If you live in Ireland, any European country, or at least for me, if you live with my King, a love of soccer comes with the package.
I knew early on there were three beings in this marriage, me, the King and sport.
Not willing to be fooled I did bring my own sports to the house. We’ve got hurling, basketball, hockey, american football, GAA, baseball and rugby.
But soccer…which will never be football in Ireland because that would only be an insult to the GAA….soccer continues to allude me.
I am quite content to sit by and potter around on the iPad jumping from time to time as my gentle Irish husband yells profanities at the ref over some off-sides rule. But really I’m not paying attention.
It’s taken me 10 years to get that there are really 5 major leagues that matter in European soccer but don’t ask me to name them. Every year I comment on the anti-climatic end to the English Premier League (give me a good championship of any sport and I am hooked).
So given my ‘vast’ array of knowledge and experience with soccer, there wasn’t much choice as to which team I would back.
I unwittingly became a Manchester United fan long before the King put a ring on my finger, and despite my insistence that the children will one day ‘choose for themselves’ let’s face it their fate is already sealed by the King.
But then every four years it happens….
I can’t help but get utterly consumed by the World Cup. It’s the patriotism and pride in each country. The differences of race and culture all coming together for the GAME. The drama & excitement once we’ve moved beyond the group stages. The nail biting endings in a penalty shoot out. But most of all the images like this…….
the obvious solidarity of team USA is palpabale. The pride and honor of representing one’s country get’s me everytime. A nation backing a team who stands together as one under one flag….
And if soccer can do all that…then maybe it’s time I learn the rules