The World Cup starts tomorrow!

wmAnd I can’t wait! I am actually not planning to watch every single match, but I will watch lots and lots of them. While I follow the German Bundesliga, the first league, with great enthusiasm every year, the World Cup is something else still. For one thing, it’s super-exciting to watch all (or almost all of) the best players of a generation, for another I thoroughly enjoy the peculiar brand of patriotism – one unabashedly supports one’s favorite team, but all in a sense of great fun – that comes with each World Cup.

So while there is a scarf for Germany hanging from our own balcony, our neighbors may put up an Italian flag, and the people down the road may support Greece. You will see people in the streets, in schools and even at some workplaces who wear T-shirts or make-up or both that indicate which team they support. Teachers give next to no homework on the days on which the German team plays, and my husband is busy organizing a viewing area at his workplace for the one match he can’t get home in time for, with his boss’s full approval. It is a kind of madness that takes over the whole country, and some excesses notwithstanding, it is an energizing and amicable kind of madness.

Although my strongest loyalty is for the German team, in the course of the World Cup I will probably pick other teams to support, because I love their game or because they have outstanding players. This means that whoever makes the finals, I will still be taking sides, hoping with all my heart that the team I prefer will make it.

This World Cup’s German team is very young, and thus mostly off the radar for many commentators from abroad. Still there are great talents among them, for example two excellent midfielders from my favorite team Werder Bremen, Mesut Özil and Marko Marin. Watch out for them! Here is a video assembling some of Özil’s best scenes:

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Are you excited about the World Cup, too? How much attention does it receive in your country? Which teams do you support, and which players do you love best?

- Rike Horstmann

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6 Responses to “The World Cup starts tomorrow!”

  1. Goosie says:

    AHHHHHHHHH AM I EVER EXCITED ABOUT THE WORLD CUP!!!!!!!

    Okay. Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, I can tell you how excited I am for the world cup!!!! Rike, I’m jealous that you were able to at least experience having the world cup in your nation in 2006. My roomate and I are going to find bars for the weekend matches to watch them in a fun atmosphere. I also have a fairly flexible work environment and they’re showing all of the matches legally on espn360.com here in the states so I can also watch them at work. AHHHHH SUPER EXCITEDNESS

    As far as world cup allegiances go, my parents are Cameroonian so I support the Cameroonian team first. Then, since I love everything German (including their former coach who lives in LA now, Juergen Klinsmann), Germany goes second. And since I’m ACTUALLY American, I support America third. I know that might seem somewhat backwards, but OH WELL.

    After those three teams, as long as Portugal (i.e. Cristiano Ronaldo) doesn’t win, I’m happy. I’d also rather France doesn’t win either but hey whatever.

  2. Marianne McA says:

    Not excited at all: I don’t really follow football, and there’s so much hype about it – every commercial on the TV seems to be World Cup themed at the moment.
    Admittedly, if we had a team in, I’d watch with interest, but N. Ireland is so small, we almost never do (1982! We won an actual match! Fabulous moment.) – and my default team would then be Ireland, but they aren’t there either.
    I imagine if England get through to the final stages, I’ll watch those matches and somewhat reluctantly support them: though they’ll probably be insufferable if they win.

  3. I’m definitely going to be watching England vs. US today, and will try to catch as many other games as I can.

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  5. Amy says:

    ITALIA ITALIA ITALIA ITALIA ITALIA ITALIA!!!!!!

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