From the narrow laneways to the wide open expanse of the MCG, football fever was everywhere.
Melbourne, famed for its laneways and vibrant street life, hosted the International Champions Cup at the iconic MCG (Melbourne Cricket Club) featuring Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Tottenham Hotspur and local favourites, the modestly named Melbourne Victory.
Of the quartet, only Juventus could legitimately claim to be champions of anything and Victory did not even make the Grand Final of the A-League (eventual winners being Adelaide United). Nevertheless footy (or soccer as they say here) fervour took over the laneways and retail precincts of the city, with football merchandise everywhere and fans around every corner. Ducking down an alley to avoid the rain (and also to avoid the spray paint of an artist at work) we stumbled across a street art tribute to Tottenham and a perfect photo opportunity.
The match? A narrow defeat for a young Spurs team (no Harry Kane, no Dele Alli) by a strong Atletico squad (UEFA Champions League Runners Up including Fernando Torres) but, for Aussie footy fans- many of them British ex-pats- a joyous celebration of the world game. The result didn’t matter. From the narrow laneways to the wide open expanse of the MCG, football was the winner.