What nationality am I supposed to be?
Wednesday night brought 2 weeks ago brought a whole new experience to me: watching England v. Spain. Finally I feel able to write about it.
But before we start on about that, my background for those who don’t know it: I was born in England, moved away briefly to Paris for a year before going back for one year. When I was 22 I left England for good. On October 24th I will have spent 20 years of my life out of England.
Both of my wives have been Austrian, my oldest daughter is Canadian (where we spent 3 years and brought her back as an expensive but lovely souvenir ;)), and the youngest is Austrian. According to Facebook I have friends on 4 from 5 continents (actually I never remember if Australia is its own continent or not so maybe it’s 5 from 6).
So it is already confusing . But now let’s go onto the football game. Ah yes, one important detail: I am a Liverpool fan.
Now with Stevie Gerrard injured and so not playing. Jamie Carragher retired from international footie. My no.3+4+5 favourite current Liverpool players were lined up in red playing for Spain.
So who was I supposed to support?
The location made it worse: I was watching in one of Berlin’s few Irish pubs where there are real Irish people present. So the atmosphere was predictably anti-english anyway. And to top it all England played terribly. Spain beautifully, in a way that reminded me of a good day at Liverpool. So when David Villa (unfortunately not a Liverpool player) scored the 1-0 it was the first time that I can remember where I did not feel dejected to see England go behind. Also when Alonso (Livepool/Spain) brought down Carrick (ManU/England) I was actually on Xabi’s side!!
It also didn’t help that with England being absent from last year’s world cup I had picked Spain as my team. And also, to annoy my German colleagues in Berlin I had bought a Torres Spain shirt!
So at the end when the final whistle blew and Spain had won I was not happy nor sad. Just confused.
Thank God it was just a friendly – I have about 15 months until the World Cup in South Africa starts and so 15 months to sort out where my loyalties lie. As you can imagine I am dreading an England v. Spain final. 😉