Saturday, 18 June 2016

Colours of football

Avoiding EURO 2016: A self-experiment — Day Nine

A trip to Germany. The occasional schwarz-rot-gold flag hanging from on a balcony, but surprisingly also a couple of bleu-blanc-rouge ones on poles. Grown men enjoying a pils in their national team jerseys. A girl running on the sidewalk wearing one too. A village café with a sign saying ‘Watch all EURO 2016 matches here’. A lakeside café with Özil, Schweini and five or six other players plus the whole team’s autographs printed on a flag. It’s EURO 2016 and the fans of the World champions display their affection.

Not a single car with those small plastic flagpoles fixed to the window frames though. So Germany is probably not playing today. And somehow, overall, I have the feeling that the enthusiasm does not reach quite the same heights as in recent years.

I did catch another result by accident though. While having a tea, I superficially browsed through a Bild, and as my eyes fell on a football field graphics with a heading saying that Italy has beaten Sweden 1:0, I quickly skipped past the sports pages — there was a dozen of them, and they seemed to be only about EURO 2016 — and only caught that Turkey played as well, and that there are some problems in the German team. At least according to Bild that of course listed the six reasons for these problems and …probably in their usual sublime journalistic style… analysed them in depth…

Italy 1:0… what a surprise… The safest bet one can place is that Italy wins 1:0, no matter who the opponent is. I have always had a hard time understanding football fans who follow Italian football (except for Italians of course). To me, they have always played this 1:0 football. Make a goal, and as soon as you do, just make sure the others don’t make one. How boring can it get, and then from this cheerful people who on other fields than the football field spread so much joy of life and colour.

Speaking of colours: Turkey. I had forgotten they were in there too. And they too have a Lukas Podolski connection, as he plays for one of the country’s big three, Galatasaray Istanbul. Galatasaray plays in unusual colours: a dark shade of yellow, approaching orange, and a brownish red. The colours are not far from those of AS Roma, and what I find interesting in both cases is that while such colours look somewhat too dark at less sunny latitudes, they look brilliant down there.

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