Alan Cuthbertson – Football Crazy-Fútbol loco

If I was asked the question “What is the most popular religion in Spain?” then my answer would be…Football. I´m not being flippant, this is how serious they take the sport. 

Their churches are the local bars, each one festooned with the pictures of Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. Most choose between Real Madrid and Barcelona and to enter one wearing the wrong shirt is something you do at your peril.

We had a friend staying with us who came down the stairs one morning wearing a Barcelona shirt. I suggested he didn’t wear it when we go to the bar as our local was a strictly Madrid only bar. He insisted thinking it would get some laughs. He must have been in the bar less than two minutes before he had to return home to get changed and wash the beer out of his beloved shirt. I did warn him.

Later we were watching a game in our local when one of my neighbours, an elderly Madrid supporter, was apparently dissatisfied with his team’s effort. This was highlighted when he picked up his chair, threw it at the tv and stormed out. His temper was well known and everyone was laughing, that was until he returned with a petrol driven chainsaw and announced “If they don’t score in the next 30 minutes the TV´s getting chopped in two!” I don’t think he was joking, alas Madrid scored so we never found out.

Last week my daughter, who lives in Marbella, rang to say she was going that afternoon to arrange her pension. When I asked what she meant, she replied she was taking her 3-year-old son for a trial at the Marbella Football Academy. He had been football mad since he was born and enjoyed nothing more than to kick a football around. I said I would come along and arranged to meet her there.

The event was well organised with numerous coaches teaching boys and girls of various ages. Luke, my grandson, marched across the pitch and joined a small group of younger children. He stood out being the only blond kid wearing a bright yellow Leeds United kit.

The coach set up some small nets, picked sides and put coloured bibs on half of the youngsters. He blew his whistle and the game started. Luke ran forward, tackled the player with the ball, dribbled down the field, decided for some reason to do 4 forward rolls (well he is only 3-year-old) shot and scored.

The words of advice I gave him later was to forget about the forward rolls, not to tackle his own player….oh yes….and try not to score in your own net. I think his mother may need to relook at her pension options.

 

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