Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Arsenal, Barcelona, the global game and Spanish breakdown cover

My last post on my first premiership football game reminded me of a conversation I had with a taxi drive in Barcelona in mid-February that started around the time I was pondering what the Spanish for breakdown cover was.

This was because, you see, we were whooshing past an English number-plated car that was pulled up on the hard shoulder with its hazards flashing.

However, my taxi driver was far more interesting and helped me to really live through that old cliché: "football is a global language".

He was a very friendly chap, keen to talk about London because his beloved Barcelona FC were playing Arsenal that night (this was the first leg of the tie, remember) and he wanted to know if I supported them. I don't.

But, despite his enthusiasm to talk footyballs, he's English was not great, while my Spanish is non-existent. Yet, through names such as Messi, Rivaldo and Ronaldhino we were able to spend a fun twenty minutes discussing the best players the Catalan team had produced and I asked him what he thought of these great players he's seen.

He said was Messi is "electric", Rivaldo was a "great thinker" and Ronaldhino was a "magician". Magician had to be mimed through a charade-like performance of him mimicking pulling a rabbit from a hat.

I got it eventually and we both laughed at this in that lovely, 'overcoming-a-language-barrier-to-reach-common-understanding' way that foreign people do.

For my part I outlined my admiration for Messi by saying, in a lilting, faux-Spanish accent, "Ah, Messi, si, footbul, gol, gol, gol, gol, gol,", as in, he does score a lot of goals, doesn't he?

It was a great way to see that, despite all football's negatives (and there's been plenty recently), it really does provide a common platform that can bring people together from any background and give them something to talk about with enthusiasm and interest.

Oh, and cubierta de la interrupción is Spanish for breakdown cover.

P.S. for non-football fans I promise that's an end to this flurry of blogs on this topic.


John Medd said...

Qué usted significan mi cover' s funciona hacia fuera?

Mart@Vitamins For Hair Loss said...

Big respect to Danny Fiszman RIP. Many thanks for all the great things you did for my football club, especially the move to The Emirates. A gentleman and true Gooner!