A clash of footballing cultures, or why Spain won Euro 2008 and England didn’t?

Posted by - March 19, 2009 - International, Oddballs

Whistle while you work

Posts might be a bit thinner on the ground than usual over the next couple of days as I am travelling around sunny Spain at the minute. Off The Post is a football blog not a travel journal, but here is a little football-related anecdote.

Yesterday I sat in on a Spanish PE class (also known as a game of football) which was being taken by a teacher friend. The children were aged about eight. The quality wasn’t great, certainly nothing you wouldn’t expect to see from English kids of a similar age.

The real tell-tale moment that this was football in a different culture came when, about 30 minutes into the 45-minute match, one team reasserted its comfortable lead over the other after a mini-comeback attempt. As soon as the match kicked off again, all the players on the winning side started whistling for full-time. Now that is a winning mentality – when you don’t mind going back to the classroom early for extra maths as long as you won the game!