Nothing comes close to the FIFA World Cup, not even the Olympics.
Sure, the Olympics have all the tradition going for them, but are you really glued to the TV watching the Olympics? Thought not. The kind of hysteria generated by the World Cup is unprecendented and for good reason. You have monster upsets, you have drama, you have breathtaking goals, you have sheer brilliance of individual players, you have everything.
And, it’s not like everyone gets to come to the party–some big names miss out every time. No Nigeria, no Cameroon this time from Africa, but you have Ivory Coast, Angola, and Togo. Oh yeah, Trinidad & Tobago made it from their group. So did Serbia and Montenegro from Europe–this should be interesting because Montenegro just voted to be an independent country.
Which big name team will falter? Who’ll stamp their authority on this World Cup–Ronaldinho, Thierry Henry, Shevchekno, Nedved? Will Zidane be able to inspire France to another title? Will Holland carry on their super run in the qualifiers to the Finals and not self-destruct? Will England recover from the loss of Rooney? Will Argentina be able to capture the magic of 1986? Will Germany make their home fans proud? Lots of questions and no answers at the moment, but we’ll know soon enough.
I support Holland because I love their approach to football and I’ve been mesmerised by them ever since Van Basten scored that marvellous volley-goal to win the European Championship. I also used to support Ajax (under Louis Van Gaal), when half their side was in the Holland team. And, who can forget Johann Cyruff and total football?
I’ll support Ivory Coast in some matches because they’ve got two Arsenal players in their lineup–gotta love that. It’ll be interesting rooting for different teams based on familiar club players.
One team that I won’t support, because they get enough of that anyway, is Brazil. Yep, I’ll be rooting against them. I’ll enjoy their football, but I’ll root against them.
I can’t wait for the excitement to begin. Germany, here I come, albeit on my couch through the TV.