Monday, July 12, 2010

Possessors of the Ball, Owners of the Universe

Below is the translation of an article written by Jesus Alcaide from the Madrid-based daily "El Mundo" on the Spanish selection's winning the prized World Cup. Two years ago, when the same group of "mozos" won the European Cup, the highway scribe wrote "Spain is Cool," as an expression of those sentiments aroused by a stunning land that has given him enough beauty to fill a 360-page epic novel, and memories aplenty to entertain him in old age. After Johannesburg, these feelings return and almost overwhelm.

Possessors of the Ball, Owners of the Universe

That's it. Spain, World Champion. It is not a dream, it is real. In decades to come an entire country will remember the decisive action. The pass by Cesc, the delicate control of Inieista and the finish from a kid of Albacete who uplifted 46 million Spaniards after 117 minutes of continuous domination, of chiseling away at rock to bring down a fortification that resisted heavy artillery with dark arts that stained an illustrious orange jersey.

Yes, the World Cup comes to Spain after 90 long years of waiting, of seeing how the good ones were always somebody else. In the end, this curse was ended thanks to the best generation in history, artists in love with the ball who avenged the memory of so many others who never reached the river bank. From Zamora to Zarra, Gento to Luis Suarez, Butragueno to Raul. So many that tried and never even came close to that river bank. This bunch did. But most importantly, they did it with an identifiable style, beautiful, the envy of those who like their soccer clean, offensive, joyous, and without malice. Yes, this time we were the good ones. And this time, soccer was not capricious, instead tipping its hat to those who merited it, to those who overcame the tricks, dirty play, and knifings of a rival that, Dutch coat-of-arms on their jersey not withstanding, looked more like Nazi officials overunning Poland. They were taking no prisoners, only corpses, and counted on the collaboration of an English referee who had more in common with the great conciliator Chamberlain than the visionary Churchill. A referee who permitted the crunching of legs, only remembering the red card in his pocket during overtime.

But this Spain, the red ballet that revolves around Xavi with the divine collaboration of Saint Iker Casillas in the dire moment, forced every rival to admit their inferiority before the possessors of the ball, owners of the universe, those who now have a star on their jersey. Let's go for another. God, what an orgasm. Viva Espana. Long live the mother who birthed you, oh heroes, and thanks Don Vicente.