Saturday, April 14, 2007

Portuguese Ball Kickers

The only novelty and most noteworthy fact about the previous entry to this blog, is the candid remark of Peter Trickett about "soccer", hinting that Australians would suck less at football if the Portuguese had setup Australia. Well, Brasil seems to confirm the historian's theory, although I personally believe that the Aussies put on a rather good display at the 2006 World Cup.

Anyway, my goal here is a different kind of ball. Long before world cups and football, when the sport-king of the day was Jousting, someone had to first encompass the globe (world), for one day the world to take up globe (ball) kicking. Before C. Ronaldo, Figo and Mourinho, there has been many other Portuguese to leave their mark in the world. The line-up includes most of the early Navigators, and other nameless people who have helped Portugal to be the smallest nation to ever have had a global (world) empire.

I remember reading somewhere that Buzz Aldrin, one of the first astronauts and one of the few men to have contemplated the earth sphere from outer space, has compared the Portuguese navigations to the space exploration... venturing into the unknown, going boldly where no one had ever gone before, using the embryonary science and technology available at the time, while Europe and most of the world was busy fighting meaningless "tribal" battles.

Despite all the contribution to world history, modern Portuguese still need to open the way, the hard way. We are taken for granted, underestimated and many Europeans (namely the French and the English) usually have a hard time accepting that Portuguezzers can be more successful then them... when we are good, we're not good enough; and when we're just like everyone else, we're rubbish and the most wicked of the wiked. Hence, the likes of Ronaldo and Mourinho have to be sometimes a bit over the top, because coming from Portugal, means other people will often have low expectations towards the tanned dudes that are starting to steal their thunder. Ain't that a kick in the balls?

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