Hey footballer fans (and sports fans just in case you are going through this article without actually being a ‘fan’)!
Being a new user and new article contributor, and fearing backlash and unending Facebook notifications, I’ve decided to go with the most annoying thing about any football fan (please pardon me if you feel insulted) – hatred of players from other clubs.
There is no doubt that all football fans, even plastic ones, have heard of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, so I shall go forward with their example (would have in any case, no finer examples). There is no denying that both the above mentioned gentlemen are the finest footballers of the current times, and it’s natural for comparisons to be drawn. But the moment there is a single article justifying the greatness of any of the two, instantly, comments like “You must be a Barcelona/Real Madrid fan”, “Cristiano Ronaldo 1, Messi 3 (Ballon D’ors obviously) – who’s better?” or “Messi has Xavi and Iniesta behind him, Cristiano is not dependent on anybody to find the back of the net” crop up. Clearly, there aren’t many Barcelona fans who like Cristiano Ronaldo, and vice versa.
Moving towards the EPL, we find Torres being ‘trolled’ (Facebook lingo catching on, note to self, limit time) by Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal fans alike, and Chelsea fans retaliating with Ashley Young (diving), Andy Carroll (drought) and Nasri (loyalty) trolls (I’m giving the Chelsea example being a Chelsea supporter, but the examples can be interchanged).
Even the Euro was not spared (I know I am drifting from the ‘club’ part, but again, same problem). I met one of my best friends prior to the opening ceremony and asked him about the team he was supporting, and he goes “I really like the Spain team, but they have way too many Real Madrid players to remain worth supporting.”
Surely that remark stung, being a hardcore Barcelona fan, he detested Iker Casillas, the captain who has given the Spanish team so much and more. He hated to see Ramos’s (final) match winning tackles on Balotelli. And he positively detested Xabi Alonso, who scored two amazing goals against France.
Why were the players subjugated to such treatment even though the guy was a Spanish fan? Are we football fans really so narrow minded that we will adjudge Ronaldo, Messi, Torres, Young, Nasri or Carroll as ‘bad footballers’ and ‘disgrace to the game’ just because of our support for one club? Is singing ‘Messi’ in a Euro game a form of support? Is repeatedly harassing a world class striker for one (horrible no doubt) miss a form of our support, just because he left his previous club in search of sunnier shores (greener backs as an added benefit though)?
Can we not just get along and accept that the footballers in rival clubs are fantastic players and worthy rivals worth respecting?
Think about it…