This article was also published on The Eurobubble
I remember when I was in university how easy it was to organize a football tournament. You ask people to make teams, someone brings a ball and the winners get to troll the losers for the rest of the academic year. As simple as that.
Well, things sort of change when you play football (mostly futsal) in the Eurobubble. In the Eurobubble, 5 a side football is a matter of life and death. It’s a strict religion. It’s not just a game among friends on a Saturday afternoon. It’s something that will have a significant impact in your career and winning will open new opportunities in front of you (FALSE!!)
People get seriously mental about this tournaments. First of all, a committee (yes, a committee) is set up for the organization. Basically, these are the Platter and Platini of the Schuman/Arts-Loi area. Then, these great masters decide the “rules and regulations” of the tournament and once these are public, there is no coming back. When I talk about rules and regulations I literally mean a document which is sent out to all teams. THIS IS NOT A JOKE. See below
When Eurobubblers talk about their futsal tournaments it sounds like they’ve played a Champions league Final. I remember a friend of mine telling me about the strategy they put up to win the touranment of an institution: “We put a tall German girl in defense. She just finished her stage but she could still play. Then, we controlled the game with our wingers. Two great Belgians accountants (one Francophone and one Flemish) with experience in policy making and we focussed our attack on an accurate Swedish forward with a PhD in European maritime transports law. So many good memories…”
The truth is that pretty much everyone in the Eurobubble really, really suck at football (including myself). The fun fact is that most of them play like they work: HR managers, are the safe defenders. The Zanetti and Puyol like. Those who always make the safest pass and never risk going forwards. Lobbysts play forward and make up a lot of stories about their skills but wouldn’t score even if a 5 year old was defending the goal. Policy officers play hard. They get the job done and don’t celebrate after scoring. It’s their job after all.