Football for me has been, until now, a synonym of boring sunday afternoons staying at home watching swetting guys running around behind a ball. When there is a football match in Colombia you should not rely on public transportation, getting things done or any inteligible response (specialy from guys) as everything stops in time while everyone becomes a couch potato to watch the game. Some times I even participated cheering for Colombian's team successes but still I have bravely fight against being part of the madness. This year I had to give up.
Now, I understand how people becomes fans of football. Football is a social sport and is better enjoyed when watching it in large crowds, suffering, screaming and chearing in symphony with fellow fans. We first watched the Germany - Italy game with my mom and, for the first time, I experienced the feeling of suffering and celebrating for a team that was not Colombian.
We didn't only cheer for Italy because of our friends and (almost) family back there, it wasn't just for Alessandro and all the nice moments we have shared with his family... we were cheering for Italy because of all the nice strangers we met in the way, for the good kids in Milan's station who helped us with our heavy luggage without being asked to do so, for the nice taxi driver who understood that we only had 13 euros to get to the station, for the sweet Argentinian-Italian guy in Bergamo who let us stay in the hotel reception when, at midnight, we had no place to wait for our early flight. Italian people is nice even if you have never met them before and for that (and for the amazing food they make) they deserve this victory!!
And after a game that looked more like a soap opera than a world cup final, with a lot of acting from the Franch team (sorry, they were falling all the time trying to get a fault and make Zidane score) with a brilliant goal from the Italians, with the deserved red card for Zidane (I understand that the comment could have been hard but, there is no excuse for a professional reacting like that), with the defensive game of the Italians and the many lost opportunities of the French, with all the suffering, with all the celebrating and, even with the rain, Italy has become world cup champion for the 4th time making it a really good sunday afternoon for a great country.