If you have been following my blog, first, I want to thank you for reading it. As you have probably figured out by now, I am a huge fan of soccer.
I am borderline fanatic.
Since the 1982 World Cup, I have not missed a WC final, going even as far as renting out a hotel room because there was no cable TV at the lake, and I couldn't take my children to the sports bar (1998, France 3 Brazil 0).
I lived in Brazil for close to ten years and I immersed myself in the culture of the love for soccer. People there are so passionate for the game, it is something that is unrivalled anywhere else in the world. My ex husbands uncle is so crazy for his team Fluminense, that if you were invited to go to a match with him and Flu lost, you were permanently banned from ever going to the stadium with him again. You were considered bad luck. The closest thing we in Canada can relate to is our love of hockey.
Hockey is the most popular sport in Canada, but I am sensing a change.
More and more kids (both boys and girls) are playing soccer and our Canadian Women's National Team (CWNT) just won the Bronze medal in the London Olympics. After a heartbreaking loss to the USA in the semi finals, Canada pulled it together in the Bronze medal game and scored the winning goal against France in the 91st minute.
They lost all of their games in the World Cup last year. The women's team have regrouped, changed their coach, turned it around and are now considered a strong team. The captain, Christine Sinclair, is a hero and a national treasure. She is our Ronaldo, our Pele, our Michel Platini!
Soccer Canada is maybe finally getting it. We need more investment and opportunity for our kids to have the dream and opportunity to play for Canada, and for Canada to succeed at an international level in both mens and womens soccer. They have started the movement by bringing in the new coach, John Herdman, for Canada. Now they need to do the same for the men.
I am looking forward to the day where I will see both the men's and women's teams in the World Cup and the Olympics.
Hopefully that day will come sooner, rather than later.......