A man applied to the Lord with a complaint:
“I have kept the fast and have prayed for so long, and I have the right to count on Your favour. But you never gave me opportunity to win the lottery”.
“Just buy a ticket at least once, after all!” he heard from the skies.
In this Euro our team acquired the tickets for the first time. Never before either patriotic mood, or generous bonuses, or learning the anthem by heart, or high ranking patrons, or people’s support worked with us.
The ticket was brought by the talented and lucky foreigner from Netherlands. Consistently, rationally, though first not adroitly, Guus Hiddink began to inculcate the professional taste for football to our players who, honestly, do not exceed other teams too much. Well, he managed to do something. Fortunately, we saw it.
It’s for the first time in many years that we did not feel pity or uncomfortable, looking at the Russian team, but we felt excitement and joy. That’s where it would be better to restrict to, accepting calmly possible defeats of those who you favour, remembering that high quality of performance does not always lead to victory. The goals scored are a necessitated criterion. The statistics has nothing else while there is something different in understanding of those who love football.
French lost the World Cup to Italians in a series of penalty kicks, but they stuck in memory as a great team. Diego Maradona, one of the most virtuosic football players of the world, is remembered not only with his dummies and honest goals, but also with his thievish hand that brought success to Argentine. The grateful memory will also hold the drama of Peter Czech who failed to hold the ball and let the Turkish go further.
Good or bad luck may affect the result, not the class.
Our players won three matches in Euro 2008 with dignity. They created more chances and they made a use out of it. They really grew up. Thanks.
There are grounds for sensible joy.
For me, eleven people in the field do not represent all of us or the system, the regime or even the country. They represent a football team wearing the “Russia” name on the uniform. They are no symbol or sign. They are compatriots of spectators who want to see them adroit and successful, and winning. Great! But why should we delegate them powers and make a goal be a national importance?
It’s ridiculous turning the great and nice goal by Torbinsky with clever assist by Arshavin into a victory of the national spirit. Next time Nistelroy may turn out to be 10 sm closer to the ball.
Fanatical adherence to the chosen team-symbol is a sign of unfreedom, submission and inclination to subjection. When your favored players show high quality football, when they exceed their rivals with their desire for victory, with their passion and luck, just experience this undeclared joy with them!
Football is a sport, a kind of show (that is mostly gloomy in our domestic championship). Sometimes it is exciting, when it reaches the level of true art. However, neither victory nor defeat is an occasion for raising or striking the national flag.
On 22 June the Russian Patriarch expressed sorrow for all those 30 millions people killed in the WWII and then he congratulated the football players with the victory in quarterfinals. That seems to be too much.
I understand the impulse that brought hundreds of thousand people to the streets. I myself was on Tverskaya Street driving happily to Manejnaya Square, trumpeting with horn and blinking with lights. My car was swarmed with kindly disposed and sober young people, who had longed for joyful and authentic celebrations. And the matter was spoiled with the silly and tasteless rhetoric by the commentators from the main TV stations, which was also provocatively dangerous. And if we had won this Euro, would it have been the proof that our national way is right, being imposed on the country by our presidents, parties and government? Would it have justified the rising prices for bread, milk, gas? Wouldn’t it have strengthened the triumph of the ‘sovereign democracy’? Wouldn’t it have maintained the self-complacency of one’s own exclusiveness and self-conceit of “great power”?
Should we accept him to United Russia and make an MP in the Duma? There are a lot of sportsmen there and there is the lack of a good coach. Or maybe we should make him the chair of the government? Then we would have good order, class and competent substitutes.
No. Let him train the football players. He is like our soviet famous worker’s team leader Valentina Garanova, who changed from team to team helping those who lagged behind. It’s so many countries that he has made happy, the master!
We are not used to football victories. We do not separate it yet from real world around us. We are ready to accept anything we are proposed. Football cannot substitute other things. Give instruction. Feed. Warm up. Don’t humiliate. Don’t lie. And you shall not make for yourself a graven image. Either of others or yourself.
They are pestering too much.
We shall see with our own judgment and shall enjoy when there is the reason.
And football is just a game. It’s no more important than life itself.