Nations League: The value of a smile | Soccer | Sports

The referee whistles the end of extra time at the Reale Arena and the Real Mallorca players get together in a huddle to decide those issues of penalties: who takes them, what is the order, if there is anyone who doesn’t feel good about taking them. . And so that the goalkeeper receives the information regarding the rival’s shooters, the hugs and phrases of support from his team that they seek, it is not known whether to increase the goalkeeper’s confidence or allay the fears of the rest. Or, perhaps, it is something linked to the superstition that would combine the two concepts into one.

And there appeared Javier Aguirre, coach of Real Mallorca, to launch with a huge smile one of those witty phrases that distinguish him in his press conferences. Maybe something like that remembered “go out and enjoy” from Johan before the Wembley 92 final. I don’t know what the Mallorcan coach told them, but the group reacted with a laugh and getting closer, becoming stronger, more united.

As the story ended with Mallorca qualifying for the final of the Copa del Rey, that image was a reflection of the good relationship between the coach and his staff, as one of those examples that are often used to transfer from the world of football, that of sport in general, to the business world. With the motto that a smile is necessary, also, in the most tense moments and that it offers light, warmth and relieves the atmosphere, providing confidence. Come on, it would be ideal to print on thousands of vermilion t-shirts and make it the “official” uniform of the Mallorcan fans in the final in Seville. As long as the sentence is printable, we already know Aguirre’s vocabulary skills and expressions.

It may also have occurred to you, gentle reader, that if the penalty shootout had ended with the royalists hugging and celebrating the classification with their audience, we would have the laughing image of Aguirre and his team on loop as an example of lack of concentration, of not understanding the importance of the moment, of frivolizing with the passion of the Mallorcan people. Come on, don’t take it seriously. And I already tell you that if Wembley had ended badly for Barça we would not have enjoyed it either on the field, which they enjoyed, or then off it. And the millions who still today would say that instead of talking about enjoyment we had to talk about football, tactics, serious things.

As seriously as the players of the Spanish National Soccer Team take it, they asked for the ball for themselves at the start of the La Cartuja match and did not return it until they exchanged it for the Nations League trophy, demonstrating how the game of association, of position, of ball speed continues to be an excellent tool to play and win, to enjoy and to smile, to score, celebrate on the field and go to hug two of the substitute players, Oihane and Eva Navarro, who They had been left out of the eleven, like Aitana did. Those little details.

I think about some of this when I walk towards San Mamés, in the middle of the cold and the rain, as it should be, thinking, perhaps out of reflection, perhaps out of superstition, about the positive stimuli necessary to face these decisive events and the difference between the magical divinatory readings prior to those forceful and definitive ones that occur when we already know the final result and read the game backwards.

If the example is worth it, that global conclusion (and, therefore, also ours) that the Spanish women’s team is the best team in the world. Since we already have experience on this matter on the male side and we know how quickly happiness usually travels, it wouldn’t be bad to enjoy the moment and be happy with them.

They deserve it, they have earned it.

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