2020 has been a difficult year for everyone around the planet. The global pandemic has seemingly damaged every area of society and yet there is one thing that has kept us together- football. It is well known that football has the power to bring people together. No matter their age, race, culture, gender or nationality, they all come together to support the team or country they love.
Together, these individuals become a family that support a common cause- their football team. This is certainly the case when it comes to the World Cup, which is shown in every country on the planet. The 2014 world cup final alone was watched by over one billion people. During such events, both football enthusiasts and those who rarely watch the sport come together to support their country. It’s a period in time in which all local divisions are forgotten about completely. A time in which fans can simply sit back and enjoy football.
So what is it about the sport that brings people together? Firstly, it creates a sense of community throughout every level of society. People will often grow up supporting teams as families, groups of friends and will eventually meet strangers who support the same team. This helps to break down the barriers that divide us, by providing each individual with a common cause.
Each game brings out the same emotions in supporters, from laughing and cheering to those can’t look moments. One particular moment in the sport that unites fans are penalties. Before the shot, the crowd will fall silent. All pressure is on the keeper, who must make that last-minute save with the tip of their goalkeeping gloves. It’s a moment that can leave fans cheering and dancing or crying at their defeat. Throughout each game, a united group of fans will consistently support (or jeer) the individual in goal, united in the mission to uplift or distract the keeper. It’s this sense of community and enjoyment which makes the game so much fun.
It could be argued that this sense of community in football goes all the way back to our youth, when we played for our local teams. Every Sunday we would make our way to the football pitch, whether it was sunny and dry, or raining and hailing the match would always be on. We would run around on a low-quality pitch whilst our boots got muddy and our brand new flat cut goalie gloves were ruined after one game of heavy rain (which often left the goalkeeper in a pool of mud!). We would pretend to imitate our favourite players, taking shots like Aguero and making those last-minute fingertip saves like David de Gea. It is here that our love for football begins and this is carried with us throughout life.
Although there are many popular sports around the world, it’s true that no sport brings us together like football. Now more than ever, it is a sport that will continue to bring us together and create a sense of community in these troublesome times.