This past weekend was a big one for soccer - or should I say futból. Real Madrid and FC Barcelona are in a neck-and-neck race for the top of La Liga and everyone is talking about it. Going into the weekend los blancos (Madrid) were behind Barça by 2 points. Saturday saw an exciting comeback for Real Madrid to get a 4-3 win after being down 3-1. More shocking was the tie for Barcelona on Sunday. That put the two in a tie for points atop the leaderboard but, as a result of points scored in the 2 matchups between the rivals, Madrid is currently in 1st.
The excitement for me was not in the actual football, although I must say that I did enjoy the games and that I am gaining an interest in the sport, being a sports person by nature. (My true love is baseball and we do get the occasional game on cable here. Too bad it's always the Yankees against someone and the Cardinals never play the Yankees...) Aside from the actual sporting value of the games, the fun part for me was hearing the City erupt at each goal. We had our windows open so at each Madrid goal (there were 4) we were met with shouts and horns from the street below. And the street was much more emtpy than normal - everyone was in a bar or at home watching the game. The sport definitely unites the City. And divides the country.
Also of note is the footage they've been showing on the news of the fans in Barcelona heckling their team at practice today. In the States, or at least in St. Louis, the fans don't typically bother their OWN team. But football here is more than sport.