Tuesday, 17 December 2013

The Beautiful game

The Brazilians have chosen the name of their football for the World Cup in 2014.
They were given three names to choose from,out of Brazuca, Bossa Nova and Carnevalesca.
Trust the Brazilians to make a football sound sexy. Well, maybe not Bossa Nova. Brazuca won with 70 per cent of the votes. It made me think of how fond we all got of "Wilson"in "Castaway".How  heart-wrenching it was to see him drift off. I hope Brazuca brings them all a lot of luck.
It was the great Brazilian player, Pelè, that first called football "The beautiful game".

The first Football match I went to see was with my brother, when I was about 7 . We both loved it. We had a rattle to make a lot of noise with. Everybody looked so happy. It seemed a great way to let off steam.
We both got really involved watching the 1966 World Cup at Wembley. We bought the Commemoration stamps, and learnt the names of the players. The final match between Germany took place as we were about to go on holiday. We had one eye on the television and one on the car boot. As we put stuff in, our Dad took it out. How we laughed when Kenneth Wostenholme said in the last few minutes, "And England has won the World Cup.... whoops ! Germany has scored a goal ". As we all know England did eventually win it, which was really nice because it was in Wembley, and we haven't done much since. The 1970 World Cup started off hopefully, but  they had a mascot and a song that was called "World Cup Willy", which not many people wanted to sing...

The next most momentous World Cup for me was the 1982 one, when I had come to Italy. My daughter was born as the contest started, and we would cuddle her and stroke her little silky head while watching all the matches. We watched the final squashed in a bar. My son can still remember it. Paolo Rossi became a world famous football star. Some years later I was in a bar with my Dad and Paolo Rossi came in. My Dad was so excited, he wanted his autograph so much, all he had was his passport. So he  asked Paolo Rossi to put his autograph on his passport.

The World Cup has always been a great event for us. we love watching all the different nationalities, the fans dressing up and waving their flags. An Australian friend of ours who went to the World cup in Germany, was overcome by how welcome he was made by the Germans. The great success of the German World cup was definitely in the harmony and enthusiasm between the supporters.

When my son started played football, I got really involved again, and studied all the rules. It seemed to me that the success of Football as a world wide game was all down to these rules. It was all about fair play, team spirit and discipline. The Football Association Rules were first written down in 1863 in a pub in London. This made it possible for everyone in the whole world to play the same game.
I think that there were about 13 rules to begin with. All you need is a ball, two equal teams and the rule book, any where in the world, it is an international language.

People often ask me if I support Italy or England. I really can say both. It is a case of may the best team win. In all the years I've lived here, I have never watched a game between Italy and England that has not been a good one.  The Italians are united by their football team, it is the one occasion when they all feel one nation. they love their National Anthem, which incites them to fight for their country to the end. It is certainly very rousing and bouncy. If they win, they go round honking their horns and waving flags out of their car windows. Who could ever begrudge them such joy.
But of course, if England  wins.... I'm happy too !

What has 22 legs and 2 wings but can't fly ?
A Football team.

Go Brazuca Go !

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