Heart and Mind and…Toe? Goooooooool for Espana!

EspanaAmericans on average don’t watch much professional soccer on television. However, soccer is popular among Spanish-speakers in the U.S.  If you want to watch a game of soccer on television, you usually have to watch a Spanish language channel in a large city (like Los Angeles, which has several Spanish language TV stations).  Although most Americans don’t watch soccer, they are familiar with what the announcer (the person who describes the game) says when someone scores a goal, because it is usually shouted (said very loudly) and for a very long time: “Gooooooooooooool!” (the Spanish word for goal).  It is something of a joke, actually, in talking about soccer in the U.S.

Even though soccer is not all that popular (not very popular), there were stories today in the newspapers about Spain defeating Germany in the European Championship.  One article in the New York Times said that the Spanish team “did what was unthinkable during the long decades of Spanish failure of heart and mind and toe.”  To do the unthinkable is to do something very difficult, almost impossible.  A decade is 10 years.  The expression “heart and mind” refers to both the emotions (heart) and the intellect (mind or brain).  People sometimes talk about “winning the hearts and minds” of another group, which means convincing a group of people of something both emotionally and intellectually.

So by winning the Euro 2008 championship, the Spanish team did something very difficult, something that has not been done in many years – they united the country.

The funny part of this quote is the “and toe.”  This is not part of the original expression, but it is added since we are talking about soccer, which of course uses the feet to kick the ball.

So congratulations to Spain for winning the Euro 2008 – and good luck to all of the other teams next time!


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17 Responses to Heart and Mind and…Toe? Goooooooool for Espana!

  1. Hamude says:

    i have watched the game ..it was amazing how the spanish team has played.

    if the soccer is not all that popular in USA what is tha famous game which be watched then in US ?

  2. Carmen says:

    Thank you Jeff .I think we did because we’re becoming a well “heart and mind” balanced country

  3. Julián says:

    España!!!! España!!!! España campeona!!!!!

    It was a very big party in Spain!!!!

  4. Fred says:

    viva espanaaaaa !!!

    Since the France had lost I shut down my TV.

    thank you very much

  5. Espana.. Brazilian´s soccer wait you. LOL see you on the next world cup… 🙂

  6. Matt says:

    This is the first time to visit this website. but I usually listen to this podcast.
    I’m not sure when I say “heart and mind” expression.
    Can you help me Dr.Jeff?

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  8. Alejandra says:


    I am from Spain and what we have been experiencing here has been incredible. We have never seen Spain playing like that…. it was amazing seeing your team (a team in which most of Spaniards have never trust in) “tocando” the ball like that. It was like we were watching Brazil or something.
    Lots of people have been partying since we won the Eurocopa.

    And something that you maybe don’t know: it is not something usual to see Spanish flags round there, because as you know, here in Spain we have had lots of years of a dictatorial government (I don’t know if this is the correct word to describe it) that took hold of the Spanish flag, and for many years it has represented what this dictatorial government did, so it was very beautiful to see lots of people “forgeting” what the flags has represented for lots of years, and above all, seeing people proud of beeing from Spain, singing “Español , español!!!” all together, as one country.


  9. emiliano says:

    I was reading N.Y.T., last sunday also writting in the blog that was great. More than 300 opinions were said in the blog from different places of the world from people that were watching the match play at that moments, and I think that the articles about the item were very good and honest.
    Here it is usual that people who are watching the match on the tv. has the sound off, and they are listening to the radio instead, just because speakers are much better at the radio, and transmision is more heartly.
    The newspaper El Mundo, yesterday have four or five ways of singing the goool at the first radio stations in Spain, you can listened all of them and it was very funny. You can’t imagine
    quite good art and feelings are putting on the speaker voices. I think it has to be very difficult to say that in a way so vivid and real.
    Congratulations to all Spain, we won as we were the better team and it was great. Many people have all their will in getting the Cup.
    Here it is at least and it has united all the country what is neccesary and even more difficult nowdays.
    Thank you Jeff, you have touched a hot matter to us spaniards, who were lodging to get the europeanchampion football Cup for so many years.

  10. Inma says:

    I am from Spain but I live in USA. I watched the game here in one of the principal channel ( ABC). It is amazing that Americans begin to be interested in soccer.
    Anyway VIVA ESPANA!

  11. Andriy says:

    Congratulations to Spain form Ukraine! You team is amazing! They’ve got what they deserve!!! Wonderful play!!!

  12. belay says:

    I love watching football. I watched all matche and it was so interesting and injoyable for me. but I’ve one question here. what it mean soccer?
    why people call the “football game” “soccer game”? as I know this game is played on foot for ninty munites and plus.I think that’s way it got the
    name football. ISN’T IT?

  13. Arash says:


    hello guys. its Arash from Iran. nice match we watched. amazing game and u know what… i bet on spain championship and i won a dinner out with friend!! i really become happy that after many years of heterogenity within spanish soccer team, finally they put the problems aside,became a united team for the spanish nation, and won a precious cup like EURO 2008. durin all these years spaindin have the chqance to win one… but this was the time. congradulation to you spanish people, spnaish speaking countries and all soccer lovers around the globe,’cause spain played lovely and moreover, vigorously. viiiivaaaaaaaaa

  14. Ari Fernando Ramos says:

    The Spanish Soccer team showed a very good soccer spectacle.I’m Brazilian and I can appreciate an outstanding soccer team like Spanish was against the teams they played during the Euro 2008.Congratulations.

  15. Ayuditha says:

    Congratulation for Spain!
    Hey, I am from Indonesia, but i have been watcing and supporting Spain Football since 10 years ago (when i saw Spain vs Nigeria on World Cup 1998). I think Spain Team was cool, but the last match I saw was the GRRREATEST football match I ever saw! COOL! Salute to Spain Team! Love ya.. always!!!

  16. emiliano says:

    As spaniard thank you all, Arash, Hamude, Andriy and everyone who watch the match and enjoyed it with the spanish team that truly they did quite well Champion Cup, and as you say Arash
    the champion has been to us as nation more than it seems.
    You have taken the matter perfectly, so more thanks.

  17. alvaro says:

    i´m from spain and it was a succesful

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