Rejoice! The international break is almost over.
Ramble of the Day
I feel this might be true for everyone, but it is certainly true for me: It’s always a little bit strange when people come to your country or city on vacation. Plenty of us live in places worth vacationing, and I can understand why people might want to visit New York or the United States. Still, it’s a little bit of a strange feeling, but with that comes the understanding of the sights and culture tourists are absorbing, and a sort of enjoyment that comes from watching them engage with your surroundings.
Take, for example, David Villa and Bastian Schweinsteiger. Both are currently plying in Major League Soccer, Villa with New York City FC and Schweinsteiger for the Chicago Fire. The two players have been avidly documenting their American adventures on their social media platforms, innocently enjoying the sights and sounds.
Here is Schweinsteiger with his wife, former tennis player Ana Ivanovic, just innocently taking selfies in front memorable Chicago scenery, like Lake Michigan and Soldier Field. It’s all so innocent and pure, and it’s just rather nice to see Schweinsteiger enjoy the hits of Chicago.
As for Villa, I tend to have a different sort of reaction because I live in New York; comparatively, I haven’t been to Chicago in six years. I tend to enjoy Villa’s social media more for that reason, but I think he’s also a little different to Schweinsteiger. He likes to visit the well-known sites of New York, also, like Rockefeller Center, but his social media is also sprinkled with random New York observations.
The subway is not exactly a tourist attraction, but I get why someone who isn’t a native New Yorker might want to be photographed on a subway platform. The subway is awful and so I naturally wouldn’t want to be photographed on a platform, but he probably doesn’t ride the subway too much and hasn’t been traumatized, so it’s all good.
Villa is not just enjoying the sights and sounds of New York, but has now adopted the American obsession with Halloween, or at least has become incredibly amused by it. You can’t blame the guy; I’d imagine that Halloween culture is fascinating to those who haven’t grown up in it, and even I would stop and remark if I saw a house that looked like that. (Most people do not decorate their houses this way.)
All in all, it’s a fun exercise in contextualizing the things that seem ordinary to you.
tl;dr: The American adventure, as told by others.
Links of the Day
Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk have returned to full training for Liverpool after picking up injuries during the international break, but Sadio Mané and Naby Keïta are doubts.
Bob Marley’s daughter, Cedella, has been funding the Jamaican women’s national team that just qualified for its first World Cup after the federation stopped doing so and disbanded the team.
Today’s longer read: Mark Lomas on Yashir Pinto, the Chilean-Palestinian footballer who was recruited for the Palestine national team through LinkedIn for the BBC