Posts Tagged With: Spain

Who Should You Root for at the 2018 World Cup?

DSCN1440

Here’s a little random fact about me: I love soccer! I watch Spanish, Portuguese and English league soccer during the season, I played competitively in high school until I got injured during my senior year, and my dad was a professional back in England for a couple of years. Soccer is in my blood; it’s religion for me. And you can bet I’m eagerly awaiting the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which begins next week.

So what’s it all about? Every four years, 32 of the best footballing nations compete for soccer’s ultimate crown. This year it takes place in Russia, and sadly many of perennial soccer nations won’t be there: Italy, Netherlands, Chile, Ivory Coast and the USA. With the United States not in it, you might think the World Cup isn’t worth passing up baseball games, BBQs, etc. However, the World Cup is one of the biggest sporting events on the planet! It seems the world stops for the beautiful game. Sports Illustrated claims “the Super Bowl will never match the World Cup for global attention, no matter how many games the NFL plays on other continents.” Pretty interesting if you ask me!

Interested in watching the World Cup? Not sure who to support? I suggest my five picks (feel free to take or leave):

  1. Spain – winners of the World Cup in 2010, Spain return after a disappointing performance four years ago in Brazil. Spain qualified in a group featuring Italy. They come with a youthful players from Real and Atletico Madrid. With a strong desire to make up from their early exit in Brazil, Spain will look poised to go all the way to the final in Moscow. They will be in Group B with Portugal, Iran and Morocco.
  2. France – Finalists at Euro 2016 and World Cup winners in 1998, France are a good bet. With players like Griezmann and Mbappe will likely go far in the knock-out stages. Their group features Peru, Australia and Denmark.
  3. Argentina – They’ve won the trophy twice, and made it to the final in Brazil only to have the title snatched by Germany. They will be hungry for revenge, and with Lionel Messi as their star player, who would bet against them? They will take on Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria in their group.
  4. Germany – The Germans come to Russia as defending World Cup champions. Last year, they won the Confederations Cup in Russia, thus proving their worth as favorites for this year’s tournament. They open their group with Mexico, followed with Sweden and South Korea. With players such as Muller, Ozil, Hummels and Ter Stegen, Germany will be a potential soccer juggernaut in Russia.
  5. Colombia – If you’re familiar with James Rodriguez and Cuadrado, you’ll know that Colombia will be no pushovers. They already proved that by reaching the quarterfinals in the last World Cup. And they’ll be ready to go further this year. Colombia plays with heart and won’t go down without a fight. Their group includes Poland, Japan and Senegal.

 

So who do I think will win? Hard to say. Every team that’s made it will offer something special. We will also see a few surprises, and that’s what makes the World Cup so fun to watch. Of course, I will be supporting Spain, England and Egypt. Wherever you are, whoever you are supporting (even if you’re just watching the game for the hell of it), enjoy the beautiful game!

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

What If Shakespeare Had Met Cervantes?

Suppose William Shakespeare and Miguel Cervantes had met each other? I’ve always wondered what that would have been like? Both were prolific writers, and their works are considered to be among the Great Books of literature. If you don’t know Cervantes, he is the author of Don Quixote. A meeting would’ve been possible as both me lived in the 16th and 17th century. Coincidentally, both men died in 1616.

Shakespeare was English and Cervantes was Spanish. Interestingly, both countries were punchy at odds with one another. During both author’s lifetimes, the Spanish Armada occurred. Also both men lived under the rule of monarchies. Spain was rising as an empire, and had already established colonies in the New World. England was getting ready to join the Spanish in conquering overseas territories. Additionally, during Cervantes’ time, King Philip II established Madrid as the new capital of Spain.

The historical and social context of Spain and England influenced their respective writers. A meeting between Shakespeare and Cervantes could have been done, but there were a couple of barriers. One, both men didn’t speak the same language, so there would have been the need to have an interpreter. Secondly, Shakespeare would have likely not wanted to make the trip to Spain to meet Cervantes, and vice versa. They would have had to have met in between, say in France.

So let’s say Cervantes and Shakespeare had agreed to meet in France. Both would come with interpreters, and agree to have dinner. The meeting would likely go as follows:

  • they would have asked each other a series of questions about their homeland and their writing
  • since both writers lived under the rule of a monarchy, they would have compared and contrasted them
  • both would have exchanged a copy of their work
  • after parting ways, both men would have returned home to their respective countries
  • after reading and critiquing each others’ work (interpreter’s help needed), they would have sent each other a letter giving feedback
  • finally, both writers would have written a new story based on their meeting

Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m right, but this is the way a meeting between Cervantes and Shakespeare would have gone down. I challenge you to rewrite this scenario. What if Shakespeare had met Cervantes? How would that have gone?

William Shakespeare (1564-1616). Engraved by E.Scriven and published in The Gallery of Portraits with Memoirs encyclopedia, United Kingdom, 1835.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616). Engraved by E.Scriven and published in The Gallery of Portraits with Memoirs encyclopedia, United Kingdom, 1835.

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616). Engraved by E.Mackenzie and published in The Gallery Of Portraits With Memoirs encyclopedia, United Kingdom, 1833.

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616). Engraved by E.Mackenzie and published in The Gallery Of Portraits With Memoirs encyclopedia, United Kingdom, 1833.

Categories: Writing & Inspiration | Tags: , , , , , ,

Weekend Writing Warriors/#8Sunday – Sevilla

better-wewriwa

Thanks for stopping by. I hope these winter storms didn’t cause you too much headache. Three winter storms in one week in my neck of the woods. Sorry I didn’t participate last weekend. I was attending a writing conference in Columbus all day Saturday, and I needed to catch up on school work on Sunday. There will be the odd weekend where I can’t participate (school comes first, I’m afraid).

I’m offering a poem from Reflections & Dreams, which is my unpublished poetry collection. This poem is entitled, Sevilla, which is about the city of Seville in southern Spain.

Along the narrow paved street,
Balconies draped in green and white,
Lanky man strums the chords,
Of the Gypsy melody.

Look up at golden watch tower,
Lasting impression of the Moorish triangle,
A badge, a symbol,
For locals to call their own.

Locals take refuge in casa,
From midday sun’s blistering touch,
They call it the ‘open oven’,
Resting peacefully until sundown.

Nightfall, the city awakens,
Tapas and golden brew bring smiles.
Listening to stories of sadness,
Through thundering dance.

Rhythm and euphoria meet,
Penetrating young souls of the night,
Expunge black memories,
Until the sun returns to smile again.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s hard to relate to if you’ve never been. It’s one of my favorite cities in the world, and if I had to recommend one city to visit in Spain, it would be Seville. I’d love to know your thoughts. Click on Weekend Writing Warriors for the official list of today’s participating writers. I apologize my previous post not allowing comments. I don’t know how that happened, but hopefully there are no “glitches” this week.

I will be out winter hiking today, so please don’t be offended if I don’t get around to commenting on your posts. Enjoy your Sunday!

Categories: Weekend Writing Warriors | Tags: , , , , , ,

Blog at WordPress.com.