By Jason Moore MICHAEL Portillo, the former British minister, said that Britain should learn from Europe. I couldn´t agree more. Yesterday, I would say that at least a dozen of my Spanish colleagues congratulated me on two English teams being in the Champions League final. Quite an achievement they said meanwhile in England the only thing you hear is that there are too many foreign players in the league and the only reason why English club sides do so well is because of their foreign legion. Perhaps so but it also has to be said that there were more English players in the Manchester United side than Spaniards playing for Barcelona and despite the enormous wealth of Barcelona the only world-class and up-and-coming Catalan player plays his football in North London, Xesc Fabregas. At least English clubs can say that all the top England players play in England. In Spain, about a third of their national squad is based in England. The sort of negative attitude first hit me when London won the Olympics, while Paris and Madrid would have held the party of a life time if they had won, in London it was one man and his dog in Trafalgar Square and eight million people moaning that they didn´t want the Olympics in the first place. If London hadn´t won, it would have been a different story completely! Britain seems to pride itself (or at least England) on the Dunkirk spirit, let us not forget that it was an evacuation of a defeated army; a major operation but as Churchill said you don´t win wars on evacuations. Why not the spirit of El Alamein or even the Battle of Britain, or Trafalgar or Waterloo.

The rest of Europe suffers many of the same problems as Britain, but it is not the British which appear to make them a major issue.