For much of the rest of the world, used to the fluidity of football in its English iteration, this superpower football is a bruising, staccato, technical, over-plotted travesty bereft of flow. For Americans, in turn, soccer is too random, too given to dilettantes and too short of goals. Sure, an N.F.L game is staged every year at London’s Wembley Stadium, and teams like Manchester United draw crowds in the United States. But an ocean of incomprehension separates the sports.
Much as I love America, my love does not extend to its football. I’ve been going to watch Chelsea since I was 6. Some passions run too deep to change.
Huge audiences watched both games Sunday. Both were thrilling and close. Still Chelsea-Manchester United was a thing of greater beauty, even without Eli Manning and Madonna, and with 32 fewer goals. A global vote would surely favor it. At least that’s my objective view.