World Cup 2014
I never thought I’d be in a country that *almost* won the FIFA World Cup. I also never thought I’d be so obsessed with soccer.
I bought a Messi jersey and devoted myself to watching nearly every game of the World Cup. Before one of my final exams/presentations, the other IFSA-Butler students, our professor, and I watched one of the early matches in a pizza place below our classroom. Luckily, Argentina won. It definitely relieved the stress of the upcoming final.
The match before the championship, Argentina played the Netherlands. The score was decided by penalty kicks. I was watching the game at a friend’s house with her whole family, and we were absolutely silent. I never felt so nervous or invested in a soccer match. I found myself praying to the Pope, hoping Papa Francisco would give a blessing to Argentina. Just then, Maxi Rodriguez’s penalty kick put Argentina through to the World Cup final.
Shouts of joy erupted throughout the city (literally, the sounds can be heard throughout the city after each goal through the penalty shootout — the end of this video is awesome: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=II4SFgPbZx8)
My friend lived near Avenida Juramento, a popular avenue in the neighborhood Belgrano. People were running to this street to celebrate, and of course we wanted to join. There were families of all ages forming the singing, dancing, jumping crowd. We blocked the entire street, but the cars didn’t seem to mind. They just honked their horns to the songs we were singing, with people waving Argentina flags out their windows. The crowd grew larger and larger, and thousands of people filled the street. I never saw so much excitement, so much togetherness. I saw a homeless woman grinning from ear to ear, wearing an Argentina hat proudly. On this night, all of Argentina experienced contagious national pride. Despite any differences, everyone came together. Yet another reason to love soccer and the World Cup.
To see more for yourself: 2014-07-09 21.10.34