Euro 2008. Here’s hoping for Spain.

There used to be a Spanish car company.

It was called Seat.

It is now owned by Germans.

Most commentators believe the Spanish national football team will, tomorrow, be owned by Germans too.

It is a little harder to despise German football in these European Championships.

But that is only because Italy managed to surpassed even their own desperate excrescence.

There are, I am told, some objective enthusiasts who would prefer Germany to win.

They are in Finland. Or psychiatric hospitals. Or psychiatric hospitals in Finland.

A question that, perhaps, might amuse is whether any of the Spaniards would even make the German team.

Not because they don’t have the talent.

But because some of the Spaniards don’t have the large chests and thighs.

Germany, in essence, play football as invented by a corporation.

If IBM were to have a football team, it would be Germany.

If some multinational packaged goods company were to suddenly decide to select a squad, they would unquestionably build it around someone called Schweisteiger.

Germany’s formation is not 4-4-2. Nor is it 4-3-3.

They have a rear unit comprising CFOs.

They have a distribution department across the middle.

And they have the warehousemen up front.

The Marketing Department sits on the bench.

And the goalkeeper is the CEO. Why, he blames everyone when something goes wrong.

The Spaniards, on the other hand, are a dance troupe.

They understand that creating beautiful patterns can actually be effective.

They believe that there is a place for wit and imagination, even on a football field in Austria.

And they ride their naivete like a child enjoying its first ride on a carousel.

When a German scores, he feels power.

When a Spaniard scores, he feels joy.

Of course, there are those who far prefer power to joy.

But they are never really happy, are they?


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