Champions League begins today. Many of you doubtless read Aishwarya's pithy mulling over the correct ways to watch sport; rest assured that I and she, and all the best sort of ladies, believe that if a game is worth watching, it is worth watching exquisitely, dramatically, and frivolously.
Let it be stated for the record that I'm rooting in crude and obvious fashion for gli diavoli, the closest thing to a pinup club in European club football, home to men of patrician noses, great hair and mean, mean - if not one hundred percent effective - football: the Rossoneri, or, A C Milan. Arsenal is second, just a notch above Real Madrid, and Inter Milan is my seekrit love. That traitorous Zlatan, he's some dude.
The Italians look poised to have a bad season, considering the Calciopoli cases that have shooken them up, and given how the traditional and proper thing for a team, any team that isn't Brazilian footer or Australian cricket or Ro-Fed King of Tennis, is to be slaughtered by everyone else immediately after they've won themselves a dramatic, flamboyant fight to be called world champions. Madrid have won some and lost some, and Cannavaro has - as Isheeta sharply noted - been making himself useful to them in a very puzzling fashion, mostly by leaving his defensive position, what he is paid to stand at, all across at the other end of the field, to come by and shoot some goals for them.
Arsenal's had a pathetic start to the EPL season, which should really not be allowed, because Arsenal? Good side. In fact, if Thierry Henry actually aims at the goal more often? Really good side.
Thierry is the first desirable male athlete I'd like to gratuitously draw attention to, for no reason other than that he is Thierry Henry. When talking about footer over Isheeta (as occurs more often than you would believe. Really) she mentioned the sort of stereotypes that hang around international teams: Brazil has flair, the English are fast, the Italians are a bunch of sly Machiavellian divers (l0lz) and the French are elegant. Thierry Henry, unfortunately for brave sterotype-busters, is elegant. One understands, objectively, that he is, in spite of his whoops-feet-of-butter! start to EPL 2006, a truly fantastic player, one of France's superstars, Arsenal's all-time highest scorer, and a force to be recked with. Deal, someone has to be doing all this. But to make it look so stylish, so fluidly beautiful - that's got to be something. The records are just stats, after all. Thierry Henry makes football look callisthenic. I don't know how he manages that with what often looks like just the flick of an ankle.
O, did a better man ever wear puffed sleeves and knee socks (don't say James I, you will be summarily disembowelled)?
(That picture would not have made it to this blog without the ingeniosity of her.)