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3:06pm on Wednesday, 7th July, 2010:



If England were in the semi-finals of the World Cup, there would be English flags flying everywhere, people would be walking around wearing England shirts, there would be England posters in all the shops, and England merchandise for sale everywhere.

Here in Leipzig, if I didn't already know that Germany were playing in the semi-finals just a few hours from now, well, there's nothing going on that would tip me off. No flags, no shirts, no posters, only a table of discreet merchandise in the gift section of department stores. eitehr they're not as passionate about the game as we are in England, or they're even more reserved than we are, or they're so used to winning that it's become routine, or they've learened better than we have the lessons the past teaches us about overt nationalism.

It should be an interesting match anyway. Like England, Spain has better players than Germany; the question is, do they have the better team?

I'm not sure I want to watch it on a large screen along with hundreds of German fans, though...

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Copyright © 2010 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).