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.