The shield. In the shield, which is not in vain usually has the shape of a heart, the entire childhood fits, the natural sequence that passes that passion from parents to children, nostalgia if you look back, dreams if you look forward, the terror of uncertainty before the game that is about to start … That unconditional adherence to a club reduces the infinity of football to a single and undoubtedly beautiful obsession. For those who have that emotional commitment to a team, soccer is unrivaled. It is a lasting, selfless passion and the stronger it is, the more inexplicable it becomes because, like all love, it goes outside of intelligence. The fan assures his loyalty, even if he is outraged by the management of his club, even if the team’s game bores him, even if he suffers from defeat. It is this seemingly indestructible spiritual force that leads us to believe that football is eternal.
The show. But it is impossible to understand the football that comes without understanding the time. And we must recognize that a match can be an exciting adventure or an unbearable bore. At this point, football, which claims to be a core part of the entertainment industry and is putting an accent on the business, will play its future. For the consumption of leisure, there are impatient generations that demand quick diversions, and football becomes long and tedious if it is not interpreted with the class, ambition and daring shown in the extraordinary level of the Champions League. This is how you defend a business threatened by tactical obsession, speculation, and predictability. Be careful not to seek the result by boring people because that will gradually expel young people and end up condemning football to purely emotional local ghettos. That is, convincing those who are already convinced.
Pride. I’m not just talking about the beauty that Messi, Neymar or Benzema assure these days, which are a show that fans / clients capture for themselves. But also of the generosity of those who, like Modric, help to run through the blood of their team an energy that moves, a contagious professional honesty and an intelligence that dazzles the fan as well as the neutral spectator. In Madrid’s glorious week, we have seen Lucas Vázquez fall injured, recklessly attacking the enemy trench without thinking that his renewal is in the air. We have also seen the unfortunate condition of Valverde’s ankle, which did not prevent him from fulfilling a great act of service against Liverpool. Borges said that “the brave are over and they left no seed”, but, allergic to football, he was not referring to the Uruguayan players or to this resistant and proud Real Madrid that is making every game a matter of survival.
The virtuous circle. The luminous Champions gives us an idea of the fullness that football achieves when it lets beauty flow, when pride mobilizes emotion, when effort is not used only to speculate and when the great stars of world football are on the field. Florentino Pérez understood from day one that talent attracts expectation, expectation of money and money for new talents. Within this strategy, the new Santiago Bernabéu will turn on its lights throughout the week to raise money by providing all kinds of services and, on match days, to illuminate the best players in the world attracted by history, legend and, not let’s fool ourselves, also for the money. That is the only possible virtuous circle that will allow Madrid to compete with the oil put at the service of the football of the other semifinalists. And it allows Florentino to be a president with no rivals in sight.