13 Jun, 2014 @ 08:30
1 min read

Loud and Clear

IN case you hadn’t noticed, the Brazil World Cup kicks off on June 12, with the hosts facing Croatia.

For the following weeks, it will be impossible to avoid the madness.
Whether you have satellite or Spanish TV, it will be swamped with coverage of the matches, predictions, statistics and a myriad of expert opinions and post-match post-mortems.

You can forget nipping out for the evening to get away from the World Cup. The quality of your dining experience will certainly suffer.
Expect to find service in your favourite pasta place a little slow when Italy are playing, forget tapas when Spain take to the pitch and don’t even try to order escargots if France get beaten.

Brazil 2014 has some mouth-watering matches in store. England will play Italy and Spain will face Holland in a repeat of the last World Cup final.
When Spain win a match, forget all thoughts of sleep, as the roads will be full of drivers honking their horns like demented sea lions.

You won’t lack for choice of places showing the action either, so why not take in the games in a variety of locations?
Sitting with an ice-cold beer in a beach bar watching one of the afternoon matches is a unique pleasure, especially if you normally watch football on a wet Wednesday in Wigan.
Try a tapas bar for the Spanish matches, an Italian restaurant when the Azzuri are playing and why not sample a little sushi when Japan are in action? Just don’t expect speedy service…

And as a neutral supporter you may even be adopted by a set of fans as an unofficial mascot – which is why there is a photo of me somewhere in San Pedro wearing a massive orange hat, clutching a Heineken. I think that Holland may have been playing…

Legacy of liberty

The King is gone. Long live the King.

The decision by Juan Carlos – beset by scandal and ill health – to abdicate to his son has been largely applauded.

I did, however, see pictures on social media of republicans covering statues of Juan Carlos in Marbella – that well known hotbed of far left politics.

How quickly they forget that Juan Carlos was chosen by Franco to continue the dictatorship, but after the dictator’s death, the young King realised Spain must return to democracy.

When Guardia Civil officers launched a coup in 1981, the King refused to back them and it quickly fizzled out.

Perhaps those who threw a hood over Juan Carlos’ statue last week should consider that without his moves towards democracy, their actions would have lead to a long spell in jail.
Or something far worse.

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