When I was 11, I watched the 2006 World Cup and I was an Italy fan and surprisingly they won. At the same time I loved Zain Eldine Zidane for what an amazing player he was, and thought Leonel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo will be great players one day, for they too impressed me. But how could an 11 year old GIRL know all this?
It seems I’ve got my father’s passion and love for football. We would watch the games together and his love to the game was contagious that I became a crazy football fan even more than any guy you could meet, despite all the talks about me having to be a girl and act feminine. I was in love with the game and football was my one and only love. I would be on top of the world if my team won the game and I would literally cry if we lost, yet I would never give up on them, because that’s what you do when you’re in love.
On my high school sophomore year, my dad travelled abroad for work and no one would watch the games with me or even tell me when are they and gradually I stopped watching football, not totally of course but occasionally. Each time I did, joy filled my heart but soon it would be gone because I couldn’t share it with anyone. So I thought, maybe I just loved football for the great times I spent with my father and maybe in the end I really was a girl who football wasn’t amongst her field of interests. By time I started acting more girly, stopped wearing football jerseys and sneakers and started wearing pink, and forgot about football.
When I did, I realised that I don’t just love it, I adore it, that it wasn’t just a game to me, that I didn’t just watch it to spend time with my daddy, of course I loved that part but I also loved everything else about it; the players, the game, the action, the competition, the transfer season, the championships, the fights, the arguments, the passion, and the feeling of belonging to something big, something great, something beautiful that words can not explain. Football was not just a game, it was my love.
This is what football was to me, to my dad, and to all the crazy fans out there, each one of us may seem negligible or insignificant but together we are what make this came magnificent, and without us it would lose all it’s magic and glamour. For this it pays us back by drawing a smile on our faces and bringing happiness to our hearts, by giving us hope and teaching us patience, giving us something to look forward to, uniting us together, doing what politics could never do, and I won’t be over exaggerating when I say making our lives better too, because football is not just a game, it’s our love, our life.