I am not a fan of soccer/fútbol. I know very little beyond the basics, and I probably couldn’t give you the names of five U.S. teams without the help of Google (just tried it, just totally failed). My heart belongs to good ol’ American football, and I doubt anything will ever take its place.
But what I have discovered quite recently is that I have a major love for the FIFA World Cup.
Yeah, yeah. I know you’re going to call me a bandwagon-er (is that even a world?), but I don’t care. I ❤ the World Cup, and you all can just deal with it.
Okay, story time: In June 2010, I went to Madrid to finish up my Spanish credits. Also in June 2010, Spain’s national team was competing in the World Cup in South Africa (vuvuzelas, anyone?). This meant that, no matter where I went for my five weeks in beautiful España, I was guaranteed to see/hear an absolute gush of national pride for La Furia Roja.
It was pretty infectious, to say the least. Even though I cared next to nothing for the game, I found myself smiling and cheering and feeling a small swell pride for the country I called home for a month (my roommate and I even bought jerseys). How incredible to be in a fútbol-adoring country while their national team is being dominant on a international stage! It still makes me grin four years later.
I came home totally in love with the country of Spain, completely jealous of my classmates who were still there, and entirely desperate to hold on to the last bits of my Spanish experience. So I put on my jersey, grabbed my Principe cookies and Spanish Fanta (which is loads better than American Fanta), and watched those last Spain games of the 2010 World Cup like it was my job. I cheered so loudly when they beat the Netherlands in the finals that I’m pretty sure I scared my parents.
[Cut to 4 years later]
I didn’t set out to have the same passion for the World Cup this year as I did in 2010. I mean, I had only been interested in Spain’s games then, and nothing seemed to be drawing me to even watch the games this year.