Sunday, 22 June 2008

You'll never blog alone !

Apart from being an eternal garden captive, I also, strangely enough, have many more human flaws; one of them is football being the second most important thing in the world, after gardening of course. And the national team is the holy of the holies. Some folks regard it as 'back to wilderness', as football is a primitive game and its supporters primeval. All fine, I'm still proud to be primitive. I managed not to interfere my footie ecstasy with my gardening diary so far, but after being literally heart broken the other night, I can't really share more than tons of despair. Sometimes the better team doesn't win but that's football. And the word 'better' is also often a matter of misinterpretation. Although we have proven to be 'something to talk about' years in the past, our team has always been regarded as a sort of a 'black horse' of any tournament ( lets just say 'underrated' is our middle name) even though we managed to prove everyone wrong (hello Steve McClaren!) Only now after an amazing sequence of wins at Euro 2008, we have once again reestablished our underestimated name. I can't remember the last time the boys looked so harmonious, happy, proud and confident, a team that left Engerlund at home after that memorable match at Wembley. After beating Austria, Germany and Poland, our hopes were rising. And then there was Turkey, the team also underestimated too many times, and once again they've managed to turn it all upside down in the last minutes (seconds) of the game. A coincidence, you'd think. Maybe, maybe not. After goalless 90 minutes, Miss Fortune was obviously looking the wrong way. It wasn't a pretty game to watch either, it went from boring and maddening to shocking and crazy, and after 2 extra times, 1 minute before the end, all of our hard work seemed to be paying off when we finally put the ball in Turkey's net. And then, only 74 seconds later, already in referee's very own 'extra time', when 99 per cent of Croats were still in a winning delirium, Turkey got lucky one more time and the extra time finished a tie and doomed us to an early exit. What a shock that was for everyone. My happiest dreams for years ended with the Turkish goal in the last second. I couldn't imagine any player, never mind the experience and quality, keeping a cool head and still foot after such a shocker. They've signed the 'capitulate' note even before the penalties. After a total mental blackout, our players succumbed to Turkey in the penalties shoot-out which was, to mildly put it, atrocious. What a pity for such a dynamic and talented squad to go out on.

Might have been funny,
but all that's left now is that bitter taste...

Turkey went through to the semis and you know they say 'fortune favors the brave', well they have certainly been brave. And I wish them as much luck in the semi-finals. I don't feel sad for Turkey going through, I'm actually and surprisingly quite glad and can't say the did not deserve it. I feel bad for our 'Bilic boys', and dreams of one golden generation being shattered in such a quick, and brutal way. Sudden death of dreams never to come true. And for the whole nation that will mourn for weeks and years. We are just that sort of loony people. Some like it, some not. After crying the whole evening like a nutjob, I will surely lament for days to come. I'm sure the German manager is grinning, for they couldn't find an antidote for the crazy Croats and they were to face us a gain in the semis had we not lost. They were the favorites going into competition, but their loss to Croatia relegated them in many eyes. They went on to prove that they were actually a contender by dispatching the talented Portuguese side. I'm afraid they're about to experience that the Turks are just as crazy and fanatic, and as funny as it may seem, every now and then, a Cinderella story does come true.

It's silly, almost childish, to think that every so often, at a certain moment in time, all of your life's happiness will turn around a goddamn 'footBALL'. Or any other sport you might fancy. What I can't understand is all those people moaning about lousy referees, shitty managers and silly players...just days after they have sworn their hearts to the best manager and best team on the planet, just days after they have glued all those utterly annoying country flags to their cars and then timidly removed them as soon as it got dark outside. Life is a game, so is football, some you win, some you lose. Elimination doesn't always happen to someone else. At least our boys left having nothing to regret (but fate), quality, pride, bravery, teamwork, fair play, they've done it all but it wasn't meant to be. So I give all my thanks to all of them, for we have not gone through all those qualifications with them in vain, we have not waited for another exciting summer in vain, for another quality show, all those highly exciting footie moments, it was all worth it and I'm as proud as if though they have gone all the way. I'm proud of Luka Modric, perhaps one of the best players we've ever had, although he's only to become that, a young, wirey little lad, with the brains of a genious, and the skills that leave no room for indifference. Same goes for all the rest. And finally hope that our best striker, Eduardo, will be back for the World Cup qualifiers, after he has had his leg brutally and recklessly broken in the English Premiership (shame on you Martin Taylor!) which has left him to master the art of popcorns while watching Euro'08 in front of a TV.

So for all of you, my dear garden bloggers, raising an eyebrow and wondering if I have totally lost it, ranting about ' fussball' 'n all that bore, well, yes, I've lost it, and the weather is not helpful either, it's way too hot to garden, way too hot to open the window and turn off AC, way too hot to do any sort of mentally productive activity, thus the fiddle-de-dee was the only option to minimize the lack of my garden posts. Hopefully you'll find it in your hearts to pardon me.

(photos by: CROPIX, 24sata, Jutarnji)

... and as far as the fans go....who else sings their national anthem in such harmony?

5 komentari:

Brenda Kula said...

I tried to leave a comment, but it said there was a Blogger error...

Brenda Kula said...

Okay, now it went through. Odd. I visit a lot of bloggers who use Blogger, but that's never happened before. Anyway, sorry for the sports loss. And I'm staying in mostly too. Too hot and humid!

West Coast Island Gardener said...

Footie! It is indeed The Beautiful Game. Oh Violet what a shame, they played so well and no losses, the emotions up and down. I was thinking of you and so sure they were through, and on the edge of my seat then oh no. Loved your post could feel your passion it welled a tear in my eye. Isnt it wonderful and peculiar how a sport can trigger such strong emotions in people and nation. Like love - for better or worse it sure makes one feel keenly despair and extacy.

Owin & Irena said...

hello violet. after croatia's loss my dad simply shook his head in disbelief and declared it to be a "tragedy." oh well, you win some, you lose some.

I love high-stakes soccer (as we call it in Canada) like the Euro Cup. I live in a very Portuguese neighbourhood. When Portugal won, their fans were dancing in the street. When Turkey beat Croatia, the Turkish fans were out in force just a few blocks away. I didn't even know there was such a big Turkish community here. Even though it's sad to see your team lose, it's hard not to be happy for the winners. I think it's just a great time to celebrate.

I realize I never answered your question from a while back...yes, i have had the chance to visit Croatia. I was there in 2002 and visited Zagreb, the Plitvice Lakes, Split, and Dubrovnik. It was wonderful and beautiful, I will never forget the colour of the water at the Plitvice Park. I still doubt it was real.

Anyway..happy gardening. I'm sure a soccer victory for Croatia will soon be at hand.


Ewa said...

oh Violet, I felt sorry for your team - they were the expected winner. But also I must say, that I was surprised to see the way they played that night. Sorry to say, but it was not the same team that won and beated other countries. It looked like somthing happened to them. There were some comments here about not properly spend time before the game. Bilic on the press conference before the game looked very very tired.
I don't know the truth.
This is a game - as you wrote - and maybe the most primitive instincts are getting the voice at that time, but at what other occasion can people scream loud their bad energy without police being called? :)

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