Football – Bloody Swell!

14Apr11

Some local friends had tickets for Benfica versus Paris Saint-Germain in the Europa League and wondered if Susie and I fancied coming along. I was keen but Susie wasn’t so sure. She eventually reasoned that you only live once (apologies to my Hindu fan base) so decided to give it a whirl.

We arrived outside the Estádio da Luz to find an enterprising duo had set up a beer van. I decided to reward their gumption by buying a pint. Moments after joining the back of a fairly long line I was approached by a stranger in a Benfica shirt who thrust a foaming lager pop at me while saying something in ‘foreign’. I accepted the drink and he happily toddled off. I interpreted his words as ‘have a free pint mate’ and set to suppin’. If he actually said ‘please hold my pint while I go and perform a toilet’ then I would like to take this opportunity to apologise. I do feel a responsibility to warn younger readers never to accept a drink from a stranger unless it’s alcohol in which case it’s probably fine.

13 hours later I woke up naked in the back of an Astra with a bag over my head and a crippling sense of shame. I did save €1.50 on beer though so not all bad.

We slowly filed into the ground with some of us keeping an eye out for an angry, thirsty looking Benfica supporter. As we took our seats the tension in the stadium was almost unbearable.

Gives you goosebumps doesn't it.

The match kicked off with Paris Saint-Germain starting strongly. The French team deftly caressed and stroked the ball as if it were a naive exchange student in a nightclub. To unnecessarily drag out the analogy, they eventually scored and immediately seemed to lose interest.

Benfica quickly launched a blistering comeback that saw Susie maintain consciousness for almost four minutes. There followed a prolonged period of immense pressure – probably that beer repeating on me (yes, that joke was about trapped wind. I’m 36 you know). A long cross fell to Pereira, the Benfica right back, who delivered a perfectly executed strike off the back of his left thigh from five yards. The ball trickled emphatically across the line and slammed quite close to the back of the net.

GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL!!!

Unfortunately it was disallowed.

Disallowed GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL!!!

As if to compensate, the referee began to reward every decision in Benfica’s favour. This produced a bone-cracking frenzy of Gallic shrugging from the French support. Encouraged, Benfica set up camp (metaphorically) in the Paris half and scored two quick goals to take a well deserved lead. It really was all over at this point. Apart from the remaining 35 minutes when not much happened. The standout highlight was a moustachioed man selling some sort of cake.

Richard Keys later showed this photo to Jamie Redknapp asking if he would 'like to hang out the back of it'. Andy Gray was unavailable for comment although did express an interest in having his knackers fondled. 'About a Gadabout: bringing you up-to-the-minute topical satire.'

The referee peeped his official peeper signally the end of the match and a valuable victory for Benfica. The Portuguese fans cheered with gusto and waved their cake wrappers in approval. The French supporters trundled glumly off, presumably to smoke Gauloises cigarettes while making intense love to their mistresses although I wouldn’t want to generalise.

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2 Responses to “Football – Bloody Swell!”

  1. 1 StevieC

    FOOTBALL, FOOT BALL!! FOOTBALL, FOOT BALL!! BROOKING! BROOK ING! TREV OR BROOK ING!!

  2. 2 davexxxx

    Trevor, you were a great professional and are doing an excellent job behind the scenes with English football but this constant self promotion is undignified.


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