Time for Africa

I´m not a big fan of football. If I have to watch a game I watch it, but I usually end up bored and talking to the person seating next to me. I simply like to be informed about the match result.

This season I’ve been to San Mames to see my first live game of the Athletic. They played against Atlético de Madrid and they won 1-0. I enjoyed it, although it is something that I wouldn´t repeat every 15 days. Before attending to this game, I had visited the Catedral several times to watch the matches of the selection of Euskadi, but I enjoyed them more because of the social atmosphere than because of the football.

However, whenever there are World Cups and Euro Cups I suffer a transformation, because these competitions really capture all my attention. I like them because they are over in three or four weeks so you get to know fast who is the winner. Besides, after the group stage finishes, the knockout stage begins and this phase adds a lot of excitement to the game. I enjoy knowing that, at the end of the match, one of them will return back home.

I recently read, in ‘El Pais Semanal’ magazine, an article by Javier Marias, in which the writer explained that whenever he watches a match, no matter who is playing, he has to take one side, because if he doesn´t he feels bored. I understand the feeling. In every World Cup and Euro Cup I have my favourite, but if the one that I´ve chosen is eliminated I pick another one.

My first choice is always to support Spain. I fell in love with the Spanish team during the USA World Cup in 94, when an Italian player broke the nose of Luis Enrique. At that time, I was 10 and the indignation of the moment is still stuck in my memory. Until the Euro Cup 2008 you needed to be a bit brave to say that you were a follower of Spain –or “la Roja”, which is a synonym for the Spanish selection, even if some people don´t think so-. It always seemed that they were going to win something, but they were always eliminated during the first rounds. The situation was similar to the Eurovision Song Contest where, year after year, they say that Spain will achieve a decent position, but that just never happens.

The Euro Cup 2008 was a turning point. Finally, we won. And we couldn´t even believe that it was happening. I was in Ireland during the competition, and I felt very lucky, because I could watch the matches surrounded by people from different countries.

Now I’m watching the South African World Cup 2010, and whatever happens with Spain, I am totally enjoying it.



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