Game 55: Bratislava Old Town, Slovakia


The local accent is incredibly sexy. So alluring in fact that when a lass in a coffee shop today asked me if I wanted milk in my coffee I blushed . Not for the first time, on this European leg of the 80, have I felt like James Bond must be knocking about somewhere nearby, karate chopping a henchman and making love with a beautiful but deadly foe.


Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia , is a beautiful wee place set along the Danube River. I headed down to the pedestrian-only, 18th-century old town today and managed to play a mid-morning game in one of its lovely cobbled boulevards.


It might be one of the few times England and Germany have played on the same side . Alex Schütz from Stuttgart joined me to play against father and daughter duo José Martin and his daughter Alexandra from Barcelona.


José was a real player . Diminutive and skilful like so many of the recent Barca midfield ; great close control and a trick or two up his sleeve . He was loving it and was competitive from the start .


Alex and I were combining well , same wavelength - little one twos , and we finally took the lead when I back-heeled one in that was meant as a pass. The lively Alex took it to 2-0 for us before Alexandria chipped in a beauty at the back post.


José pressed for an equaliser and both he and Alexandria hit the post before Alex clinched it for us 3-1. Great, lively enjoyable game played in a really good spirit in a beautiful setting.


I sat down on a bench next to an elderly local fellow after the game. He must have been in his 80’s. He told me he would have played if it wasn’t for his dodgy left knee. He meant it too. Brilliant ❤️⚽️👍