Spare a thought for conflicted Nick Clegg ahead of today’s World Cup final

As the rest of us settle in front of the telly and choose freely which team to cheer – Spain or the Netherlands – spare a thought for Nick Clegg, biologically half-Dutch, and married to a Spaniard.

As The Independent reported his dilemma:

Tensions will run high in the Deputy Prime Minister’s house this Sunday evening when the Netherlands take on Spain in the World Cup final. Nick Clegg’s wife, Miriam Gonzalez Durantez, who was born in the Spanish village of Olmedo, north-west of Madrid, will naturally be cheering on her homeland, along with her two football-mad eldest sons, Antonio, eight, and Alberto, five. …

But there will be no footballing coalition around the Clegg family television: instead he hopes it will be the Dutch captain, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, who will lift the Jules Rimet trophy in Johannesburg.

Although he married a Spaniard – and speaks the language at home with the family – Mr Clegg is, as he puts it, “biologically half-Dutch”. His mother, Hermance van den Wall Bake, was interned as a child with her family in 1942, when the Japanese invaded Indonesia, which was then under Dutch rule. …

Mr Clegg’s office confirmed last night he would be supporting the Netherlands on Sunday, but declined to give a further explanation.

Having young sons has helped awaken an interest in football for Mr Clegg, whose first sporting love is skiing. He even left a Downing Street garden party for the press early on Wednesday evening – at which he sported a bright orange tie – to be home in time for Spain’s semi-final clash with Germany.

At least it explains Nick’s noted preference for a bright orange tie – nothing to do with being an Orange Booker after all.

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11 Comments

  • Somehow I doubt he’ll find it tricky to hold two opposing opinions at the same time, or to instead give different stories to the whichever member of the family he’s talking too.

  • Bill Kristol-Balls 11th Jul '10 - 11:59am

    Oh dear, the Daily Mail are going to explode when they hear about this.

    FOREIGNER CLEGG DELIGHTED AT ENGLISH FOOTBALL FAILURE

    Clegg and his family claim over £100,000 per year from the British taxpayer yet can’t even be bothered to support the England football team. Norman Tebbit was unavailable for comment as his head just exploded

  • I can guess which side the Tall household will be supporting!

  • Anthony Aloysius St 11th Jul '10 - 1:41pm

    “Somehow I doubt he’ll find it tricky to hold two opposing opinions at the same time, or to instead give different stories to the whichever member of the family he’s talking too.”

    Or in spontaneously switching to support the winning side right at the end …

  • Hup holland! (And I’m a quarter spanish, no dutch and watching from 30 miles from the spanish border :-P)

  • Terry Gilbert 12th Jul '10 - 12:50am

    Vive la Europe! First, second and third, FIFA World Cup 2010. Cue ‘Ode to Joy’, Ring of Stars flags flying from car windows, etc.

  • The cynic in me cringes when politicians who went to public school claim to be interested in football. Most ex-public schoolboys I know are rugger buggers who wouldn’t be seen dead with the plebs at a soccer match.

  • @ Anon
    I looked at Westminster School’s website, they play soccer, so don’t assume all public shools only play Rugby. I went to a state grammar school and played rugby.

  • Rugby is a much better game anyway :-) (and last night’s pathetic showing proved it again. )

    Rugby isn’t a class thing where I come from btw, in fact it’s a peasant sport.

  • toryboysnevergrowup 12th Jul '10 - 8:24pm

    So Nick Clegg isn’t the only Dutchman who threw away his principles and went over to the dark side.

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