I want to love Soccer, I really do, especially now with the World Cup on in Vlad’s Russia. The fact that Australia is playing of course brings added value but that wasn’t always the case, this will be the 21stWorld Cup since its inception in 1930, this tournament will only be the Socceroo’s 5thappearance.
1974 in Germany was our first, we were a team of battlers, the Johnny Warren led amateurs, and we went scoreless. It took 32 years to get back to the big show, in 2006 again in Germany, this time we were a lot more successful, progressing out of the group stage into the Round of 16 before losing to Italy 1-0 in a game many pundits thought we were the better team.
Now we are in a Group with France, Denmark and Peru, we’ve already lost to France in a controversial game 2-1, where a V.A.R penalty was awarded (Video Assisted Referee) to give France their first goal. We play Denmark tomorrow night to try and stay alive.
I will watch this game. It’s shown live on SBS from 9pm, as are many other World Cup games after sole provider Optus have experienced all kinds of problems in streaming live games where the footage is ‘freezing’, there’s been such an outcry even the Prime Minister got involved in discussing the issue with Optus CEO Allen Lew.
I have been following all this through twitter mostly and now it’s time to watch a full game. I was a soccer fan as a kid, I played it from the age of 6 for Budgewoi when the whole team followed the ball around back then, like ten keystone cops chasing a criminal, we’d score for the other team and love it, it left our parents on the sideline in stiches.
Thankfully I stopped scoring for the opposition and went on to represent the Central Coast and NSW through the teenage years. I was a Liverpool fan and would watch the World Cup on TV. I lost interest somewhere around 15, and didn’t follow it after that.
As a TV spectacle I struggle with the lack of scoring, I want goals, I want action. I appreciate the skill; the athleticism but the endless passing and players barely getting touched and acting like their leg has been ripped off left a bad taste. On the other hand I’ve been in Europe when World Cups have been on and enjoyed the passion of nutty fans following their teams, to traditional soccer nations like Brazil, Argentina, Germany, England and Holland these games mean everything.
So I’ve decided to try and get caught up in this Socceroo wave, will I buy a jersey? No. Will I go to a pub and watch a game? No. But tomorrow night I’ll cook up a King Prawn Pasta, crack a bottle of Sangiovese, park myself in front of the TV and cheer for the Aussies against Denmark, if that doesn’t get me over the line, nothing will.