Crossing the capital from west to east every morning means I get a lot more time with The Guardian sports section than I used to. Admittedly I'm reading it with my nose in someone's armpit so it's not quite quality time - but it's more than I used to get.
This morning's edition was striking in that the first five pages could easily have passed for the business section. Luke Harding's piece on the latest Russian oligarch looking to foist his roubles on the Premier League was particularly enjoyable, accompanied as it was by a fierce photo of Alisher Usmanov and a side piece of the increasingly hapless looking Arsenal managing director, Keith Edelman. According to Harding, "Usmanov is known in business circles as 'the hard man of Russia,' a title for which, presumably, there is significant competition."
Alongside Usmanov, bless him, you find UEFA President Michel Platini.
Some context. I am 34. That means for Spain '82 I was 9. Mexico '86 I was 13, and for Italia '90 I was 17. In 1984 I was stood at a ZX Spectrum in computer class, when John Motson screamed "PLATINI," as the great man took France through to the European Championship Finals. Well that's how I remember it anyway. A hero, an artist.
He can still cut it. Platini is by the sounds of things applying the same skills and craft he applied to the ball to his UEFA Presidency, albeit with a few water-carrier like political machinations to ensure he gets the result.
His defence of his plan to broaden the Champions League entrants is robust and romantic. "They (the clubs) will need to kill me to stop this....This is a sporting decision, a philosophy..." Platini argued. It's beautiful. So innocent, so naive, so romantic.
Michel Platini as we all remember him
This is the beautiful game for another couple of weeks yet.