I have to make a confession. About five years ago I completely fell out of love with football. I had no interest whatsoever, I had basically become consumed by music, I felt I had to go to as many gigs as was physically possible. The sheer dominance of Chelsea in the Premier League hurt, my beloved Stoke’s frustrations, it was all too much. This abstinence could only last for so long. Soon I started to regain my passion, but it wasn’t until my trip to South America that it really came back, and now it must be said that I am probably more obsessed by football than anything else in my life.

It was almost as if I had forgotten about where football came from, visits to the Britannia Stadium and the Millenium Stadium worthwhile but not really ever feeling as if the game was truly important. In Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay there is no hiding from it. The result is important, as it is too in England, but the really difference is the importance of the actual match day, to head down the stadium knowing that win or lose you will never stop singing, to see all the different banners, fireworks, confetti that will cover the stadium, and how you’ll be riding the bus all the way home, singing still, and that every time you meet a fellow fan you will break into song once more. It’s something I’ve never experienced, partly by driving to Stoke games and then driving all the way back to my home, outside of Stoke, but also because there’s a different form of celebration. Football has grown up in England and so has the wallets of its fans. It’s made me see the beauty of the game as the game of the people, while also being grateful for the way football exists in England, as smashed-up buses and shootings in stadiums can take the shine of the game somewhat.



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