What is holding back international football and how do we fix it?
Iwas 13-years-old, it was a school night, the evening after my little brother’s first Holy Communion and I was stood in the kitchen of my friend’s uncle’s house. There, I was half-watching England protect a slender lead over France through the serving hatch but mostly attempting to obtain a girl’s phone number from said friend.
He would give me the phone number, he said, if I drank a significant amount of the off-green liquid he was holding in a bottle in front of me. ‘OK’, I thought, ‘I want this phone number’, so I drank it. It was something called ‘absinthe’, he said.
When I awoke found myself back at my house, alone in the front room, with no new messages on my phone except two SMS goal alerts informing me that Zinedine Zidane had scored twice in injury time to beat England 2-1. I’ll be honest, I cried.
I have been tempted, in the years since, to simply put those tears down to an unfamiliarity with grain alcohol or plain