Saturday, 24 May 2008

Catalonia - Argentina

Today, the average Swede is looking forward to the final of the Eurovision Song Contest. Catalans are much less excited about that event - what will stir up emotions here is - I could have added ‘as always’ - football. At 19.00 starts the friendly match between Argentina and Catalonia, expected to attract 45.000 spectators to Camp Nou and many more via TV3’s live broadcasting.

In a football crazy country like Spain, the dream of an internationally recognised football team is one of the main fronts of Catalan nationalism. It is therefore quite natural that the movement Plataforma pel Dret de Decidir will be present around the stadium in order to collect signatures for Catalonia’s right to call referendums within its territory.

From a sports point of view, the Catalans do not stand a great chance of winning. They are debilitated since natural team members from FC Barcelona (Puyol, Xavi) are busy training for the Uefa Euro 2008 with the Spain team. Only goalkeeper Valdés comes from the blaugrana, and it is instead Espanyol which contributes with the biggest number of Catalan players.

They will meet a strong Argentina actively preparing for the Olympic Games of Beijing and full of players from Spanish premier league clubs. It goes without saying that Argentinean Barça-player Leo Messi will be the focus of all attention.

Apparently by tradition, one of the players comes from the amateur Catalonia team. This time, CF Vilanova forward Santi Triguero has been selected and although he represents a 3rd division club, he has been promised to also play. What a motivation for all young football fans of our town!

Up-date: In front of 42.380 spectators (of whom not a few were Argentinians living in Catalonia), Argentina won through a goal by Lavezzi, 17 minutes before the end of the match.
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Em sembla fantàstic que un jugador de CF Vilanova, un equip de la Tercera Divisió, va rebre l’oporutnitat de formar part de la selecció catalana per al partit contra l’Argentina d’avui. M'imagino la il•lusió que els deu fer a tots els nens i joves que juguen al futbol en la nostra ciutat. Enhorabona Santi Triguero i molta sort per aquesta tarda!

Personalment no espero gaire un bon resultat amb un adversari tan fort – un equip argentí que s’està preparant per als Jocs Olímpics de Pequín. Que els catalans recordin que el més important és lluitar i no rendir-se.

No trobo res sobre aquest matx en laVanguardia d’avui. Que és una decisió politica això?

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