So, I was thinking what with all the anti-football (soccer) commentary going around on the various threads it might be an idea for people to talk about why they LOVE the beautiful game, and why it’s the most popular competitive sport on the planet.
Maybe the haters can leave off trolling this thread, and perhaps instead gain an insight from fans as to what makes it so special. The World Cup is as good a time as any to check it out and maybe get into it.
A couple of reasons off the top of my head:
Not EVERY sport has to be about knocking seven shades of shit out of the opposition (although it happens all the time). Football, while still very physical, especially in the lower divisions, is a finesse game.
For me, a good football match is an organic and flowing thing - it’s beautiful to watch a team like the old Real Madrid, Arsenal in full flight or Barcelona when they get going and the almost telepathic passing and movement in a counterattack.
To kick a ball 40 yards a la David Beckham in sometimes terrible and windy conditions and place it squarely on a teammate’s head or directly in front of his feet is an astonishing skill that many of us take for granted. Add to that doing it when the opposition’s neanderthal defender is baring down on you and another one is sliding in to take your kneecap away with his studded boots and it’s remarkable.
Then there’s the tension. The fact it is a low scoring game adds so much tension and pressure to it, for players and fans alike. One goal can settle a match - I can think of few other sports that are decided by a one-nil scoreline. Unlike say Basketball, it is very hard to score a goal, and that only adds to the excitement.
Simple to learn - A lifetime to master:
All you need is a ball and two jumpers for goalposts and you are off. That’s why on the international level it is not always the biggest nations that tend to fare best. Not many other sports have such a level playing field.
Argentina, the Czech Republic and Brazil for example have grand traditions in football and none of these nations are anywhere near being superpowers in any other field. Okay Brazil also produces great race drivers, fine women and many ladyboys but you catch my drift…
The US team for example are all remarkable athletes, but athleticism on its own is not enough. They will improve for sure but have a ways to go to match the top teams and its not necessarily something that can be bought.
Football truly is a universal language. I was working on a documentary about football hooliganism in 2002 prior to the World Cup in Japan/Korea, and everyone thought there would be a huge hooligan problem with England out there as our fans were ever so naughty at Euro 2000. However once the tournament got underway we started to see all the Japanese and Koreans wearing England shirts and it promoted such a sense of love for the game and brotherhood between fans, it almost brought a tear to my eye. Even just now the news was showing German and Englishs fans partying together after we drew with Sweden - something I never thought I would see.
Another example was the sportsmanship between the US and Iran in 1998 which was a wonderful thing to behold even though political tensions between those nations at the time were extremely strained.
In addition to all that the physical side of it is mind boggling to me. The stamina required to last 90 minutes at the top level is incredible. Yes I KNOW they are not sprinting flat out for the whole time but even so, they are always moving…
Anyway, why do YOU love football?
BTW Holland play Argentina tomorrow. If you’ve never watched 90 minutes of top quality football I urge you to watch that match as they are two giants of the game. If that doesn’t convert you, there’s probably no hope for you. lol