"Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it's much more serious than that.” Bill Shankly
Anyone who has read Football Against The Enemy by Simon Kuper, one of the best books ever written about the "beautiful game" will know that politics plays a big role in the game and its history.
I wonder if at the end of this year we will see 7th July's clash between Europe's paymasters Germany and Europe's Latin loafers in the shape of Spain as a pivotal moment in the fate of the EU, the Euro and the and world economy and in time maybe of the "West" itself. Not that I want to big the game up.
Strange that Frau Merkel should travel half way across the world for a quarter final match against Argentina yesterday? on her arse politically at home, the populace keen to ditch the Euro, the bailout of the Mediterranean spreading slowly but surely, German taxpayers counting their cash with the right kind of Euro note serial numbers on them. The Frau knows the stakes are high.
Will a German win stiffen the German resolve as "Europe's" leaders, especially if they go on to win the world cup next Sunday night? Will a Spanish loss snowball the Spanish economic gloom. Will a German defeat be the ignition for euro implosion? A nasty hard fought encounter will only amplify the issue, psychology matters, at the moment in economics its all we seem to have.
€750bn could ride on the result, with a few years in the relegation zone even if you escape this time.