Tuesday, August 7, 2018

World Cup: France 4, Croatia 2

From Udine we drove on past Padua to Terme Abano, at whose sosta we had stayed just before our Balkan adventure. The plan was to stop early, in a known place, a town, where I could watch the World Cup final game, pitting my adopted favorite, Croatia, versus what would have been my favorite team otherwise, France. It was Sunday afternoon and, surprisingly, several of the main bars and sports bars were closed. Closed. Good grief. (Italy did not get into the World Cup this quadrennium--first time in thousands of years you'd think--and many Italians are still in denial). But I found one open, nice enough, with a big screen and a bar-tender who knew how to make a Negroni, all the Italians there rooting for Croatia, and watched nearly the whole game (except for an over-long half-time break for Vicki's spaghetti). Sadly, Croatia lost. I have not watched as many as half a dozen futbol games in my life, but I strongly felt the Croats suffered from a couple of bad calls, early on, and were fighting up-hill all the way. They seemed to me the better team, attacking all the way, never benefiting from the referee's calls. Had Croatia not been in it, I would have been cheering for France, so I didn't feel too bad. And the Croat team did their little nation very proud. Oh, and yes, I am fully aware of the immigrant nature of the French team. More power to them! Vive la France!

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