June 11, 2008 By: erik Category: Soccer, Spain 1,274 views

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I thoroughly enjoyed watching Spain’s first game in the Euro 2008 soccer championship yesterday. They stomped Russia 4–1. Russia’s goal was pretty lucky, and all four of Spain’s were perfectly executed.

The motto for the Spanish team for the World Cup two years ago was, “¡A por ellos!” (which came with its own song). The motto for this Euro 2008 tournament is “¡Podemos!“.

A conversation I had yesterday:

Erik: “What do you think of the ‘podemos’ motto? Haven’t I seen that somewhere before?”
Marga: “I know!! How could they so shamelessly steal that from Obama?”
Erik: “At least they didn’t make it, ‘Sí­ podemos’, huh? I wonder how many Spaniards recognize the theft?”
Marga: “No idea, but it’s still embarrassing.”

US Presidential politics and the Euro 2008 tournament dominated my conversations with the local grocers yesterday. It’s strange to hear Spanish housewives talking about Clinton, Obama, and McCain.


  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sí­_se_puede

    I thought it was a Cesar Chavez thing. (I went to High School in California, so of course it’s what I what taught.)

    Through my eyes I see it like this: ” Yes, we can.”

    *A popular, optimistic mantra during the Great Depression.

    *Chavez adopts it as the chant for unionizing farm workers.

    *The so called ‘open borders’ crowd continues to keep chanting it, and they get in the public eye, again in the last few years.

    *Obama re-adopts it as a theme, and even theme song for this campaign.

    Well, no one can really trademark such a simple and common little phrase, but “Podemos” isn’t exactly the same as “Sí­ Se Puede”, anyways.

    Kind of like:
    A por ellos!

  • Of course three short (2.6 letters each, in English) words aren’t trademarked.

    What’s funny is that the conservative folks in the States have credited it to Mr. Ahmadinejad, accusing Barack of stealing it.

    Still, though, for someone versed in the world politics of 2008, I can’t help but doubt that the person that suggested it for the Spanish Eurocup team wasn’t aware of its use in the US presidential campaign of 2008.

  • Cristina Bertrand

    Answering to Erick and Marga.
    I am from Spain and NO, we are not shamelessly stealing from Obama, it is the other way around. The first person to use that term as a motto for campaigning and rallies was Chesar Chavez in California. So Obama “took it” (observe I am more polite and I don’t say “steal it”) from Chavez

    And NO, none of the Spaniards will recognize the theft. Again, Obama should recognize that Cesar Chavez used it many years before him.