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Posts Tagged ‘Euro2008’

Google.es

The search engine’s Spanish domain shows its support with its logo today including Fernando Torres, the author of the winning goal in yesterday’s final.

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Thank you

Spain are European champions… I know it might seem silly to make it too dramatic, it’s just football, but… after 44 years since Franco, a vicious dictator, for Spaniards across the world it turns a page of our history. Our first democratic football title. It’s a great success. Our team has shown great determination, brilliance, projected its people’s strength… Spain in 30 years has worked itself, step by step, to a developed country, an EU country, a NATO country, a respected country. For all of us abroad, though we can’t celebrate with our fellow countrymen, we are happy, proud and just wished we could shout beyond rooftops, we are proud of our football national team and certainly proud of a country that has proven endurance beyond belief. Thank you to our national team, although we are away from home…WE ARE PROUD TO BE SPANISH! and thank you from the depth of our hearts to all those Britons that have share our enthusiasm, our illusion and our passion to see Spain all the way through.

P.S.: Antonio Puerta, we remember you… RIP.

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The perfect day

So as Spain yesterday made it to a Eurocup final for the first time in 24 years, that wasn’t the only good day for Spaniards. Spanish workers also woke up this morning to their summer bonuses and the 200 euro rebate promised by Zapatero to alleviate the economic slow-down. Pretty good day in Spain today I say.

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Nationalism and football

In the UK is well known the friendly rivalry between Scottish and English football fans. In the last World Cup the Trinity and Tobago T-shirt was the most sold in Scotland showing the Scots preference for the Caribbean team over their fellow Britons. In Spain a similar case happens with some nationalists in Catalonia and the Basque Country (in the graph named Euskadi). Both Spanish regions have asked for a national team of their own but never been awarded one. Yesterday, Inigo Urkullu, the Basque Nationalist Party leader told the media he will be supporting Russia over Spain in today’s match.

So over at La Moqueta Verde they have done an experiment. They have linked a poll on how proud of being Spanish people from different regions felt and the audience levels from the past Italy-Spain match according to regions as well. And they found a strong positive correlation between both variables. Is football the ultimate determinant of nationalist allegiance in Europe?

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Back from Kent, great weekend, I’ll definitely be blogging about it tomorrow, but meanwhile Spain has broken the quarter-finals spell and booked themselves a place in the semifinals. It was a heart-stopping experience because of our history with Italy (88 years since we’ve beaten them in an official match). But we certainly deserved this win, we were better throughout most of the game. Special mention must go to Casillas. He was spot on throughout the entire match, couple of match-saving saves and then… the penalties when he was inmense! We shall make you proud England..Great weekend I say!

P.S.: Guess Grauniad readers got it awfully wrong this time…should’ve gone for their second choice 😉

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In El Pais today there’s an interesting article on Euro 2008 and European demographics. If we look at the teams participating in this tournament we can claim that probably this is the most representative tournament ever:

– 4 historic block of nations: the Latin world (Portugal, France, Italy and Spain)- 170 mill. people and GDP per capita at 20,000; the Germanic (Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Austria and Switzerland)- 130 mill and 30,000.; the Slavic (Czech Republic, Russia, Poland, Croatia)- 200 mill. and 10,000, and finally a post-Ottoman block (Turkey, Greece and Romania)- 110 mill and 10,000.

– In religious numbers: Catholicism goes first with 250 mill. followers, Orthodox Christians follow with over 100 mill.; Islam is next with roughly 75 mill. between Turks and Muslims across other European countries (mainly France and Germany) and finally the Protestants with 70 mill.

– Linguistically speaking: Russian dominates with 150 mill. speakers, German with 100 mill. (Germany, Austria and Switzerland), Turkish with 70 mill. comes third, then French with 65 mill. (France, Belgium and Switzerland); Italian follows with 60 mill. (Italy, Switzerland) and finally with roughly 40 mill. stand both Spanish and Polish.

– Finally the negative side of Euro 2008, the racial diversity on the pitch isn’t replicated on the stands, roughly 90% of fans attending the championship will be white.

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Under the leadership of the key man of the first Clockwork Orange, Marco Van Basten, the Dutch national team is playing by far the best football I’ve seen so far in three days of competition. The second goal by Wesley Sneijder was a great counterattack and passing combination. Van Nilstelrooy is moving fast between lines (what happened in that last chance though Ruud?) and the midfield is pressuring the Italians early on to avoid any threats from Toni inside the area from high balls.

Germany and Portugal obviously played great football as well, but they don’t have Hollands hunger for the goal I’ve seen in the first half.

Oh! and by the way, don’t know if you noticed but right after Sneijder scored he went straight to Van Nilstelrooy and together by the hands went to celebrate with Arjen Robben in the bench. The strong relationship built up in the Real Madrid changing room is clearly showing beyond club football, which is great news for the team to become a leading player in European football next season. And all the team players are displaying great football- Pepe, Van Nilstelrooy, Sneijder, Cristiano Ronaldo? :). But enough on Real Madrid.

Obviously tomorrow, tea time, Spain kicks off its group stages. Bit worried really about the Russians which finished their competition in March (besides Zenit obviously) and will be less tired, plus they play some good football up front. But all ready to go, I leave you with a small relic from the Spain World Cup 1982, Naranjito (‘Little Orange’), its official mascot.

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