Recently , our beautiful game has been portrayed in a negative light by the media and critisized by people who partake in other sports who see football as a game full of "pansies" and ill disciplined prima donnas (and that's just the players!). I am writing this article to demonstrate why football is unique. And why, in my opinion, no other sport can compare to this game and finally to analyse the unique power football enjoys as a method of communication and the beautiful way in which it unites and divides people, families and nations across the world.
The First reason which made me want to try my hand at writing an article was the sheer passion and emotion I experience whenever I watch, play, debate or participate in anything football related. From Fifa 11 to that extraordinary feeling I get when I watch my hometown team, Exeter City, during my regular trips back home to England, football captulates me in a way nothing else can. The roar of a stadium when a goal is scored, the great footballing Stadia around the world such as the Camp Nou, Old Trafford, Anfield and El Bombatisco make me dream of emulating my idols whereas the incredible atmospheres of smaller, more intimadating arenas such as the Britannia Stadium make the hairs on my neck stand up on end, because after all, football is the people's gam, something that men and women who spend their weeks working and studying hard can look forward to on a Saturday, 3 points or no 3 points, title challengers or not, the atmosphere alone makes football the beautiful game loved by millions.
The second aspect of football that entices me is the fact that, wherever you are in the world, football can sometimes be the only means of communication at your disposal. To illustrate my point, I recall one balmy summer night on holidays in Spain with my family when a group of children, probably around the same age as me, came to our table and suggested that I partake in a game of 5 a side with them, having only a very basic command of spanish, we let our feet do the talking and played happily for a least an hour, exchanged smiles, handshakes and hand gestures and generally had a ball, all thanks to the beautiful game. What other sports could permit such a simple yet pleasant cultural exchange on the Andalucian seafront? Whether you find yourself on the streets of Tehran or on the banks of the Tyne, football is a truly universal language which has helped to break linguistic, cultural and even political and diplomatic barriers since its invention halfway through the twentieth century.
Picture World War I and the trenches in Northern France and Belgium, two camps, divided by political and ideological alleignances, declared a ceasefire during the bitterly cold and bleak continental winter and united through a kickaround, putting aside their differences and letting their feet do the talking instead of guns, even to this day countries ravaged by famine, war and dictatorship such as North Korea have found a way to express themselves on a global stage despite being isolated from the rest of the world on an economic , political and ideological level, football is the light at the end of their albeit brainwashed and propaganda tarnished tunnel. So I would like to conclude this short article, my first and certainly not my last, by requesting that, before you critisize footballers and the teams they represent, think of the emotion the beautiful game can produce. Think of the highest high and the lowest low and everything in between, think of football as the beautiful game it is, a sport like no other.