i Fodbold

World in Motion

Læste en pudsig lille klumme i Financial Times, som fint indkapsler mit eget overraskende positive billede af de 14 dage af VM i fodbold.

Even for the fair-weather fan there is something wonderful about the first two weeks of the World Cup. This is mainly because there is football — or soccer as it is known to those nations that rarely qualify — on television all the time; three or four matches each day, which means you can luxuriate in footie. You can spend an entire weekend sitting on your couch waiting for the next game to start. You literally don’t have to talk to anyone for a fortnight, and certainly not about anything except football.

You catch yourself opining seriously about the Colombian midfield or the Japanese left back. Obviously, few matches have the same road-clearing sense of unmissability attached to an England game — if not always to an England penalty — but they have nearly always rewarded the effort. How many of us would ordinarily make any effort to watch Senegal-Japan? Yet it was a delight.

Den indledende runde har været en fornøjelse, synes jeg. Ikke kun grundet antallet af kampe og den ret høje kvalitet af spillet, men også fordi de første runder af VM udgør en tidsmæssigt afgrænset unik lille og uskyldsren boble.

Nu begynder de sidste runder så desværre. Med dem sætter alvoren, den defensive spillestil og risikominimeringen ind. Så er det slut med den uforpligtende underholdning, de obskure hold i bedste sendetid og det positive spil. Bevares, intensiteten og spændingen om resultatet er større nu, hvor det er vind-eller-forsvind. Men den spontane glæde og rene fornøjelse? Den er væk. Eller som Robert Shrimsley opsummerer det:

Then we hit the second fortnight and suddenly normality resumes. Two or three days may pass without a game. The withdrawal symptoms are terrible. What the hell is this? What am I supposed to do with my evenings? By the final week, the third-place play-off seems like a major draw even for those of us who can ordinarily easily go a week without watching a game.

I know there are other options — Wimbledon, test matches, a family holiday. But these four weeks of football feel like a stolen month, a few precious days when matches aren’t even supposed to be on, and when you have permission to overdose on something in plentiful supply the rest of the year.

Perhaps the other joy of these first weeks is the rare luxury of watching first-class football matches in which, for the most part, you don’t really care about the result. This is football watched for its own sake. It could catch on.

Jeg er helt enig. I dagligdagen orker jeg ikke mere fodbold end AaB, og det er tilmed sjældent at jeg ser deres kampe. Men VM indtil nu har været godt. Det var pragtfuldt da Schweiz vandt over Serbien. Jeg græd salte tårer over Sverige, både da de tabte til Tyskland og siden til sidst triumferede mod Mexico.

Gid de indledende runder havde varet længere!

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