I found myself in a peculiar position recently. As you might already be aware, there is some sort of football competition going on at the moment and being one of the many loony football fans around the world, I could barely contain my excitement. Having been born in a country whose World Cup experience is painfully risible, my allegiance has squarely been with the English team for the last decade or so, yet I found myself defending my position as an England supporter recently in conversation amongst a group of British-born fans. Peculiar indeed, in my opinion.
Of course there are the obvious – and to an extent reasonable - arguments of ‘why bother?’. With the English team it’s usually a matter of ‘we came, we saw, we stuttered, we went home with our tail between our legs’. The echoes of ’66 still ringing as loud and heavy as the vuvuzuelas in South Africa. We all know that we’re probably going to face Portugal or Germany at some point, and that Lampard will take that pivotal penalty kick and … well, I can even see The Sun headline already ‘HE BENT IT LIKE BECKHAM’. But surely that’s no reason to stop supporting our team. After all, being a glutton for pain and disappointment is an essential requirement for football fans everywhere, especially if you are an [insert your own team here] supporter. And besides, this could be our year after all!
Add to that the fact that some of our players will never make it into any of our Christmas card list and that the modern state of the sport mean that some of those disliked players still command ridiculous sums week in, week out and you can understand why some people have chosen to forsake the national team and support teams from other countries. As I said above, understandable.
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