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Spain 1 - Germany lost PDF
Thursday, 08 July 2010 00:00

What to do?  Who to support? Spain where I live? Or Germany, where my soon wife-to-be comes from? Spain, because I love the way they play? Or Germany, because they beat England and put me out of my misery?  

Another dilemma - where to watch last night's semi-final of the 2010 World Cup? At home with the Hausfrau with a German commentary?  In Armando's bar which will be full of Spaniards and maybe a handful of Germans and an over-excited commentary in Spanish, or in the Hotel Elefante Amarillo, with other guiris (see What is a guiri?) and Gary Lineker, Alan Hansen, Alan Shearer et al.

We decided on a compromise: hotel for the first half and Armando's for the second.  However, the chanting and general noise level in the full-of-young-Spaniards hotel was too much for me, so I slid off to the quieter but no less partisan Armando's. I was one of only four non-Spaniards in the packed room.  As I entered I cried "A-L-E-M-A-N-I-A!" as a joke.  They laughed - they must have known something.  Of course, the octopus had predicted Spain would win.  And he's never been wrong, has he?

The Hausfrau joined me for the second half, by which time a few other Germans and English had drifted in, and we enjoyed the match together.

Well, we all know the result, and it was well-deserved.  The best performance by Spain in this World Cup by a long shot.  Germany, suffering form the suspension of their new star Thomas Müller and the disappointing performance by Bastian Schweinsteiger, had only one shot on goal all night.  Spain, on the other hand played with passion and purpose and could have got a handful of goals, but for some bad luck and a fine performance by the German keeper, Manuel Neuer.

So, who was I supporting?  Oddly, both.  I just wanted the best team to win and the officials to make no mistakes.  The best team on the night certainly did win and I only detected one error by the referee, a possible penalty for Spain.  All in all a fantastic game, fairly played (did the ref show any cards?) and with the right result. And a brilliant goal from Carles Puyol.

Now, who am I going to support in the final?  Spain, of course!

© Paul Whitelock


Paul Whitelock

Paul is a Joint Honours graduate in Spanish and German, a qualified teacher (PGCE) and has a Member of the Institute of Linguists (MIL) qualification.

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