I love the World Cup. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing national pride from different fans from all around the world. What I love more is the passion that I see on television of those brightly painted screaming faces, or the colorful banners raised high over peoples' heads with much pride. You can also see the disappointment and anger when things don't go as one would like. This comes from a place deep within, a place that I'm just beginning to understand, although I'm not there quite yet.
As an American born Latina growing up in southwest Texas, I was never exposed to soccer. I didn't know anything about it. Times have changed and this was a long, long time ago. I've slowly begun to realize how important the game is. I remember a friend telling me once about how disappointed he was after his soccer team had lost a championship. I said it would be ok and all he said was "You don't understand." True. I really didn't understand.
From having conversations with friends from other countries, the World Cup isn't just another "game." It represents your cultural identity, your country, your language, your pride, your flag, your national anthem that is sung loudly at the beginning of the game -- it represents you. You are being presented on an international stage and what incredible joy it is to experience victory in front of the entire world! The agony of defeat is the worst. I've had to give some friends a "few days" (when their teams have lost) before I said anything for fear of offending them. Even an "I'm sorry" seemed insensitive.
So who am I a fan of? Many teams! I am currently following several teams as they play in the Copa Mundial and yes, I am receiving trash talk and getting a hard time from some of my friends. "But you're American. What do you know about other countries?" My response is "But I want to know about other countries and just look at how beautiful everyone shines!"
Besides the culture, pride, excitement and passion of the World Cup, I love the music as well. Shakira's "Dare" song always makes me want to sing along and/or dance. The commercials are also so much fun. I've enjoyed watching the superhuman, gorgeous athletes in them. There is definitely much "eye candy" at the World Cup. I'm only human. Don't judge.
I have to say that in general I'm not a sports fanatic but I've become a fanatic of the World Cup and my love for soccer/futbol has grown so much within recent years. To me it is the most exciting game that exists on the planet (my humble opinion). My heart can almost not take the excitement and the suspense that comes from the game.
Even if you're not a fan of the World Cup, you can certainly appreciate the love and passion of the entire world cheering for their home countries. So, who's going to win? I'm looking forward to finding out!