¡Podemos! Spanish Soccer and Obama

With last week´s victory of Barack Obama as the next president of the United States, the whole world over seemed to rejoice in unison. The case was no different here in Spain, where news broadcasters, politicians, and your average José all met the possibility of an Obama presidency with equal parts giddy euphoria and utter ignorance of his actual policies. (I think Spain just took my word for it…) It was certainly inspiring to witness Obama fever in this country, especially in light of the famous incident this past summer in which an ill-conceived team photo of Spain´s Olympic basketball team was almost universally criticised as racist (it was meant to be an homage to the Games´ host nation). However, It would be trivial for me to elaborate on the details of the Spanish perspective of these historic elections. Should it come as any shock that the news talked about Obama all day, every day? McCain, as my friend Nate pointed out a few months ago, has garnered name recognition largely based on the brand of frozen potato products. His politics are ignored in light of this coincidence, and I think his true age is still not known in Spain.

But let´s be honest about something. Spain loves soccer more than anything else. Not even a monumental presidential campaign in the U.S. can pass without finding a connection between American politics and Spanish fútbol. So without further ado, I will now reveal two very fascinating facts about the relationship between Barak Obama campaign which only the most awesome Americans (i.e. Americans who are really into Spanish soccer) will know:

1.) Obama´s campaign slogan, ¨Yes We Can¨ is identical to the Spanish natioanal team´s rallying cry during this past Summer´s European Football Championship, ¨¡Podemos!¨ These must be the magic words in whatever language, because riding on this simple and direct message, both parties achieved enthralling victories.


2.) Jumilla, a town in the Murcia region, has a division 3 soccer team. Nothing special, right? WRONG. Obama plays for Jumilla! Only this guy is Spanish, and his name is Fernando. Pretty interesting though, if you can understand any of it at all. Basically they just talk about how he looks similar, that he´s not actually related, and how his teammates call him ¨el presidente.¨


~ by lincolnbrody on November 12, 2008.

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