… writes Paul Cannon over at Fox. Indeed, he says,
from the pine forests of Catalunya to the wild and rugged coasts of Galicia, from the volcanic plateaus of the Canary Islands to the windswept bays of the Basque Country and from the sun-baked wastes of Extremadura to the Spaghetti Western scrubs of Almeria, Spanish people have about as much belief in their football team as an atheist does in God.
For, despite a glorious history of European club success for Real Madrid and Barcelona, in 64 years worth of World Cups and European Championships, Spain is yet to win a thing. A handful of Iberian lads may have carved up entire empires and civilizations in the days of the conquistadors, but these days Spain has as much success on the international scene as an Uzbekistani prog-rock band.
This is the kind of thing Fox shouldn’t get wrong, because in 1964 Spain did actually win the second edition of the Nations Cup, the predecessor of the European championship, and caused a political as well as a footballing sensation in so doing. Watched by Franco, they beat the Soviet Union 2-1 in the final in the Bernabéu stadium, having been withdrawn four years earlier rather than get kicked around by the Commies.
(Someone once told me that British anarcho-nitwit Stuart Christie had planned to murder Franco during the final, but the match was in June and Christie says that his attack was to have taken place in August.)
- El Barça, Franco’s favourite team?
There is no statistical evidence for claims that the Franco government worked for Real Madrid and against Barça.
- A sophist etymology of “Isle of Dogs”
Like the wharf, it comes from the Canaries. Not.
- Why I’m blogging less
It’s not just because no one comments.
- worrying is wonderful
Over at Iberian Notes (2003/10/16 15:15), John Chappell is worried because La Vanguardia keeps plugging the notion that Americans are …
- Candlesticks into trumpets
I once saw a pocket trumpet miraculously transformed by a car into something vaguely resembling a plate, but back in 1753