I was at the bar the other day, trying to watch a game, when a large Londoner moved in front of me and tried to extoll the virtues of the perennially ho-hum England. I responded to him, "Are you kidding me? England?!?" To which he responded: "Alright, fine. But Britain. Now that's a helluva team." He then went on to claim Gareth Bale as "Britain"s one true savior, and I could have just about spat out my drink at him, bought another one, and spat at it him again. Once a colonist, always a colonist.
No, my friends, Gareth Bale does not play for Britain. Britain isn't a national soccer team. (If we went by colonial standards, 2/3rds of the world would play for Britain—but we bucked those oppressors, leaving them with a scant few islands, now, didn't we?) And Bale most certainly doesn't play for England either. He plays for Wales, and that's a helluva team to play for. Why? Well, mostly because Gareth Bale is on it.
Yes, in today's Euro matchup with Slovakia, Bale was placed on the ball after a penalty with a sizable dozen yards off the top of the 18-yard box. And boy did he let it have it. The ball soared over the Slovakian wall and didn't change its searing pace, despite dipping masterfully into the left quadrant of the goal. The keeper could have been better positioned, sure, but it was a wondrous thing to behold. Suck it, England.