I am not a big sports fan. In fact, until 4 weeks ago, I had never watched a football game before. So the football world cup 2010 has been a steep learning curve for me. Here is what I have learned:
What makes a great footballer?
- Great ball skills. A natural talent. Of course.
- Great acting skills. If you get tapped on the shoulder by an opposing player, you have to be able to fall on the ground, and writhe in pain, and convince the referee that your leg hurts very much.
- You also have to be able to convey intense emotion with your face, so the referee and all the millions of TV viewers, will see that you are horrified, shocked, dismayed at his decision. You cannot verbally argue with the referee, or you will get a card. So your body language has to convey that you disagree vehemently.
- You have to have great recovery skills. When the referee has/has not responded to your extreme pain, you have to recover very soon and very bravely, before the coach replaces you with someone on the bench.- A great body. Good abs. The ability to look fabulous in a suit. The skill to be a smouldering model, for watches, men’s perfume and underwear. The inclination to take off your shirt at any given time. If you do so directly after a game in front of the cameras, all female viewers will swoon, and they will support your team in future. Your ginormous income will depend on this.
- You don’t have to be well spoken. You don’t have to have a deep voice. Although you speak English, your accent may be so strong that many will not understand. It’s ok, you are not admired for what you say.
- Moral ambiguity. The ability to be outraged when an opponent cheats, while being quite willing to commit the same foul if the situation were reversed. After the game, you may admit you cheated. You justify it by saying that it is the referee's job to keep the game clean, and if he didn't see it or he allowed it, you are vindicated.
There is something else that takes you from being a good footballer, to being a legendary, internationally recognised one. This factor is a subject that needs to be discussed in more detail, so I made it a separate point.
Legendary footballers have an edge when they have great WAGS - wives and girlfriends. Having WAGS, is what makes especially English footballers the best in the world.
What makes a good WAG?
- You must be skinny. Extremely so. If you are a model, it counts in your favour. Of course you have to give up your career and stop working, to be a full time WAG. You may attend charity functions to justify your existence, as long as they don’t interfere with your job as a supporter of your husband.
- You must be able to party. Hard. There may be hints of drugs, alcohol and infidelity, but they must never be proven.
- You must be able to shop up a storm. This is very important. The economies of the countries that you are visiting while your man is playing, depend on it. You must be seen shopping in the most expensive and exclusive boutiques, and pushing lettuce leaves around in the restaurant-of-the-week. If you are photographed by paparazzi while doing so, you have proven your worth.
- It gives you more credibility if you have/had a singing career. You don’t have to be a very good singer.
- When your soccer-star husband cheats on you with the nanny/the wife of a team mate/porn star, you have to be very brave about it. You have to forgive him. Unless he does it a few times, in which case you have to be seen being thin and pale and distraught, yet dignified, while telling the painful story on TV. This will ensure you gets a good financial settlement.
- You may not cheat on your football-star husband. This will not be forgiven. He is the hero, you are only the accessory.
the photos in this post are courtesy of C Jane Moneypenny, and were taken at the USA - Slovenia game on Friday 18 June 2010. nice, hey?
you can read part 2 of 'what this world cup has taught me' here.