Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Octopus Population Is Already Rising

A family entered the Galician bar in Cartagena where I was having dinner on Monday night. They were still dressed in official “we’ve won the World Cup” regalia. The red shirts of the Spanish team, and one of them with a Spanish flag draped around her shoulders. The barman obviously knew them and after the greetings he asked “¿Quereis pulpo?”. “¡Pulpo! El pulpo ya no se come” replied the girl with the flag. So it seems that Paul the Pulpo has managed to convince at least some of the Spanish to stop eating octopus for a while. Didn’t work in my case though, I’d just finished a plate of what was rebadged as “Pulpo a la Roja”, so there is still some hope left for the traditional Galician bar.

I watched Sunday night’s game in a bar here that was naturally full of very vocal and passionate supporters of Spain. A combination of this, the dreadfully partisan nature of Telecinco’s commentary, the negative tactics of the Dutch and a general lack of football meant that much of the game was taken up with shouts for yellow or red cards and hopeful appeals for fouls and penalties. Although I noticed that when the referee decided to card a couple of Spanish players Telecinco then decided, temporarily, that too many were being handed out. The best moment of the commentary came towards the end with the memorable declaration that “los escoceses” had used up all their substitutes. This got an ironic round of applause for helping to break the tedium.

There was a lack of spectacle on the pitch and I was dreading the prospect of penalties deciding the game. Iniesta to the rescue. I didn’t stay for the ceremony after the game, instead I went to take a look at the Plaza de España in Cartagena, which soon filled with jubilant supporters getting wet in the fountain, letting off fireworks and generally making as much noise as possible. By the time I went back to the hotel a traffic jam had developed just down from the square. I’m sure it wasn’t on the scale of Madrid’s celebration, but a significant percentage of Cartagena’s population was out on the street to mark the event.


ejh said...

I understand that JJ Santos claimed that only one previous Final had gone to extra time. Cretin.

Talking of TV commentary - and how I wish they would occasionally talk - what do you know about this?

Colin said...

Very accurate summation of the game and the commentary on 5.

Graeme said...


I think JJ made that claim at more or less the same time as he wondered whether a European team might be lucky on this occasion with extra time. On your other link I was going to write a post on it but like so many others its status is currently 'pending'