I have never been a soccer fan until last week. Granted, I do live in a South American country now, where they live/eat/breathe/sleep fútbol. And my fiancé is a huge fan, so I guess the soccer craze about the World Cup wore off on me.
Regardless, last week for the opening game between Brasil and Croatia, my eyes were on the TV screen the whole game, cheering and getting into the action. It was a fun game to watch, surrounded by other South Americans. Of course they were cheering for Brasil, but I secretly wanted Croatia to win.
Last Friday I was at home all day, frantically searching for a website that was streaming the games. I couldn’t NOT watch. I finally found a site and was so happy to be watching! Let me just say that I prefer watching soccer games in Spanish rather than English, because they yell “Goooooooollllll!!!!” and it’s epic. The Spain & Netherlands game was AMAZING, and I was hyped up that Netherlands beat Spain!!! Totally unexpected for me! I was texting my family during the game asking if they saw “that goal” or “that play” and of course, no one else was watching 😉
Probably the most exciting game for me so far was Monday’s match between USA and Ghana.
Now like I said, I’ve never been into soccer before. I didn’t know any of the US players, their reputation as a team, or Ghana’s background playing. I was clueless as to who was expected to win, but golly I sure wanted the USA to win! My Peruvian almost-brother-in-law bet 20 Soles against his Gringo brother-in-law that Ghana would win. So naturally, I was nervous that USA would lose.
Some of the family (my almost-in-laws!) went to an English (as in, from England… Ye Old Pub) sports bar to watch the game Monday afternoon. I’ve never been to a sports bar, let alone to watch a sports event, so I was excited!
The place had maybe 30 Gringos watching the game on 4 different screens, and our table of 5 was a rowdy one! There was yelling in Spanish, cheering in English, and high fives after each US goal. SO MUCH FUN! The entire bar erupted in cheers after every goal. We were all thrilled that we were winning.
Never have I felt such camaraderie with a group of strangers.
Something I’ve learned about life in Peru… there’s always a first for everything. First time in my life enjoying watching soccer games for hours. First time in a sports bar. First time feeling a part of a community since leaving the States. First time feeling like I’m surrounded by family, whether it’s my almost-family, or fellow Americans in a sports bar in Lima, Peru.
I can’t wait to cheer on more teams as they play in the World Cup, but especially for the US against Portugal on Sunday! Vamos USA!
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to watch France kick Switzerland’s rear 😉
Have you been watching the World Cup games???