Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Spain Wins European Football Championship Thanks to Catalonia

The Spanish football team have won the UEFA European Football Championship once more, and have achieved their goal of winning three titles in a row (European-World-European). No other European team had ever before won this many titles in just four years. But can such incredible streak of victories  be really labelled as Spanish? Two years ago, when I was devoted to the columns of the old Il Toscano, I already cast some doubts on the Spanishness (not to be confused with Hispanicity—i.e. belonging to ancient Hispania, or the Iberian peninsula) of the team that won the World Cup in South Africa. As I did back then, today I have to insist on the same point: Spain is the current European champion thanks to Catalonia! Five of the regular players of Del Bosque are indeed Catalan and, hence, also players of the Catalan national team: Piqué, Jordi Alba (though he has yet to start with the Catalan team), Xavi, Fàbregas, and Sergi Busquets. Along with them, we must include the goalkeeper Víctor Valdés, substitute for Casillas. And let's not forget that Juanfran and Raul Albiol were born in Valencia, and hence they would be elegible players in a hypothetical Catalan national team.

"Spaniards" with a Catalan flag. In a nutshell, a Catalan team serving the needs of the Spanish federation. Remember Puyol, the popular captain of F.C. Barcelona, celebrating two years ago the victory in the World Cup happily raising the Senyera (Catalan flag) around the field singing "Catalunya, Catalunya"? Yesterday the scene partially repeated itself, but this time the protagonists were Piqué, Xavi, and Fàbregas, who respectively have played 4, 8, and 2 games while wearing the jersey of the Catalan national team, currently coached by Johann Cruyff. On the other hand, just a few thousands of people celebrated the victory of Spain in Barcelona, most of them all belonging to far right extremist groups. Unfortunately, in Manresa and Reus, some ended up burning Catalan flags. Also, these anti-Catalan factions has shown their anger on the Internet by insulting Xavi, Fàbregas, and Piqué just for celebrating the Spanish victory by waving the Catalan flag.

Catalonia at Brasil's 2014 World Cup. In the official website of Plataforma Pro Seleccions Esportives Catalanes (who keep on fighting a desperate battle to have the Catalan national football team be allowed to take part in the next World Cup in Brazil, 2014) the following question has been recently raised: what would happen in a Catalonia vs Spain match, with two of the best European teams? Catalonia would play with the typical F.C. Barcelona 4-3-3 with Valdés as goalie. In defense, from left to right Jordi Alba (recent Barça reacquisition), Víctor Ruiz (former Napoli player), Piqué, and Montoya (Barça). At midfield, Verdú (Espanyol), Busquets, and Xavi. Playign forward, Bojan (Rome), Fàbregas, and Cuenca (Barça). In this way no players from Valencia would be playing, so they could instead play for the Spanish team. The Catalans would play against a 4-2-4 formation with Casillas as goalie. In defense, from left to right, Arbeloa, Albiol, Javi Martínez, and Sergio Ramos. As midfielders, Iniesta (who, despite being Manchego, once played with the Catalan uniform), and Xabi Alonso. Juan Mata as left winger, David Silva as right winger, and Fernando Torres and Llorente as center forwards.

Christmas match Catalonia vs. Spain? From the columns of Il Vostro we are proposinga new idea. Every year at Christmas time, the Catalan national team should play against some other officially recognized national team. In the last match, Tunisia went undefeated (0-0) at the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona, while two years ago and Honduras lost 4-0, and in 2009 Argentina (missing some of their regular players) lost 4-2 at Camp Nou. As a new challenge for 2012, why not play against Spain? This way, everybody would know that, besides economy, tourism and industry, Catalonia is also a leading force in all things sports-related
. For instance, it is clear that without Catalonia, the Spanish hockey  team would be irrelevant (almost all of the Spanish national team players are Catalan, including former Barça player Masoliver Miquel, who was threatened with a ban for refusing to wear the much hated Spanish red uniform). This Catalonia vs. Spain match could be a sweet appetizer for those who support Catalan political independence. Spain is in big trouble, and also risks losing its Catalan motor, which, today more than ever, is affected by this unbelievable hand brake called Reino de España. Many in Catalonia hope to celebrate as soon as possible a referendum for independence, which, some dream, could be held on 11 September 2014, three hundred years after they lost their freedom.

Marco Gargini. Originally published as Spagna campione d'Europa grazie alla Catalogna at Il Vostro, 02/07/2012. Translated by HelpCatalonia.

1 comentaris:

  • Arnau Estanyol says:
    July 31, 2012 at 7:49 AM

    What happens in the Castilians mind is something worthy for a scientific study. Into the mentality of those people exists a true psychopathy against all what they consider as alien. In the relationship between Spain and Catalonia, Spaniards prefer sink the Catalonia's economy before to admit its prosperity, and what Catalonia contributes in a high percentage (25%) of its resources to Spain. Spaniards have decided destroy the "magic goose that lays golden eggs" and they prefer die economically before see people living as Catalans in the territory they consider as a right of conquest.

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