On Sunday morning at 4.45am AEST, I was up to watch my beloved Real Madrid play the Champions League final against Atlético Madrid.

What. A. Game.

With Atlético’s first half goal still standing, a stack of chances missed and full-time played, it crossed my mind that thousands, if not millions, of madridistas are probably out there praying for a goal … is that ridiculous and a complete show of disrespect for prayer and for God if I join them? Yes, I’m pretty sure it is. Just let it go! Qué será, será. This won’t be the first time you’ve had to watch us lose.

No sooner had this thought completed itself than Sergio Ramos equalised for us in stoppage time. Given the time of day and the fact my sister (recently returned from overseas) was fast asleep, I had to contain my cries of YESSSSSSSSS!!!!!!! and dancing around the room to a very quiet yesss!! under my breath, and a surprisingly satisfying fist pump.

The match got epic. Three more goals in extra time made it 4-1 – which hardly reflected the quality of Atlético’s play and the match as a whole.

It was a fabulous way to kick-off a Sunday.

Facebook status 1

One of the loveliest things about watching the final was that I didn’t watch it alone: a bunch of friends locally and overseas were watching it at the same time. It reminded me that as trite as it is to say it, sport (and football particularly) does unite people – even as it divides them along team lines! It was great fun seeing and liking other people’s match posts on Facebooks and having friends comment on my own threads.

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Mini photo essay: merengue moments

Anyway, I thought I would share some of my merengue moments with y’all in a brief photo essay:

Remember the last time we won?
Back in those days I was … a little obsessed, shall we say? Here’s a sample page from the scrapbooks I used to put together from newspaper clippings – this one was dedicated to European football in general, with a particular focus on Real Madrid, but back then I was pretty familiar with the league tables in all the major countries.
In 2008, I did the tour of Estadio Santiago Bernabéu – recommended. It’s a beautiful stadium, at once smaller and grander than it looks on TV and in photos. You also get to sit in the players area, see the change rooms, pretend to do a press conference and walk through the corridors of trophies and memorabilia. Impressive stuff.
In 2009, I got to see Real Madrid v Real Almeria in La Liga. This is Cristiano Ronaldo taking a penalty. Don’t ask me if he scored off this one – I can’t remember. To be honest, it was hard to know what was going on from as far up as I was. I could barely see the players’ numbers but I was content enough knowing we won 🙂
My overpriced and goudy fan scarf that doesn’t match any outfit now hangs proudly on the noticeboard beside my desk at work.

And if you’re reading this and you’re a fellow madridista, check out the new “official Real Madrid song”. Which is apparently not an anthem, but sounds like some of the patriotic stuff coming out to the Spanish Civil War … I don’t know how to feel about it …


Expect more football posts from me!

With the 2014 World Cup around the corner, you can expect more posts of this nature in the next month or so. You have been warned.

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    1. Thanks Brenton! Hope you’ve had a chance to browse a few more posts (and see that there is more to my life than being sad football fanatic :P)

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The deepest level of communication is not communication but communion. It is wordless. It is beyond words, and beyond speech, and it is beyond concept. Thomas Merton said that and I thought: well, this is rather ironic but there you have it - that's why I write.