Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What game?

The tension in Catalonia is almost palpable. I don’t know how many people are actually playing in the game this evening in Rome, but from the way that people are ac ting you would think that half the population were about the don the two coloured jersey and put their sporting reputations on the line.

I have been tricked into giving a prediction for the end result (1-1 and Barça win 5-4 on penalties) which I thought was merely a gesture, but which turns out to involve money. This is one of the things that you learn to avoid in the future, but you have to pay the price for in the present!

The kids are all hyper of course and I sincerely dread to think what they are going to be like win or lose tomorrow. Teaching is going to be a nightmare – and I’ve lost a free period when I will be covering the class of a science colleague teaching the dangers of alcohol abuse (sic.)

I still haven’t written the exam papers that I should have and I don’t think that there is much change of my doing it this evening.

I returned to the flat to find the area around the television bedecked with Barça flags and memorabilia and a Barça shirt lying over a chair. The Moreneta (the Madonna from Montserrat) has been given a good shake and pressed into service to bring whatever luck she can placed next to a Barça hat while the musical box which contained a Barça box has been opened so it can play its tinny version of the Barça anthem. I think that we have nailed our support colours to the mast. Sorry Manchester!

Even I am getting tense as we wait for the game to start! As is usual here the game has taken on a significance far in excess of the sporting meaning that would have been evident if Real Madrid had been the representative of Spain.

Barça is a club (or more than a club if you read their world famous motto) that prides itself that it is owned by its members. Its sporting tentacles reach into a vast number of sports and its place in the hearts of Catalans is secure. It will be interesting to see how many (if any) ‘Catalonia is not Spain’ banners are in evidence this evening.

The teams have just been announced and Barça has positioned itself to play its usual attacking game while Manchester seems to be relying on The Arrogant One as its sole striker with players like Rooney playing in semi-defence. Fergusson said that he learned a lot from the last defeat that he suffered from the hands of Barça and that probably means that he is going for defence. Personally I think that Manchester’s apparent tactics seem quite sensible to me and they could steal the match by relying on Barça’s notoriously wayward defence to allow them to sneak a goal.

But, there again, what the hell do I know about football? Reading through the preceding I can find no authentic trace of my voice in these concerns!

I better go out and buy a flag!
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