It has been almost 3 years since I started my PhD in Swansea (Wales) and this is certainly time enough to discover and embrace the local culture and traditions. Today, I would like to talk about sports, something that is been always present in my life. In Barcelona, my home city, football is by far the biggest sport and we tend to be quite passionate about FC Barcelona. However, in Wales, rugby is arguably the most popular sport, seen by many as a symbol of Welsh identity, although the local football team, the Swansea City (Swans), is of course very popular among Swansea citizens.
March 16th 2019 was a very important day for Welsh people and, thanks to the fact
that I now consider myself part of this little country, it was a remarkable day for me and my friends as well. On this date, the biggest event was the end of the Six Nations rugby competition where Wales beat Ireland (25-7), managing to win not only the overall competition but the Grand Slam as well (when a team beats all of the others during one year’s competition). On top of that, the quarter finals of the FA Cup was happening that same day, where the Swans where playing home against Manchester City. Me and my friends had the great opportunity to watch Wales winning the Grand Slam in a local pub enjoying an amazing craft beer. Immediately after, we ended the day at Liberty Stadium where we witnessed an amazing display from both teams, Swansea City and Manchester City. Unfortunately, the Swans lost 2-3 although they started wining 2-0. An amazing change of tactics by Pep Guardiola (Manchester City manager) at min 65 turned everything around and Manchester City scored three times in 19 min.
I am grateful for the opportunity I am having to experience all these new aspects of a culture that I was barely aware of. Definitely, something that would not have been possible if I decided to stay in my home city.