Your challenge this week? Write about a current event from your own unique, subjective perspective.
As I was not present at the match, and photos from the TV screen usually have strange marks on them, I stole borrowed this photo from the Swiss Blick newspaper. The team are dressed in yellow shirts Brasil style, made especially after beating the Slovenian team in their last match. They had already qualified if they had won or lost, so had the shirts made to celebrate at the end of the match.
Who has heard of Switzerland? Of course you all have, you know the country that has almost as many cows as people, where the people eat cheese fondue, where we have cuckoo clocks (which are made in the Black Forest area in Germany), and where we all walk around yodling and spend the week-ends climbing mountains. Where Hornuss,(farmer’s tennis – no, I will not explain that one) and Schwingen (Swiss wrestling – and I will not explain that either) are the Swiss national sports. But ….. we can also play football.
By football I do not mean that game played in an ex-British colony called America where they have an oval ball and run around with the ball in their hands, pushing the members of the other team out of the way to reach the goal posts. No, the Swiss play the game with the round ball, eleven players in each team and you get penalised if you happen to handle the ball. That was just to clarify matters, although a few years ago the Football (soccer) World Cup was hosted by our friends over the pond in America with success. That was the last time that the Swiss team actually managed to reach the finals in the host land.
Now they have done it again. Was it a miracle, was it the talented team of dedicated men, was it the fantastic work of their manager Ottmar Hitzfeld? Who knows, but they will be there playing in one of the 12 stadiums chosen for the games, holding the flag for the Swiss.
Mr. Swiss just said, do not get to euphoric about praising our footballing wizards, those that are at the top have further to fall. So let us stay on the ground and see what will happen. The Swiss team had to qualify for the privilege of being in the land of samba and carnival. They qualified so well, arriving at the top of their section and winning all matches with the exception of one where they had a draw, that they are now in the top group in Brasil. This could be great but it seems in the same group could be Germany (ok, we know them), Brasil and Argentina (we know them as well, but that is not so good) and Spain who we even beat once in an international game.
So the excitement gets slowly dampened into a “keep your fingers crossed, and just be glad to be there” phase.
Not that I will be glued to the TV screen during the World Cup, which is actually in 2014, but I will be have a glance now and again and I am sure Mr. Swiss will keep me in the picture. I am also convinced that if and when the Swiss win a game, our roads will be full of cars with Swiss flags hanging out of the window and horns sounding all night long. Needless to say many supporters will be quenching their thirst in the many restaurants decorated for the occasion (or drowning their sorrows as the case may be).
I had a quick look at this fantastic Swiss team and discovered that most of them had strange sounding names, not very swiss. Most of the players seem to have their roots in other countries. No problem, they all have a Swiss passport. Even I have one of those, to go to prove that they are not fussy about who they give them to. One of the teams they played to qualify was Albania, and it seems that the level of language understanding was excellent between the two teams.
So there we have the good news from Switzerland and hope it remains good.
You may ask why I say nothing about the British qualification for the Word Cup finals, being born in England of English parents. That is quite easy – I always have a soft spot for the underdogs, for those that are not expected to win.