sábado, 16 de junho de 2018


“All Spain’s fans could do, after it was over, was applaud. There was no sense wallowing in disappointment, worrying about what it all might mean. Spain had victory snatched away at the last moment, denied a cathartic moment by its nearest neighbor, and yet there was no bitterness, no sorrow: only admiration, and awe. Sometimes, it is not the winning, but the taking part.

(…) And when the final whistle blew, the stadium stood: not just the clusters of Portuguese fans, not just the neutrals and the Russians, but the Spanish fans, too, in those blood-red jerseys. They applauded their own team, of course; there was enough encouragement there to see the bigger picture, to believe that the tumult of the last few days may not be fatal to their hopes.

But when Spain’s players had left the field, and Portugal’s stood in the center circle, the Spanish fans remained standing, and they kept clapping, as every single Portuguese player sought out Ronaldo, to clasp his hand, to ruffle his hair, as though just to touch him was to brush against something holy.

They do not mind that he attracts — demands, really — all of the attention. They do not mind being in the supporting cast, just as those Spanish fans did not mind providing the audience for the three acts of his one-man show. Sometimes, it is a pleasure simply to be there; sometimes, it is a pleasure just to sit back and watch. And at the end, sometimes there is nothing to do but applaud.”

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