It seems quite appropriate to write something about soccer’s greatest event, the one now taking place in Germany from June through July, 2006. It is a culmination of four year’s work for the 32 teams that have qualified to play in this tournament.
We all know the effect soccer – or football – as I prefer to call it, has on the lives of so many people. You only have to see the television pictures of people who are lucky enough to be able to attend and even luckier, if they have tickets for the games they hope to see. Yes, it is a fact that many of the supporters visiting Germany this summer will not actually see a game, except on the public screens dotted around outside the stadiums in the country. So in that respect I guess those of us who will be watching intently on our televisions in the comfort of our own homes, will be better off. Or will we?
Judging by some of the pictures coming from the tournament, it appears that these folk at the venues seem very happy just to be there just to soak up the tournament atmosphere. I remember as a younger man being lucky enough to attend a World Cup tournament myself. I will explain if I may.
I was 21 years old and living in England at the time. I followed my local football team with a great deal of pride and attended a couple of the preliminary matches at my team’s stadium before the “business end” of the tournament got underway.
Imagine my joy when I found for a 21st birthday gift, I was given accommodation in London and tickets for the quarter-final, semi-final and World Cup final itself. I was absolutely flabbergasted. You can also image my happiness when my home country actually won the trophy in front of its home crowd. What a day!
Yet, of all the memories of that sunny Saturday in July 1966, the singapore pools soccer odds became only part of my thrill. Sure, it was wonderful to cheer the team to victory, but my memories still linger to the day itself. Not so much the game, more the friendship of everyone in the stadium. Folk from different countries all there for one reason – to see the spectacle of a worldwide sporting event. The sport in the past has been criticised for encouraging violence from the “hooligan element” within society and I am not going to discuss that here.
But this event, now in 2006 in common with 1966 and all between, encourages friendship. This I have found from my own personal experiences, certainly exists. My own lasting memory of my lucky visit to the soccer World Cup final was to be walking down the street outside that London stadium, with three other people I had never met before or since – from Belgium, Holland and Portugal, singing at the top of my voice. If you were to ask me why we did that, I could in all honesty not answer, save for happiness and a little euphoria with the occasion.