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Football and me

January 17, 2010

As there is still two hours until Bolton-Arsenal match, I was thinking about doing a blog about football (you know the sport known all around world as football, apart in USA) and how I became Gooner.

First I guess I could admit few things from my past (things that I am not proud of). I actually more less hated football in 1990’s (for a year or two). That was mainly because I got really sick of seeing it everywhere. Also I have said I was fan of Manchester United and Liverpool in the past.

I really didn’t care that much about football until 2006.

My first contacts with football was when Finnish striker Jari Litmanen was signed by Ajax Amsterdam. This also made me fan of Oranje. I read and heard lot of Dutch people saying praises on him, and for me hearing foreigners say good things about Finnish or a Finn doing well abroad is great. Also at that time my father was working as captain in a ship that went to Amsterdam and I did go with him few times. I remember 2 great things from those trips. 1 was my dad and I visited in this little shop in Amsterdam. They did sell all these Ajax shirts etc. but they didn’t have one for Jari. Also the seller realized that we were Fins just by listening us and after my dad asked about shirt of Jari. (that was main clue of where we come from).

Also one time as we were leaving from Amsterdam there was a Dutch couple in the ship too. Dutch national team had not done well in World cup or Euro Cup (whatever was just going on). Explanation they lacked a player like Jari Litmanen. And I guess I should mention here that Litmanen had two teammates in Ajax that made me fan (sort of) Oranje (Netherland’s national team). They were Marc Overmars and Edwin van der Sar. But I still wasn’t really watching football.

My support for Man U was because some artists I like were fans of them and also I liked Peter Schmeichel (I had seen Denmark winning Euro Cup in 1992).  So in about 2000 -01 I liked  Man U. But that really had nothing to do with football or club itself.

I easily started to “support” Liverpool when they had Jari Litmanen and Sami Hyypiä (two Finnish players). But without those two I would not support them.

I still didn’t really care about football.

Oh another thing that kind of affected my liking of football was in 2002 I went to Ireland. I had watch bit of World Cup matches before leaving for my 2 weeks vacation to country I had started to love. So as I landed the Dublin airport there were all these screens at baggage claim saying “Welcome home lads”. As I got in taxi, the driver asked me if I had seen “those cars” leaving the airport. That was their national team coming home. His voice sounded so proud. Also I remember these big headlines on papers when England was kicked off.

Then came next world cup 2006.  This is what changed my life completely. After chatting in a discussion site with a Dutch girl I found my likeness of Dutch football. Who also were playing there. SO I watched the Dutch team playing, still liking EvdS but now I also noticed new player. He looked great. Really, I just loved to watch how he played football and well he wasn’t bad-looking either. I really liked the goal he scored. Because I was working there were matches that I saved on my DVR  and watched next day after the work. Well I have never watched the 2nd half time of Portugal-Netherlands. I saw the result of the match and I couldn’t watch it after. Anyways that Dutch player I had started to like. I googled him and watched videos of him from YouTube. That all lead me to his clubs website. So it was Robin van Persie that lead me to Arsenal. By September I subscribed Arsenal TV ONLINE, so I could listen the matches live and later watch the highlights. I soon started to really love the team and how they played. And this lead me to for first time becoming a fan of football club based on the way they play rather  than someone else liking the club or just a player or two. Sure I became fan because a player but I do love to watch Arsenal even when my favorite players aren’t playing.

In Euro Cup 2008 I was supporting Netherlands and Spain. I was dressed with my Oranje-shirt or Cesc shirts.

So far I have been in 4 football matches in my life.

First football match I have been was Real Madrid’s La Liga match in 1997 or 1998. I was in Madrid for EU Lingua project. We were given chance to go see the match and I really was excited because I had heard a lot about atmosphere in football matches in Spain. I wasn’t that much in to football back then. Which was kind of good thing, since our seats were so high that I saw nothing. After the match I knew Real Madrid had won (but how many goals was scored no idea). Also a player from opposite team had got red card.

2nd match was lot better. I was able to see what was going on. Also it was a draw (I was really afraid of visiting team being way better and maybe winning by 4-7 goals). It was in September 2006. So it was also first match after I had started to be interested in the sport. Finland even scored 1st goal. Also I saw 2nd red card in my second match. Also I enjoyed to boo the team I dislike (I really hated them after world cup couple months earlier). Oh who were they? Portugal.

3rd match was in September 2007. This match was a dream come true, I had been planing this for a year or so. Spending a week in Amsterdam was fun. I love that city (but I want to go to Rotterdam too). The match was Netherlands-Bulgaria Euro Cup qualification match. As I had decided years earlier I spend more money to get good seat where you could see the match. So we were on row 02. The atmosphere was much better than in Madrid or Helsinki. De Oranje won the match. I guess I could admit that I didn’t look the match whole time. There were times my friend said “The ball is opposite side” my answer was :”But Edwin is in that side” or “Well Robin is over there”. I even got a nice pic of RvP.

4th match was a month   later. It was cold evening in October. To be honest after that match lot of people said it had been boring match. No goals for home team nor visitors. I guess if I had been sitting somewhere else I might agree with those people. I was sitting tho straight across from Spain’s bench. This was a friendly and Spain had not brought their best team but the player I wanted to see was there. Even if Cesc Fabregas spent 1st half time on bench I didn’t care, I was watching him. Now and then I watched where he was watching to see what was happening with the match. During half time Cesc was on pitch warming up with couple other players. I really loved to watch him with the ball and all those tricks he did. On 2nd half he got to play and I was playing watching him play more.

Now my dream is to see Arsenal play. Maybe someday I will do that.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 18, 2010 2:46 AM

    This is a very interesting post and i also like your blog site designs, have bookmarked your site and will be looking for future updates.

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