Inviting friends to publish in my virtual space is an idea that came into my mind a while ago. Today this idea becomes a reality thanks to Paul who quickly accepted my suggestion.

I met Paul at least four years ago; we meet each other every week to speak Spanish and English. He has improved his Spanish level much more than I have done with my English pronunciation. But above all, we have forged a beautiful friendship.

Due to the last post I published, we ended up talking about football. So, you can guess that the topic he was inspired to wrote about was related to football.

I translated his post into Spanish because his level is not quite proficient; however, you can read the original version here:

A good friend of mine asked me the other day if I felt pride when my nation did something momentous. My answer was a huge, ?Yes?. I usually like to think of myself as a man of the world having lived in Asia, Australia and the U.S.A. for significant periods of time. However, my quick and full-blooded response revealed a patriotism that, I reckon, will always live on inside me.

Answering her question with such vigour, I was already thinking of the feats of the Irish rugby team this year and famous victories that the Irish football team has pulled off despite being massive underdogs on many occasions. It still annoys to me to this day when people refer to the luck of the Irish.

I believe in no such thing having witnessed an offside goal, at least a few yards offside, eliminating us from the European Cup in 1988. The Republic of Ireland, a footballing minnow, were within five minutes of qualifying for the semi-finals of the European Cup until that totally unfair moment. I was only ten at the time and I still feel the injustice of that offside goal to this day. I?m not even going to get started with Thierry Henry!

I?m also proud to know that we were the first country in the world to introduce the smoking ban in the workplace. I also remember how seamlessly we changed over to the euro and how distributing 1.4 million calculators to households across the country to facilitate the change was a very clever idea. The first appearance of the ?The Riverdance? during the Eurovision song contest still makes my heart beat faster and make me want to beat my chest with pride. I can?t help myself.

Having said all of this, living in other continents has opened up my eyes to some of the limitations of my country, which is why I happen to happen to live very contentedly in Seville now. Before you ask me what the drawbacks are of living Ireland, I?ll answer you by saying that I?m too proud an Irishman to get into that now.

Are you proud of your nation? Where do you think this sense of pride comes from?

This page is also available in: Espa?ol