Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Soccer: It's Not Just For Hooligans

Laura Martinez at Mi Blog Es Tu Blog finds this magnificent ad for some Spanish company (one of those big European conglomerates where we can never figure out what they do), rubbing the World Cup in Holland's face. But whereas she looks at the tagline - The World is Ours Once Again and sees Spain's ugly Conquistador history, we think it's brilliant.

Velázquez's "Surrender of Breda." Somewhere, we've got a picture of our much younger selves standing in front of this thing in the Prado. It commemorates a 1625 Spanish victory over the Dutch in the Eighty Years War.

The siege of Breda was not only a clash between the Netherlands and Spain, but a, “decisive contest between two famous generals, [Spinola and Dutch general Nassau], both well versed in the arts of fortification, who had their renown at stake”.

That a faceless conglomerate would use this painting, and everyone in Spain and Holland would recognize it and get the reference to a 400-year-old battle is one reason we love European sports, even if we don't really understand the game itself. It almost makes us wish Spain had played Germany in the final. (Of course, Germany-Holland could have been good, too.)


Anonymous said...

At the end, Holland won, because they separated, together with Manhattan, from the Spanish empire.

So this must be like a 5 de Mayo kind of thing. It was just a battle.

Burro Hall said...

Well, sure. Hey, Spain lost to the USA and Switzerland this year. Sometimes winning a battle is good enough.

Anonymous said...

I was afraid of this. I had hoped that Spain would wear its victory with an understated elegance and class. Unfortunately, this may be a sign that they will behave more like the British and we will have to be reminded of this ad nauseam until the end of the world.

Anonymous said...

Great photo!! your photography is like your writing..clear and sarcastic.