bus, boys, patriotism 

Today on a Vienna bus, three boys, 10-12 years, discussing first mobile phones and then football. "There will be FC Barcelona against AC Milan on TV", cherishes one of them an enticing prospect. Then, a discussion about the influence of goals scored on the ranking in the champion ship group standings in the case of equal points; a discussion which, to be honest, is beyond me. Then, as an example: "When Austria led in the world cup standings, after that match against A..". "Azerbaijan", helps B. "These Austrians will never lead any standings", opines C. "There I agree", seconds B. But then, generously, "although they played ok against England." A does not mention Austria again. The national team of their common country of residence is not much en vogue among this new generation. When I was at that age, as far as I remember, the national squad used to be an unchallengeable object of adoration. Now, where many of the young generation have roots in more than one home-country, it seems that love has to be earned.

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