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Spain: The Best Country in the World

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What a glorious finale to an incredible month of soccer. Last night, all of Spain collapsed in an ecstatic fit when Andrés Iniesta slammed home his winning goal in extra time. Spain is the best country in the world. I mean that. The best country in the world.

Yo Soy Espanol

It’s as though the tournament had been scripted! The Spaniards weren’t just the World Cup’s best team, but the classiest. Fair play and a beautiful passing game have come to define La Roja. They’re also the bestlooking team in the world. Hands down. And in the Netherlands, they had an almost comically villainous opponent — the dirty-playing, karate-kicking, flopping, petulant Dutch.

They were the good guys. Spain deserved to win. And then, they did! THEY WON! When the tension couldn’t possibly have gotten any more unbearable, Andrés Iniesta freed his country from a legacy of defeat. Spain is the best country in the world.

Check out our awesome video of the celebration at Café Burlón in Valencia, and afterwards at Plaza del Ayuntamiento.

Congratulations Spain! You richly deserve this victory. And, although I’m not a native, I hope you don’t mind me singing along… ¡Yo soy español, español, español!

¡Yo soy español, español, español!

Valencia Spain Weltmeister

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July 12, 2010 at 11:09 am Comments (5)

Where oh Where Will I Watch the World Cup?!

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I know. Usually, we try and provide you with information about the city. But this time, I’m stuck. The World Cup begins tomorrow and I have no idea where to watch it!

When we lived in Berlin, every bar had huge screen televisions set up outside, on street corners or in makeshift gardens. The city had set up gigantic screens in the public gardens. There were hundreds of awesome places to catch a game, in every neighborhood. But here in Valencia? I’m not sure!

I don’t necessarily mind watching the games on a small TV, but preferable would be a BIG screen, with seating outside. Do any of our readers have a suggestion?

Update: Las Provincias reports that you can watch some games in 3D at certain cinemas. Now, I have to figure out where the hell either Yelmo Cines, Cinesa or Kinépolis are!

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June 10, 2010 at 4:29 pm Comments (9)

Card Trading on San Vicente Mártir

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The World Cup is coming up fast, which means approximately 89% of Europe’s children (and 78% of adults) are busy collecting and trading Panini stickers to complete their Official Panini World Cup albums.

Panini Stickers

I got hooked during the 2006 World Cup, when I lived in Berlin. With a mix of dogged determination, slight insanity and keen bartering sensibility, I managed to complete my album a couple days before the final between France & Italy. The sense of satisfaction and glee one feels while placing the last sticker is indescribable.

Chromos copa el mundo

On Sunday mornings, in an alley off San Vicente Mártir near the Iglesia de San Martín, there is a mini-market for trading card fans. I found that the hectic, disorganized and generous way the Spanish trade is quite unlike the coldly equitable method employed in Germany. After 20 minutes, I left with a huge stack of new cards, having gotten rid of nearly all my doubles. Jürgen was waiting for me at a nearby café, and I ran over ecstatically to show him my new acquisitions. My wild-eyed enthusiasm was answered with a bewildered look, bordering on disgust. But I did not care.

Even if you’re not into trading stickers, the bustle and excitement of the impromptu Sunday morning markets is an interesting slice of Valencian life. And if you are… send me a note! Maybe we can make a deal.

Panini World Cup Stickers

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May 24, 2010 at 8:44 am Comment (1)

We Shall Never Forget Thee, David Villa!

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Hmph, try not to look too happy, bub

Death. Taxes. The departure of David Villa. There are just a few things in life that are unavoidable, and the dreaded day has finally arrived in Valencia. An era is over. But everyone knew it was coming, so it’s better just to remember the good times. The world’s best striker no longer plays for Valencia, but for the world’s best team. There’s something fitting about it. Sigh.

My buddy’s girlfriend just left him for another guy. It’s rough. But the other guy is really cool, successful and good looking. Totally the right move, from her perspective. And as much as I want to comfort my pal, she was too good for him. It was just a matter of time.

So, Mr. Villa, we won’t be angry. At least it’s Barcelona and not Real Madrid! At least you’re staying in Spain, and not being shipped off to the Premier League! Best of luck in the future, hope you’re happy and win all sorts of championships, and blah blah blah.

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May 21, 2010 at 5:51 pm Comments (0)

VCF – Champions League Bound!

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What an incredible turnaround this season for Valencian Football. After the disastrous 2008-2009 campaign, when the club was mired in debt, with a huge new stadium they couldn’t afford to complete, VCF looked likely to be relegated. At the very least, experts agreed, they’d have to sell off all their stars — top-tier teams across Europe were eager to swoop down on Valencia’s stinking corpse and snatch up their stellar talent for pennies.

Los Che & their fans deserve to celebrate [Alberto Iranzo / David González –]

But Valencia ignored its debt, stubbornly kept all its best players, and this year has played incredible, inspired football, likely saving the club. With last night’s 3-1 victory over Xerez, Valencia has qualified for the Champions League. And the cash which will flow in from that competition (€3 million, just for qualifying) is sorely needed.

The Guardian has a terrific article explaining how Valencia was able to bluff its way back to life.

“The question is how did they do it? [… A] little help from friends in very high places. Sometimes even a rubbish hand can be a winning hand if you know how to ride it out – and when it comes to poker faces and playing hardball, few beat Valencia president Manolo Llorente.” Read Full Article

With Levante UD likely to ascend to the top flight next season, this is turning out to be a banner year for Valencian football.

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May 5, 2010 at 8:39 am Comments (0)

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