Every four years I show just a little bit of interest in football.
As a child I had no interest in the games, but I did enjoy filling in all the scores on a chart with my dad and watching which teams progressed and which didn’t (obviously supporting Germany with my dad).
Since making Chile my home, football has become a slightly bigger part of my life, although I am pleased to say that Rodrigo is not a huge football fan, so it is only during World Cup qualifying or the actual World Cup that we get caught up in the fanatisism. Or when we have to play penalties with his football crazy 6 year old nephew.
Finally after a month of football, we are down to the final match today!!! I love that I am from a very international family and that I have travelled and lived in various countries because it means I am quite happy to support different nations from Europe, Africa and Latin America in their quest for glory.
Naturely I started out cheering for Chile and although sadly they lost in an incredibly close and nail biting match to Brazil, they made an impact on the world cup, at least through their incredibly patriotic acapella version of the national anthem. Thanks to all the publicity the singing fans received, I found myself singing “Puro Chile es tu cielo azulado” (the only line of the anthem I actually know) for days.
But even besides Chile’s antics, overall this World Cup has been particularly special for me. I have been lucky enough to experience the ups and downs, the thrills and nerves not only with friends and family in Chile, but also with colleagues and clients in Costa Rica and Colombia.
The best way to show what the World Cup has meant for me is via a few photos:
Walking through Bogota we came across a big screen showing the Chile-Australia match. It was great to see all the Colombians were supporting Chile!
In Colombia, even the dogs dress in yellow for football matches!
I was on a bike tour of Bogota during Colombia’s first game and when they scored their second goal against Greece we were walking through the butchery section of a local market.
Absolutely everyone in Bogota was wearing yellow that day – they blended in quite well with the colourful fruit and veges of the market.
But the highlight of the world cup for me was Costa Rica’s performance. I have been meaning to write a blog about Costa Rica for a long time, and hopefully I will get around to it soon. But for now, I will focus on the football.
I have just spent almost two weeks in Costa Rica for work and in the first days before the world cup started, the optimism of the Ticos (the local name for the Costa Ricans) was pretty low. They really had no illusion that they would advance far with opponents like Uruguay, Italy and England.
But the optimism began to build when they surprisingly beat Uruguay 3-1. I was then lucky enough to share the experience of them beating Italy 1-0. My client in Costa Rica is Florida Ice & Farm Co (FIFCO) which produces the local Costa Rican beer Imperial (amongst many other products). So obviously it was quite the party in their offices when they played Italy.
Watching Costa Rica vs Italy at FIFCO’s Corporate Office.
Half time celebrations with María Paz y María Pia. Costa Rica’s national saying is Pura Vida which means Pure Life. It really does sum up the additude of the Ticos. More about this in another post.
Los Ticos celebrating their victory!
During half time, my client gave me an Official Supporters shirt since I was the only person in the entire place not dressed in red.
And then there was the Chile – Brazil game. We tranformed the living room into a mini cinema and watched the game with two of Rodrigo’s brothers.
The red circle is around a photo of my family from their visit to Chile in December. Rodrigo decided thay they had to watch the game with us.
Pablo with his face painted in the Chilean flag and his uncle Juan Carlos all in red for the game.
Since Rodrigo and I are not fanatics about football, we don’t have any football jerseys, but considering Chile’s colours are red, blue and white just like those of Costa Rica, I decided to use the Costa Rican jersey for the Chilean match.
Rodrigo and I with our niece Elisa.
I won’t elaborate on the game, but I will share a few photos I took during the penalty shootout. I found it alot more interesting to watch Rodrigo and Pablo watching the TV…their faces say it all.
Being such an international family, we also had to watch the Mexico Holland battle with Rodrigo’s sister-in-law, who although she hates football, she is very patriotic to her country. Sadly for Mexico they just lost it in the last ten minutes. But hey, that’s football.
Adriana with her Mexican shirt, Elisa and Javier with his Santo Mask which is typical in Mexico.
The World Cup has produced alot of drama and alot of tears, but at the end of the day only one country really goes home happy from this tournament. Although I have lots of friends in Argentina and I love that country, I have to say my heart is with Germany today. As is that of Pablo:
Pablo with the black, red and yello of Germany!
So tomorrow the world returns to normal and we can all take a much needed break from hearing about football. I end this post with a very interesting work of graffiti which I saw on my bike tour of Bogota:
“Often I think to myself if only one day we could direct all the enthusiasm we have for football towards doing something positive for humanity”