The World Cup: an international exhibition
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Student Life

The World Cup: an international exhibition

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The World Cup isn't just simply a soccer competition, it's proof of a country's strength, community and international presence. 

The World Cup is a way to experience all the different countries without leaving your couch. So if you find some time, participate in the World Cup by supporting your own country.

The World Cup: Europe Style

I have been fortunate enough to travel throughout Europe and study abroad for the past two months this summer. Not only was I lucky enough to spend time in amazing countries and cities, but I was also able to witness locals watch their own countries compete in the first rounds of the World Cup.    

United Kingdom, London: Definitely the most interactive of them all. With pubs showing all of the most “popular” games throughout the preliminary rounds of the World Cup, the Brits definitely know how to watch “football.” They pull up chairs around large wood tables at all of the local pubs and cheer their pints (on pints, on pints…) of brew, otherwise known as draft beer. They scream loudly for their favorite players and, after they were eliminated, supported none other than the USA. They have a distinct flare to the way they watch football, and the only adjective that comes to mind when I try to describe such flare is fun.    

Italy:  Spending the majority of my time abroad in this wonderful country, I was able to watch the games alongside locals and understand the comments of their beloved sport of football in their native language. Watching in small "bars," otherwise known as cafes in the USA, Italians watch their country play with a focus similar to that of watching their own children and family members play against foreign countries. I noticed that Italians will stop whatever they are doing and simply watch the game with whomever is near them-- they make the viewing a community event. I was happily surprised by their willingness to share their love and passion for football with me and the other University of Michigan students I was with. Italians, while forceful in their negative comments about discrepancies throughout the games, were always supportive of their players and team. Should I describe the Italian viewings of games in one adjective as I did with the British, I would go with community because as soon as the game comes on, despite what Italian city you may find yourself in, you and the Italians around you become a community supporting the green, white and red flagged country.    

France, Paris: While I was only in Paris for a short two nights, I witnessed the French watch their native country play in a World Cup game. With local bars filled with cigarette smoke, classy cocktails, cheap vino and tap beer, the French sat back and supported their country. With sharp comments about the players and opposing teams, they definitely were not shy in their support, or lack thereof for the various players and coaches. While the French did not create as much of a community as the Italians, they definitely supported their country play the beautiful sport of soccer. In one word, I would personally describe the French’s viewing style as “Parisian,” because, truly, no other word would come close to describing the local French in Paris.    

While I am honestly not the most avid fan of soccer or a follower of the World Cup, I have definitely gained a much greater appreciation for the sport and competition while abroad. Seeing Europeans watch the games with such passion and care, it’s hard not to see the game differently. The World Cup is not just a competition; it’s an international display of a country’s strength, community, love, passion and perseverance. The World Cup is a way to experience all different countries without leaving your couch. So if you find some time, participate in the World Cup by supporting your own country. Go USA!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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