So finally the first game of the World Cup was played, Brazil x Croatia, the whistle blew and the chants began inside and outside the stadium. Brazil will host this World Cup half heartedly – torn between two loves, football and itself as a nation – but are they separate?

Still, inside or out, for or against, chatting for goals or a better country, no one – absolutely no one – would have guessed what that first game would have been like or dare say that the first goal would have been scored by Brazil and against Brazil; all at the same time. Very symbolic if you ask me.

Neither would anyone English have expected to lose so soon, the nation that invented modern football, along with a few others, may not have played at their best but left the field a bit discouraged as it seems that the big question during this Cup more so than who will be the best team – might actually be which of them will survive such poor arbitrage.

…Brazil will host this World Cup half heartedly…

I for one want to post FIFA a complaint along side a comment on the disaster they put us through or should I call it an Opening Ceremony? Trees, indians and gauchos? Really? Have we not moved past the 1800s yet? I was proud to watch, though only for a few seconds, the first kick of the 2014 World Cup by a young disabled man dressed in the exoskeleton designed by Miguel Nicolelis, a Brazilian scientist. Now that represents our country.

Anyhow, the fever exists and it is world wide. By September last year, as more than 50 countries fought to qualify for one of the 22 spots and make it into the games, FIFA’s webpage had already been receiving more than a million visits a day, representing a 115% spike in usual day visitations. Well, now it is finally time to watch the best players of the world at their most important performance ever.

…Now that represents our country…

Here in Brazil, roads and sidewalks have been painted in green, blue and yellow; national flags hang from car windows and most importantly everyone gets the afternoon of the day Brazil plays off; as friends and families gather hoping for that 6th world recognized title, it is like the rest of the world ceases to exist.

As I watched Brazil play the fever began to catch on to me. Then as Uruguay, once my home, lost to Costa Rica my heart was broken. Finally when England and Italy confronted each other I didn’t know which way to look and once again, my heart was in pieces – I am half Italian and England is my home.

…roads and sidewalks have been painted in green, blue and yellow…

Wow! So much heart ache. What is that? Where does this fever come from? How can I see all the wrong in the world and still nearly have a heart attack over a simple match? Nationalism – that’s how. Nationalism is the feeling one has of  their identification with a nation, either because you were born there, lived there for part of your life or simply admire a particular place in the world – or in this case, their footballing abilities.

This need us humans have to belong takes full force every time our team – or teams- step onto the field and we are gifted with the ultimate feeling of being part of something relevant. As a bonus we do that alongside millions of others, this is the biggest group most of us can ever feel a part of. Plus we win so much, we win the chance to be the best of the world! All without leaving the comfort of ours homes or the festivities of a stadium,a bar or a big screen set up in a park somewhere.

…this is the biggest group most of us can ever feel a part of…

FIFA was ever so smart to plan the games just enough time apart to make them even more special and important then they might already have been, as the most popular sport in the world gives one nation the opportunity to become the champion of champions for a whole four years.

Now, you might already know all this and even more, you might be politically engaged or even frustrated with the world; you might even be really good at hiding it but unless you fall off the face of the earth – there is no escaping the fever.

 

 

 

About The Author

Brazilian by birth, a citizen of the world by heart. Making London my new home.

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