I find myself caught up with the rest of the globe (well, those who love football, anyway!) in just loving the sheer mass of football that is on the TV at the moment. I’m not too fussed about whether England win or not, although it would be kind of cool, but it’s more about the sheer beauty of the game. I guess a world cup brings out the best and worst of all involved. Exorbitant prices for tickets, thousands of loyal fans traveling from all over the world, the worrying figures of 40,000 trafficked women in Germany for sex, footballers paid astronomical wages whilst those who make the kits and the balls paid little more than a pittance…if that. But at the same time the sheer spectacle is something I’m sure all who watch will remember for years.
I still remember my earliest memory of a world Cup – Gary Lineker spinning away from the goal with one arm in a cast after scoring his hattrick against Poland in 1986. Maradona’s hand the same year, the incredible high and low of Italia 90, the disappointment of not qualifying for USA 1994…and waking up at stupid times to watch rubbish games of ‘soccer’! France 1998 and the ebuliance of the host nation in achieving the incredible, watching Japan and Korea 2002 in Toronto in the middle of what was one of the most incredible summers of my life. I could almost chart my journey into adulthood from them – modeling myself on heroes like Bryan Robson and Alan Shearer…
Well, I guess I’ve grown up now – I love watching football, but it’s not obsessive. I think I’ve learnt there’s more to life. I won’t be one of those who struggle to find reason to live after England crash out (not that I’m saying that’s going to happen, of course). Instead, I’ll just appreciate the beauty of the event, I suppose to some extent naively.
Makes working in an office so much more frustrating, though!!