Football, a game that being played by millions, adored by millions and conquered by a few. Football, some people said even can unite a whole nation and even in worst case, triggered a large scale civil war. For whatever purpose football had brought to human kind, the love and passion for football knows no boundaries.
So, it’s the most secret and yet widely known that many of us still searching of why a person fall in love with football in the first place?
Lets take example in the context our nearest society. Many would agree and some would totally support that Kelantan have the most passion, fanatical football fans in this country. Just take a look at last year, where Kelantan won the treble and two times Kelantan fans gathered up, filled up flock into Stadium Bukit Jalil in the FA Cup Final verses Sime Darby (won by 1-0 courtesy of penalty) and Stadium Shah Alam in the Malaysian Cup Final verses ATM (won in the extra time with the score of 3-2 by Indra Putra Mahyuddin). So why Kelantan have all these fans? Is it because most of them are born in Kelantan so straight away they called themselves as Kelantan fans? As such we can categorize many football fans around the world in this kind. If you are born in that place, so you are straight away being called the FAN. But how about the case of born in Malaysia but a die-hard fan of Manchester United?
This case is a very unique one. Many sponsor admit that EPL or English league have many supporters here in Asia. That’s why every year we can see that many England clubs come and do their pre-season training and friendly here at Asia, specifically South East Asia. Even in Malaysia there are many Man Utd fans, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and many more. Some of these fans even quarreled to the extreme when their clubs clash with each other and even worse there are some cases that some of these fan fight with their bare hand when one or the others supported club lost in a game. Why in the first place Malaysian become the die-hard fan of EPL clubs, what makes them buy every year the club merchandises, follow every news and watch every games available? No one knows exactly the sole answer for this. Is it because of the glamourous players that the clubs have just like Chelsea once before or Man City right now? Is it because of the trophy that the club had won like Man Utd or Liverpool in their golden days? Or is it because simply peer pressure? My friends claim they are Man Utd fans, so I joined them as I don’t want to be left out. Is that a concrete reason?
Well, most fans also look to other European leagues. Some fascinated by the beautiful football that Barcelona bring to the world so they even called themselves as a part of the Catalan club. Some struck by the magical history that Real Madrid have. Some love the Italian football, and don’t be surprised some even like the enigmatic Scottish sides such as Glasgow Celtic or Rangers. For whatever the reasons behind it, how come human can’t be romantic with football?
Every single football fan knows in football there are sure things and there are dreams. Some times when the dreams were visualized into reality, the joy and satisfaction that they felt is out of this world. And some other time, when the reality become the worst nightmare, the anger and hatred can bring destructions to the entity of football itself. Like every other sports, football is made up of many variables. But, in the end of the day, the truth is there will always be a winner and a loser. That is a damn cold hard fact. Whether a fan can accept the fact or not, well it’s up to their logical and rationale morale and mind to decide. There are cases a fan murdered a player, a player were beaten up, players clashed with each other, fan attacked officials and management received a death threat. When its all end, in football, its just about how the fans felt. Great players can come and go. Successful managers can be hired and sacked. Management can buy and sold any clubs. But the most romantic entity in football is the fans. Whether in lows or highs, whether in many or a few, a club can never exist without a fan. And vice versa, no fans can even a club that don’t exist.
Football fans fall in love with football not because of winning, they also surely don’t want to be in the losing side. So what if the clubs never won anything. So what if the clubs sold their greatest players? So what if the management run away and left the clubs rotten. Is football is all about winning and losing? Is football is all about trophy and fame? For me, all of that are only variables. Dependent variables that make football a truly majestic game to be watch. Some fans live by the ball, sleep by the ball even eat by the ball. They watch football when they broke up with their girlfriends, some watch football to forget the hardship at work, some come to stadium to release their tension, some accepted football as their culture, their cult, their hobby, their profession. So how come we can’t be romantic about football? It does not matter if your team lost 28 games in a row. Does it matter your team score the most point in the leagues ? How does it matter when your team players score the most goals in the history ? None and everything. It all come down to our perception to see it. What makes others different or even better than us? Or why does we feel like we are better that the rest? What are the criteria, requirements for that?
Human can never analyze statistically and analogically the game of football and the passion behind it. It all must be left where it belong. Football is sacred to the eyes of the person. In the end of the days, football is just a game where a round ball being kicked around for 90 minutes.