The end of 11 July 2010, Monday left some people in a daze, some not knowing what to look forward to, with the wrapping up of the month-long FIFA World Cup 2010. The once every 4 years soccer championship which gathers the best of soccer players all over the world to one location to compete came to fruition with Spain winning the championship which cements their country’s status as world champion for the next 4 years until the next world cup.
This was to be a time where people all over the world regardless of geographical locations, whether young or old, guy or girl, soccer fan or not, stayed glued to the television every night/day and took leaves or day offs if they have to – to catch their favorite countries/teams battle it out.
‘Now with the competition that occurs every leap year coming to a close, what next?’ Some might say. To be honest, I was never a soccer fan until months prior to arguably the biggest competition of the world (other than the Olympics). As I stepped into the world of football, I came to a realization of so many things about soccer. The soccer fever never ends, really. Soccer or football isn’t as simple as it seems; ’22 men chasing 1 ball in a soccer match’. There are so many attributes that affect the game, from tactics, choice of formation, trump cards (star/key players), WHEN to play your trump card, the coach of the team, and many more. (This could either lead them to raising the Cup at the end of the league, or send them crashing out of the tournament.)
To add on, every team has a certain culture (example: Chelsea’s manager is known as boss, captain known as skipper), fanbase (bandwagon), nickname (Liverpool and fans are known as Reds, Arsenal and fans are known as Gunners), their home ground(stadium), arch rivals (Liverpool vs Man U, Man U vs Man City, etc), key players, jersey color, sponsors (Who would like a Russian mafia for boss? – Chelsea) and more.
If that wasn’t enough, there are so many different leagues and divisions to learn about! There’s the Premier League for the English clubs, La Liga for the Spanish clubs, Seria A for the Italian clubs, Champions League to gather the best of all the different leagues, as well as the lower leagues and many more.
If that wasn’t entertaining enough, the transfers (sometimes controversial or amounts running in the millions) of star players or even coach (David Villa from Valencia to Barcelona, Liverpool coach Rafael Benitez from Liverpool to Inter Milan) from one club to another make the soccer matches ever more exciting and dramatic.
There is so much to learn about soccer, I am learning something new everyday! Not to mention, the joy of being able to gather with your close friends of same or rival clubs at a pub or at someone’s house to watch the sport, cheer together or even boo at each other.
Choosing a soccer club to support is like choosing a car. Once you have decided, you generally don’t choose another club unless you’re a ‘loser’ who claims “I am a supporter of the winning team!” – my friend says. Haha! For me, I’ve made the decision to pledge my allegiance to Liverpool for the Premier League (not because of Torres!) because it’s one of clubs with all the factors I perceive as most pleasant – great slogan ‘You’ll never walk alone’ and because some of my friends are Liverpool fans (I don’t want a club who is millions in debt, or have someone who slept with his best friend’s wife for captain, etc), and Barcelona for the Spanish League because of their star studded cast of Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry, Gerard Piqué, Carles Puyol, David Villa of course! A good read that everyone should look through on deciding a premier league club to support: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/060719
Though World Cup is over, La Liga is just round the corner! So, if you really wanna know more about soccer, why not venture a little deeper, find out more. I don’t believe ‘Real man talk soccer’ thing, but I believe soccer is really an alluring and fun sport most guys would enjoy.
As for those who only catch the World Cup fever, we shall chat about soccer and Host country; Brazil in 4 year’s time! And just for the record, soccer matches can’t be predicted by an octopus or bird.