Last Saturday the world’s leaders, while gathered in Chicago for a summit, took a break from saving the world for something far more important: to watch the final of the Champions League.
Chelsea v Bayern, Britain v Germany, Cameron v Merkel, pound v euro… the symbolism could go on forever. I doubt either of the two countries’ leaders is a great football fan, but the moment called for patriotism and the photo shows that this was provided, to a certain extent. Cameron stands arms raised in triumph as Chelsea score the winning penalty while Angela looks a little confused. Fortunately Durao Barroso was at her side to show that at least on the important issue of football he was with the Germans and provided the suitably dismayed look required for the occasion.
Meanwhile between Britain and Germany stands Barack Obama, openmouthed. Is he cheering for Chelsea? Is he yawning? Or is he just gobsmacked, bemused by this odd game played by his European friends, that clearly serves to put trivialities such as the economic crisis and the fate of the euro in their place?
The question that remains is: Where was Rajoy? Why wasn’t he devastated along with his colleague Barroso to score some points with the all-important Merkel? He was probably sulking – after all it should have been Barcelona and Real Madrid, or at least one of them, playing for the cup. If it had been a Spanish final would the likes of Obama, Cameron and Merkel have taken a break from putting the world to rights to watch it? Would it have given Spain more credibility on the financial markets?
Who says politics and football don’t mix?
Filed under: General by Rachel Haynes