How Soccer Unites Us

soccer-263716_150I remember it like it was yesterday. We would go outside and form small teams. My Dutch cousins and I would play until it was almost too dark to see anything. We would get lost in the game and not even realize that dinnertime was approaching. In talking to friends from all over the world, I’ve heard many similar childhood stories.

Soccer will always have a special place in my heart. The World Cup isn’t just a sporting event to me. It’s a reminder of my culture and family, and how united the world is through one sport. The Cup is as global as it gets, and is the most popularly followed sporting event. You don’t have to be a big soccer fan to understand how immense the scope of this worldwide event is. You don’t even have to like soccer to get the potential powers this event has on bridging gaps and bringing us all closer together. Many of us can appreciate different sports and the value they bring to our lives (whether your favorites are tennis, basketball, baseball, etc.) – from learning about teamwork, incredible fitness, celebrating success, and sharing emotions.

Millions of people watch the World Cup every four years – that’s four years of eagerly awaiting some of the best soccer. People from every corner of the world put their faith in their respective country’s teams. Some countries make it as new entrants such as Bosnia & Herzegovina, which celebrated this being its first World Cup! They live and breathe these games, and patriotism abounds among the crowds.

In Holland, you cannot escape the “orange army” – Dutch donned in bright orange shirts, dresses, wearing wigs and cheering loud and proud for their own. Sidewalk cafes overflow with excitement, but people often also celebrate at home with friends and family.

As the World Cup 2014 continues, it’s fun to reflect on these memories. No matter where my family and friends are watching, I still feel as connected to the games, and the accompanying emotions as I would if I were right there with them.

YOUR TAKE

Do you watch the World Cup? What team are you rooting for, and why? Which sports do you love? How do sports bring people together?

2 thoughts on “How Soccer Unites Us

  1. It’s why I fell in love with Fußball once again, when I moved to Europe. It’s fascinating how identity is tied with a relatively simple sport, and it’s something I began to understand. It’s something I continue to understand a little bit more whenever I’m back in Europe, when I’m in Germany.

    1. Exactly! It’s a wonderful way to connect with other people, too. I love watching the World Cup with big fans, but also with newcomers and people who don’t normally enjoy soccer. It’s funny to see how quickly people begin to enjoy it. It’s about the social bonding experience, too. Germany is huge on soccer, and I know there’s a strong following around it 🙂

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