Why I love football

Why I love football: the confession of a new fan
Published by Sofia on 2023-02-24 in Detective
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Hey everyone! My name is Sofia and I love football. I'm here to explain why.

First of all, let's address the elephant in the room. When I say football, I mean the one where you kick a ball and score goals. The one with the World Cup which was in Qatar last year. You might call it soccer or some other variant, just know this is the one I'm referring to.

I have to say my love for football is fairly new. Even though I have photos of me as a baby surrounded by every type of F.C. Inter memorabilia and merch (my dad is a big fanatic), I didn't really follow football until UEFA Euro 2020 (which Italy won, yey!).
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ilustration by Radioimmaginaria
In Italy football is a big part of our culture so, every time there's a national competition, you bet everyone will be watching, or at least know what's going on.

I had always done this, but, somehow, this time was different for me and not only because we won. We had just come out from the very bad part of the pandemic (even though there was still a lot to overcome) and I felt more connected to people.

It's a bit difficult to explain, but ever since the pandemic it's as if I could feel other people's emotions. Like, if somebody is feeling sad and is talking to me or even standing next to me, I feel sad too.

It's some sort of strong empathy and it could have something to do with trauma and quarantine or whatever.

What I'm trying to say is that I felt connected to people and I really enjoyed watching a football match and experiencing feelings tenfold.

When my team scored I felt incredibly happy. And yes, I also felt incredibly sad when the other team scored, but, as I said, we won, so I was okay.
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ilustration by Sofia A
Then, when the new football season began, I decided to go back to the stadium.

I had been to a match when I was eight years old, but I had started crying right at the announcement of the players, because there was too much noise. Then I had cried again when we scored in the sixth minute. So... I had decided I would never come back.

Ten years later, there I was and let me tell you, I'm so glad I came back. The experience was intoxicating.

The match went really well (we won 6 to 1 goals... it was amazing) and every time we scored I felt incredible, screaming and hugging other fans.
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ilustration by Radioimmaginaria
There's also the feeling of unity you get when watching a match. I adore seeing all the fans wearing my team's colors; which are also my favorite ones: black and blue (Go Inter!).

It just makes me happy, like I really belong somewhere, like I'm part of something bigger than me.

What can I say, my favorite book trope is found family. Many different people follow my team and that's probably the only thing we have in common.

We are all so diverse, but when we're in the stadium it doesn't matter.

I don't care if you're Black or White, if you love or hate math, if you're ten or one hundred years old, if you are Catholic or Muslim; when Lautaro Martínez scores a goal we get up and we scream his name in the exact same way.

We are a single voice, a community, a heart. We are one.