Monday, February 20, 2006
Differences between Belgium and Australia part 2: Soccer. All important soccer or football, even for me. You can compare it in a way with Rugby in Australia, but then again it is nothing like that. Supporters of rugby are passionate and love there team. We would die for our team. I play soccer and am a huge supporter for FC Barcelona. I can honestly say that I would rather lose every single game for a whole season as long as Barcelona wins. We won 2 big games in a row last two weeks until this weekend we lost again. In the same period while we won, Barca lost twice until they finally won again this weekend while we equalized. Well I was happier this weekend. This week it’s Chelsea- Barca. And that date has been crossed in my agenda for weeks now. My mood during the next week depends on this game. Barcelona were kicked out of the Champions league last year by Chelsea, which resulted in me sulking about for a month and ever since hating Chelsea and everything that surrounds it. I can honestly say that I won’t even go on a holiday to Madrid because they are arch rivals and I hate the city! You might say I’m crazy but I am actually one of the mild supporters or fans.
I read or am reading books about fans of soccer. I just read Fever Pitch by Nick Hornsby (writer of about a boy). Hated the book, but it shows the fanatic supporter in England. But if you really want to know soccer in Europe, read One year with Verona by Nick Parks. It is not only a book about football but it wants me to move to Italy at once. It has got such nice descriptions about Italy, it’s marvellous.
But anyway football is life here. Me and Ingrid have had plenty of discussions about football and me watching it. Lately we even got a system. I “book” television a couple of weeks in advance and off course I can watch every game when Barcelona is on. I think Ingrid watched one game with me and then decided she would fled the house every time Barcelona is playing. She doesn’t get that it is not a stupid game for us, it is our life. We talk about it, we play it, we discuss it, we think about it, we even imagine it is us on that field. We love players but most of all we love the club. There’s a notorious story of the Barcelona club captain moving to the Arch rivals Real Madrid. Ever since then and even nowadays (he doesn’t play for Real anymore) we still despise them. Players are nice as long as they play for us. But otherwise we hate them! Profoundly!
I brook the couch last year while cheering for a Barcelona goal. But it was well worth it. I can honestly say that I am the worst person to watch a game with when my team is playing because for me it is not a game, it is dead serious. Today and tomorrow are just two days running up to Wednesday, match day. And then on match days I wear my Barcelona shirt with my name on, sometimes even to work. And all day long I check websites to see the line-ups, hear what players and coaches have to say. Have a look at the opponents website. On normal days I check soccer news at least 3 times a day. All the gossip, injuries, transfers, I probably know them all. Event he most stupid details I know. Don’t ask me what I did in 1990 but ask me something about the 1990 world cup and I will probably know it.
And after all this I still have a life, go out, am a normal person, listen to music,…
But there’s always football. I am just happy I found one person in Australia who is as crazy as me about soccer. I sometimes event think he’s worse because Tim moved to Liverpool after all. But then again, I still dream of living in Barcelona for one year, just to follow the team. But I keep telling everybody it is because the Spanish lifestyle and the architecture in the city.
Well I always invite everybody to find differences between Europe and Australia, there are lots more but the more peculiar the better