Así nos ven (Periódico Elhecho)
Round as a soccer Ball
por Alma Carpentier
Los Picos de Europa are one of the most dramatic sceneries I´ve ever seen. Mountains
carved in stone and an indescribable silence join hands together to create a completely
breathless effect. It was there, at the bottom of those mountains, in a little village leonesa named
Potes, that I discovered that Spain is flatly round. Round as a soccer ball, I mean!
Our bodies where aching after three days of trecking and we were ready to spend a relaxing
night in this enchanting little town. It was time to have our first shower in days and enjoy the place.
But wait! It was Saturday afternoon, el Dépor was playing, and the match was being shown on TV!
Forget about a shower or anything else. Potes didn´t exist any longer. The village, its cozy shops and
bars, and its peculiar character had suddenly disappeared. I was travelling with, four
Gallegos from A Coruña. I´ll never forget the face of Paco, how it twisted and turned,
changing from extreme happiness to anger, depending on the events that were taking place on
the TV set. I had never seen him so emotional. His three friends had a similar behavior.
The only world for them, for almost two hours, was el Dépor. I left them with their soccer
anxieties and went to enjoy Potes alone.
That devotion to soccer, I learned later on, wasn´t just exclusive to my friends.
In Madrid, I saw a horde of barbarians riding on La Cibeles to celebrate el Real´s victory.
In Valencia I saw a few thousand take to the streets as if life had
just begun. And in New Jersey and New York I witnessed that all TV´s were on the soccer the
day the country was celebrating the elections that brought down the Aznar Government, just
three days after the 11-M bombings. As explained to me by one Spaniard that doesn´t share
such a passion for fútbol, “Franco did a very good job feeding people with the need of
sports”. So much so that Spain´s brain seems to me to be as round as a soccer ball.