Today is the most important day for Spain in sports history. Today is the world cup final, and Spain is playing the Netherlands.
I’ve enjoyed following the saga of Spain’s dynamic course through the world cup on www.marca.com, Spain’s version of espn. Today marca has it’s staff working overtime, because it’s country’s heros are on the precipice of history. The lead article on marca today displays pictures of each of the 23 members of the team (above), paralleling their faces as children. The essence of the article is that when these players were boys, they dreamed of today.
Julie and I have witnessed these dreams, even in our short time here. Wherever you go, children shuffle around plaza sidewalks with soccer balls. Father’s pace alongside of 3 year olds barking instructions on how to pass, how to move, how to be the next Villa. Soccer fields are in every park, on almost every block. On my two mile morning jog through overcrowded neighborhoods, I pass at least five soccer fields. On Saturdays and Sundays, club teams pack the fields, often splitting one field into two simultaneous half field matches. Soccer is everywhere. And soccer matters. Tonight, every eye will be plastered to TV screens. This isn’t just another major sports event, like the annual superbowl in America; this is an event of the century.
Incidentally, if Spain wins, Julie and I are set to experience this history, not only in Spain, but in the epicenter of Spain’s soccer bedlam, the home of Real Madrid: Madrid city. We are thinking about watching the game in a public place, but it might be a little too “excited” for our sensibilities. We’ll see.