“I learned all about life with a ball at my feet”
In how many activities can everyone from babies to grandparents all experience pure joy, passion and excitement? Not many.
Soccer, or football for everyone else in the world, is something that literally anyone can enjoy, regardless of gender or age or religion or any quality really. The excitement of seeing a beautiful goal, the happiness of winning a game, the sadness of losing a game, the passion for the team you love… Soccer is really a special thing.
Some of the best times I have had with my family or friends or even strangers have been from watching or playing the beautiful game, and the happiness that comes from it is in a class of its own .
When there’s a match on, soccer fans around the world can forget about their political tensions or conflicts, at least for 90 minutes.
Soccer is the most popular sport in the world for a reason, and it’s beautiful when fans can unite over the sport. Take some touching World Cup moments: Japanese fans and Senegal fans clean the stadium together after an intense match. Croatian fans made a huge banner to thank Russia for hosting the 2018 tournament. Kylian Mbappe donated all of his earnings from winning the World Cup to charity for disabled children. The German National Team built an eco-friendly, sustainable resort in Brazil that created jobs and helped the economy of a struggling community.
Race, nationality, gender, and beliefs aside, soccer truly unites people on and off the pitch.
Another amazing quality of soccer: you can feel and express pride over your team, your player, your country.
For me, when Real Madrid wins a game, I feel like I won a game. When Toni Kroos scores, I’m in a great mood all day. When The Japan team almost won against Belgium in the 2018 World Cup, I cried.
The feeling of pride I feel in soccer is incomparable to anything else. Even though I’m not technically doing anything, it feels like my support is paying off in success.
As you get older and all your friends move all over the world, it gets harder to make friends. One thing that has helped me make almost all my friends after high school has been soccer.
Whether I meet someone that’s also a crazy fan of Real Madrid or if they’re a diehard fan of FC Barcelona, soccer is a topic that makes it so easy to immediately become friends with a complete stranger, even if they’re from the other side of the Earth.
The Beautiful Game
There’s obviously a reason why soccer is known as “the beautiful game”, and it’s not just because of the rules on the pitch. Soccer is a sport that has the ability to unite people in a way that nothing else really can.
I’m not saying that everyone should and will love soccer. But, if you do fall in love with the sport like I did, you are lucky to be a fan of such an amazing game.
To end, my favorite quote of all time…
“Maybe they hate me because I’m too good”