The soccer fever will always live on

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.

La Liga

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.

The Big Four

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:

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.

Yours Sincerely,
Reuel Eugene


World Cup on SG TV Screens, Go or No Go?

News is out. As everybody know, Singtel and Starhub has finally secured the rights to broadcast all 64 football matches of the 2010 FIFA World Cup live on both their TV channels. The early bird subscription (until 31 May) for the World Cup package would be priced at SGD$66 ($70.52 w/GST) and $88 ($94.16 w/GST) thereafter.

 This is a significant increase from the S$15 early bird price and S$25 subsequently that StarHub charged in 2006. – quoted from Yahoo News

Seeing such a sharp jump in price as compared to previous years is enough to deter any mediocre football fan from taking up the package. But before you make up your decision, let’s do some analysis. Applying math, assuming the subscriber takes up the early bird package;

$70.52 / 64 football matches = $1.10 /football match

If you factor that in, then the package is not really that expensive anymore huh. About Singtel and StarHub securing the rights for the benefit of Singaporeans, I guess they don’t really have a choice since they have to recup the millions they spent or are going to spend to broadcast the football matches. As for the profits, c’mon Singtel and StarHub are not NPOs (Non-Profit Organizations) right? I don’t think there’s anything wrong if they want to try to earn abit from this deal since so much time and company resources has been spent working on this collaboration for months and since time to a corporation equals money.

In any case, for those of us who find that sum of money a pinch, there are always many other alternatives such as catching them at pubs, tuning in to Malaysia’s RTM channels or joining the crowd at the kopitiams and coffeeshops (the owners would most likely absorb the charges since selling drinks to the football fanatics is so much more profitable and could help them recup their ‘losses’ in no time).

But personally, I don’t really find the price tag that much of problem per say, since its [World Cup] is just a quadrennial (once every 4 years) event. One can take this as a recreational investment. But one thing’s for sure, Singaporeans islandwide would definitely by all means, try their best to tune in to catch the 64 football matches for the love of the game.

Anyway, my favorites would be Spain! Spain FTW! But Argentina has Messi. It will be good to see the clash of the titans in the quarter final matches and above.

What’s your take? Feel free to comment.

Yours Sincerely,
Reuel Eugene.

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