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May 04, 2007

Champions League semi-final showdowns

20070505_champsleague I ended up watching the second leg of the Liverpool - Chelsea tie in the Muses cafe at the harbour. I had intended to go to Remezzo, where I had parked for a considerable amount of last year's World Cup, but all the good seats in front of the telly had been taken by the time I got there. So I got a great seat at the front at Muses.

And then was promptly turfed out as soon as it was established that I was on my own.

I was taking up too much space, so they moved me across the street to the other half of their cafe, and plonked me down in the midst of some Greek old boys. I had a great view of the TV, so that wasn't too bad.

Well, for 20 minutes anyway, when they moved me again, because as a lone occupant of a two man bench I was still taking up too much space. I got to see most of the game in the company of one lone Greek guy making his Ouzo meze last the entire match.

Obviously with the game going to extra time and penalties it was a late night, as it didn't finish until 12:30am here.

The waiter kept trying to establish why I was supporting Liverpool. It was hard, with his broken English and my negligible Greek, to explain that I wasn't supporting Liverpool, I was supporting against Chelsea.

This was all a bit more successful than my trip to Platanias last week to see the Manchester United - Milan game. You see, only the Wednesday night Champions League games are on terrestrial TV here, so to see the matches on a Tuesday I have to go out.

Well, the bar I picked in Platanias was good when we watched the Liverpool - PSV match there previously, but a bit of a disaster for the semi-final. Despite it being the last four of the Champions league between what I grudgingly have to admit are two of the biggest names in European football, the main feature in the bar I was at was AIK - Hammarby.

I kid you not.

On the big screen was something I've never seen before - a bar showing sports being streamed through Windows Media Player from Canal+, with stuttery buffering commentary, whilst in the corner and silent was Manchester United versus Milan. It didn't seem to matter that only about 10 people were watching Hammarby, and 50 people were straining to follow what was going on at Old Trafford.

Worse was to come at the end of the match though.

There is a parallel universe where "Simply The Best" by Tina Turner, "Heaven Is A Place On Earth" by Belinda Carlisle and "Walk Of Life" by Dire Straits are the tracks that get the party started.

Sadly for me, this parallel universe isn't somewhere in the vicinity of Raxacoricofallapatorius, but is actually just down the road in Platanias after the football has finished.

During the game the table near me had filled with a gaggle of giggling Scandinavian teenage girls, who had 'enhanced' my enjoyment of the evening by drunkenly shouting out "Ronaldo!" or "Giggs!" each and every time one of them appeared on the screen.

They had only been there about five minutes when a group of boys ordered a whole round of showy cocktails with sparklers in to be sent over to them.

And at the final whistle, Tina Turner sparked up with "Simply The Best", and the girls started whooping it up and dancing on the tables.

It was quite clear that their evening was only going to end in some unsatisfactory barely consensual drunken sex.

Anxious to avoid getting tangled up in a similar fate myself, I made my excuses and left.

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And the award for best line in a BelamBlog this year so far goes to:

'It was quite clear that their evening was only going to end in some unsatisfactory barely consensual drunken sex.'

Excellent. 10/10.

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