It’s the space of the only display of passion and emotion that the average German will ever show. Soccer might, in fact, be the singular instance where a German acts like a passionate Southerner. For example, like a Spaniard.
The average passionate, explosive, easily emotional Spaniard doesn’t change fundamentally when it comes to soccer, on the other hand. There’s just an increase of all these qualities, to a point of religious dimensions.
Throughout the European Championship tournament, Ngf and I managed to lead a happy binational relationship life with only marginal limitations. Fine, the apartment is split in two sides. The kitchen and half the bath is German territory, the other half of the bath and the bedroom are Spanish. When German lost, there was nothing for dinner. When Spain lost, I had to sleep out on the balcony (well, almost…)
Neither Ngf nor I expected Spain and Germany to play against each other because the soonest possible option for that was, well, the finale. Ngf expected her team to be out after the quarter finals “since that always happens to the Spanish team”. I fully expected the Germans to go out against Portugal after the mixed games they delivered during the pre-round.
Today, with the European Championship ending in a finale between Spain and Germany, Ngf and I needed to come up with a strategy that will not end in a divorce.
So we’ve decided that both teams are “our” teams and that, like in a loving family, we’ll identify with both sides of it. No matter who wins tonight, we’ll be celebrating and try to put German and Spanish soccer enthusiasm together.
Personally (don’t tell Ngf, though), I expect Spain to win. The team is fantastic at the moment and their game is so good to look at that it is very easy to like them. I am particularly fond of Iniesta and Güiza. Of course, despite mixed performances so far, my heart keeps beating for the German team, as well, especially for Lahm, for “The Rib” Frings, and for the possibly best defense player of them all, Mertesacker.
Actually, for Ngf and me and our particular binational mix, this is the perfect combination for a big finale. Because no matter who wins, we’ll be cheering and saying “We won!”
Enjoy the game, everyone! (well, everyone interested in soccer, that is. Report on the “Capuleti i Montecchi” broadcast from Paris to follow tomorrow…)