Today Mexico lost against Uruguay. I was watching the match in a Mexican restaurant, where most of the people sitting at the tables were also supporting the same team (Mexico). I could observe the disappointment from their long faces. And even from the way they acted, as they did not talk as much as they did in the beginning of the match. The restaurant was so silent, while in the TV they were showing people dressed in blue and white costumes, jumping and shouting for their victory.
Before that game, I had heard some of my friends in Madrid talking about the FIFA in South Africa and how they preferred that a developing country from Latin America or Africa won the world cup, so at least “they were better than a developed country in something they actually did good”.
That comment left me thinking.
FIFA World Cup 2010. The official logo.
Could that be possible? Does the world cup actually mean something different for followers coming from a developing country than a developed one? Could you call them “more passionate” about their own matches? Is it true that they want, at least, to be better than Europe in soccer?
About the comment I talked before, I know my friends did not talked with a bad intention; it was just an usual observation. I have also talked to FIFA followers, students from countries like Belgium or Germany, who actually support developing country teams, just because of their lower economical and social standards. Because they think that these teams come from countries that might not be able to compete against developed countries in other things, that they “have nothing else but hope”. And they want them to achieve success.
Mexican fans holding their national flag at
Royal Bafokeng stadium in Rustenburg, South Africa.
Picture taken by Dylan Martinez / reuters.com
Uruguay supporters celebrating their national teams victory.
Picture taken from in.reuters.com
Football allows entire nations to dream.
Becoming equal, or even having a better level, than developed countries is something that might “only be possible in soccer" for developing countries. Is this one of the main purposes for the developing world? To become "better" in something, and get a victory against developed countries in something they might be able to achieve? What do you TH!NK about it?
(Andrea Arzaba, June 2009)