Wednesday, June 25, 2008

No Fatih Fatigue

It's Turkey, this year's miracle team, against Germany toady in the semi-finals of Euro 2008. The winner gets to face either Spain or Russia, who play tomorrow in the other semi-final. My choice is a Turkey-Spain final, although it'll take a Miracle of Major Consequence for this event to take place. Russia looked especially good against a solid Netherlands team in the quarter-finals and the latter lost 3-1 against the young Russkies. Spain finally won against Italy after 1,000 years of football frustration (please note that all writing on football (soccer) is assumed to be fueled by the need for exaggeration and the dearth of facts), so the Spanish lads will be too drained from their quarter-finals to be able to do much else except to show up on Thursday evening (Swiss time) and take a shellacking from the Russians. Besides, Putin allegedly has the hit sign on for some of the Spanish players, so personal safety, not scoring goals will be on their minds. Just kidding?!!? Maybe.

But Turkey? Well, after they let the Croatians think they won the game in the last 20 seconds of overtime, only to score with 1/1,000,000 of a second left to send the game's result into penalty kicks, when they then smacked Croatia's football program bacwards a few decades with a 3-1 edge in penalty shots, I switched from the departed Team Hrvatska to their conquerers, Turkiye Futbol. I enjoy their style of play, their mix of wily veterans and bumping-chest young punks, and, most of all, I love watching their coach, Fatih Terim, go through his dramatic game performance. He runs the gamut from A to Z (or whatever the first and last letters of the Turkish alphabet are), of joy, anger, sadness, frustration, elation, depression. He starts out in sartorial splendour, pressed suit and shirt and gradually transforms himself into a barely clothed man on the edge of a psychological breakdown. His players obviously love playing for him as he so obviously loves his players.

I wish them well, but I feel their time may be up. Besides playing against Football's version of the Evil Empire, Germany, the Turks have to deal with not having quite a few important players available, due to injury and the deadly double yellow and red cards (Red and yellow cards will keep goalie Volkan Demirel, attacking midfielders Arda Turan and Tuncay Sanli and centre-back Emre Asik in the stands, while defenders Servet Cetin and Emre Gungor and midfield men Emre Belozoglu, Ayhan Akman and Tumer Metin are all facing a race against the clock to be fit. Definitely out of the running to feature in the semi is skipper and main striker and groin injury victim Nihat Kahveci, who will be badly missed.)

For a multitude of reasons, I've despised the German football team, relishing every time any other team beat or tied them. It's all a subjective thing on my part. The simple matter is I can't stand them. So candles will be burning and fingers will be crossed for today's match between the Young Turks and the Evil Empire.

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Actually, yours is a well-spread aversion. These days, it is quite a non-mainstream thing to do, saying one would like Germany to win. It is a bit like being a punk or something alternative.

The German-bashing malaise has, unfortunately, hit the referees, too.
Alcessa, I have no excuses nor apologies. I have nothing at all against Germany, the country. But Germany, the team? Well, my deep aversion goes back to the days of Franz Beckenbauer. That's Franz, as a player. There was just something about the team attitude that just rubbed me the wrong way. That wrong-way rubbing is still in effect.
Oh, I know, Darko, I know. You see, my husband's German and he dislikes his own national team for similar reasons :-D

I dislike the Slovenian fuzbal tim, too. :-)
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