I was lucky enough to holiday in Spain this year and so took the opportunity to visit the Nou Camp, home of Barcelona.
You won’t be surprised to hear there was much silverware to be seen.
Barcelona doesn’t so much have a trophy cabinet as a trophy village!
There’s a walkway leading eventually to the hallowed turf that is simply wall to wall cups, awards and trophies.
Among the haul was a Ballon d’Or awarded to Lionel Messi.
This is the award that recognises the greatest player on the planet.
All five of Messi’s Ballon d’Or awards are on display in the stadium.
It didn’t strike me until this weekend that Messi and I have something in common.
Namely, we have wives who don’t appreciate their homes being cluttered with sporting trophies.
If you think this is a thinly disguised attempt to blow my own trumpet in a popular newspaper, you’re absolutely spot on.
But, I also believe it’s a universal truth that men and women have very different ideas about home decoration.
I returned home this weekend, having secured the first team batting trophy at my local cricket team’s presentation evening.
Instead of a ticker-tape reception and popping of champagne corks as I triumphantly burst through the front door, I was given a half cheery ‘well done’ followed by the question: “And when do you have to give the trophy back?”
“Erm, next year,” I said. “Why?”
My wife replied: “Because I’m not having that ugly thing on show in our living room.”
Lionel Messi clearly has a similar problem at his house.
Why else would all his Ballon d’Or awards be at the Nou Camp?
Mrs Messi clearly didn’t want his gaudy trophies dominating the mantelpiece.
I did a quick recce of our house and it dawned on me that of all the ornaments, vases and decorative tat on display, I had contributed absolutely zilch.
I don’t think I’ve ever looked at a vase or ornamental figurine and thought, “ooh that’ll look nice dangling above the fireplace.”
Women clearly do all the time.
There’s all sorts of oddities dotted around our abode. A whicker heart on a string hangs in the front room. There’s a green spikey glass bowl on display in a cabinet along with a tiny figurine featuring a faceless women with two faceless boys in her arms.
Nowhere to be found are trophies of achievement, except in children’s bedrooms. There, the boys are allowed to display their awards but nowhere else.
I don’t know. Is it a fundamental difference between man and woman?
Perhaps if my wife had scored 201 runs in just seven innings with a top score of 53 at an average of 33.5 per game, to actually WIN A TROPHY she’d feel differently.
OK, so it’s not even thinly disguised. Consider my trumpet well and truly blown.