I think it was my nervousness, but before the clash I remembered Javier Clemente and that Euro 1996, also on British soil, which beautifully portrayed the collective schizophrenia that testicle football was causing in this Spain of mine, this Spain of ours. That’s how it works, I suppose, the collective memory of a sport from which the female credentials were almost stolen by decree, only recently freed from a bisoja conception of the show that has cornered women in amateurism and anecdotes.
At the gates of the Amex stadium, a simple but noisy delegation waited for the Spanish footballers. The first to get off the bus was José Luis Rubiales, or someone who looked a lot like him, because if we’ve learned anything from the top-grossing spy movies, it’s not a given to take. The coaching staff followed between somewhat faint patriotic chants, like restrained anticipation that turned to pure passion as the protagonists began to tread the floor on their way to the dressing rooms.
“We will support them no matter what,” Rubiales told public television as our team worked up a sweat on the pitch, concentrating on a warm-up session that ended in a collective riot, understood in the concept of riot as a show of enthusiasm and Ambition. : the necessary counterbalance to the condescension that distills the words of the President of the RFEF. The federal tokens of support when translated into pesetas – to continue with the old references – will always be welcome. The rest, especially this kind of paternalistic declarations, only spoils the idea that there is still a long way to go.
The level of requirement increased by itself as soon as the fight started: neither fear of the rival nor respect for the most well-known English traditions such as extreme punctuality. Esther González kicked off center and ahead of time while all of her teammates knelt on the floor and the crowd started the countdown: first warning of their evil intentions, fang so sharp it could have nibbled the ball and no one would have her accused. Minutes earlier, while “God save the Queen” was thundering in the stands, Aitana Bonmatí raised her hand to attract the attention of her teammates or to thank the honorable man, both options seemed plausible to me.
“Some things once done can’t be undone,” said David Carradine in Kill Bill. And with that mentality, Spain was planted in Brighton, ready to make history and avoid the ‘it will be another time, you are champions in our hearts’ those things coming. He gave no wrinkles, he showed play and personality until he got the English in a bind into questioning their own favouritism, but he lost. “TVE is the home of competitions and this week starts Cazadores,” the announcer announced suddenly. Lo and behold, to me, this modern obsession with mistimed advertising seemed like a firm commitment to equality.
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