Still in World Cup mode, this year’s tournament made me realize how much I still love soccer and how big of a part it plays in my life. Over the last fifteen years or so, my love for soccer had diminished a great deal in light of scandals and terrible games (mainly the last three World Cups). Therefore my admiration for other sports that I already liked like football, baseball, basketball (NBA) and even hockey grew exponentially.
When the 2014 tournament was about to begin I wasn’t even that anxious for it. Of course I had decided to watch all the games (that’s like a 30 years plus tradition), but I wasn’t holding my breath for it.
However, I don’t know what the hell happened that although we don’t have a team playing breathtaking soccer, all the games were good! We had a lot of games with at least three goals scored and even some nil to nil games that were interesting (with the exception of Nigeria vs. Iran). It was surprising and entertaining at the same time.
Five games of the eighth finals (that just finished yesterday, sadly with the US loss to Belgium in overtime) went to overtime and every single one of them had me on the edge of my seat waiting for what was about to happen. I’ve not felt so happy about soccer since the 1986 World Cup.
Besides it brought home a lot of memories for me. I remembered when I was just a kid falling in love with the sport and those games showed me why. I remembered when soccer was the only thing in my mind (when I was about 12) before discovering the mighty power of Rock And Roll. Soccer was indeed my first great love.
The only thing that I’m not buying it’s that the games are so good because the tournament is being held in Brazil. I’m sorry, but that’s simply not true. Brazil is very lucky to have hosted this World Cup but the games would be this good even if they were being played in Chad. The games are good because of how the teams are playing and not where.
The perspectives for the quarter-finals, semi-finals, finals and even the depressing bronze medal game are the best possible and I’m actually a little depressed because it means there’s only eight games left. Then, it will be four more years waiting for the next one in Russia and hoping it can be as cool as this.
However, this World Cup already did its job. It made me care about soccer the way I did when I was about 12. And now, if could borrow the NBA slogan for a moment I want to scream for everyone to hear: I LOVE THIS GAME!
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