medina.’
Other girlfriend: [unimpressed] What’s that?? Is that when he puts his spring roll in … ‘
Me: ‘NOOOOO!!! It’s golf. The 2012 Ryder Cup. Europe mount a final day recovery from the brink to record the most amazing come back in the event’s history?’
Girlfriend: ‘So no-one got their nutsack out?’
Me: ‘Well I’d say Nicolas Colsaerts is a bit of a dark horse, but it wasn’t included in the DVD footage’
[blank looks all around]
Other girlfriend to girlfriend: ‘So how much cinnamon do you actually use?’
Long story short, I’m going for Martin Kaymer. He is in form and is at his best with long range putting as opposed to the smaller greens requiring more of a chip and put. Oakmont should deliver for him. Especially since Paddy Power are paying seven places at the tournament.
I’d go with Dustin Johnson to finish in the top 10 and perhaps Mr. Mickleson to finish top 5.
And my search shall continue …
- Martin Kaymer to win at
- Dustin Johnson Top 10 Finish at
- Phil Mickelson Top 5 Finish at