With national football, in England at least, there is the belief (or even knowledge!) that your’s is the greatest team. It may be because it is a British game, or simple because we are British.
Though there may not be much evidence to back up this belief, that doesn’t stop it existing, or it being taken up as the default position as the national team engage in a competitive game. You might think it is what you are supposed to believe – that is your role as a supporter.
After the game, if it doesn’t go well, there are a variety of people to blame for the result not being the right one, the one that reflects the true glory of the national side. Or, on occasions, we may allow ourselves a little more humility about our ability, and a little more grace about the gifting of others. But, in a tribal sport, this is not usually the case.
Euro 2012 has been a little different, though. We haven’t expected much, with no real hero players to believe in, and a new unexpected manager. So maybe we have had less bravado.
But we have done well.
So, whatever belief you watch the game with tonight, I hope you take the time to enjoy it, and savour the moment, whatever the outcome.
Jesus was once asked the question ‘who is the greatest?’ He didn’t reply In-ga-land. In fact he didn’t reply at all. He placed a child before them, and explained that the yardstick for excellence is innocence. And more, it is the key to even getting onto the scale.
Enjoy the game, our team! Your performance, and their’s. So even if you don’t win, you will have the victory.
The victory that is a gift, not an achievement.