World Cup 2014: Can Spain Do It Again?

The 2014 World Cup starts today. I’m pretty sure many Americans I know couldn’t care less. But this American is pumped! Let’s get it starrrrrrrrrrted!

Quick confession: I don’t even like soccer that much. I’m a Hoosier, you see, and in the Hoosier state, basketball is king. Still, the longer I stay in Spain, the more I get into it. I even care about La Liga (Spain’s national league) a little bit now! I got excited when Real Madrid won this year’s Champion’s League cup. Nonetheless, my favorite team will always be La Roja, the Spanish national team.

I first came to Spain in 2008. That year, the Spaniards won the Eurocup (kind of like the World Cup, but only for European countries). I actually didn’t even notice. But in 2010, when the South African World Cup rolled around, I was dating a Spaniard … and my dad bought us jerseys!

Mario Spain jersey

Mario Kaley Spain jerseys

Mario returned to Spain, but I stayed home a bit longer, enjoying my family and summer in the U.S. But I kept up with the games! The day of the final, I had a baby shower to attend. But I kept going upstairs to refresh the Internet. (This was before I had a smart phone!) Frustratingly, the baby shower ended, and I had to drive home, and it was still a tie!

As I drove home, I searched frantically for a radio station that would tell me what was going on. Even my mom was watching the game, texting me updates. 0-0. No goals. Nothing. What was happening?!? It’s not good to feel so nervous and shaky while you’re driving two and a half hours home. I wondered what Mario was doing …

Mario was actually in Scotland, on vacation with his brother. They had found a “Spanish” bar to watch the game. “Spanish” because, obviously, it wasn’t Spanish, but it was supporting Spain. So here we were, one of us driving nervously through southern Indiana, one of us watching in a bar in Scotland, surrounded by Spaniards and Spanish supporters.

Finally, finally, finally something happened: In the 116th minute, Andrés Iniesta (“Iniesta de mi vida“) scored, giving Spain the 1-0 lead and, eventually, the title of World Champions. (I think I screamed!) It was a moment I’ll never forget; certainly it’s a moment the Spanish will never forget, having gone so long without a single World Cup title. I’m sure lots of happy tears were shed that day, lots of babies born named Andrés.

This year I’m not sure what will happen. A lot of Spaniards who I know are not optimistic. It’s going to be tough this year, they say. Brazil will be strong, as they’re playing at home. Germany looks good. It won’t be easy! Of course not. If it were easy, it wouldn’t be exciting. I’m looking forward to rooting for my two teams this year.

Go USA! Vamos España! Who will you be rooting for?

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10 comments

  1. It’s funny, despite being a diehard Madridista, I’ve always cheered for Germany (and sort of delusional optimism for the USA) in international competitions. My aunt is all about Italy and the rest of my family floats between countries. I love my Spanish Madridistas and want them to be happy, buttttttt Deutschland needs to get their act together and finally win something.

  2. Another Madridista supporting Germany! Tbh, I was supporting Spain and Germany the last World Cup and last 2 Euros. Spain, mainly for Iker. But it’s time for Germany to win it! They have such great players especially Klose who may be playing for his last World Cup so I want him to get that trophy. And sorry USA, but no. The women’s national team is the only one I like.

  3. I think it’s tough for any defending champions to retake a title. A lot happens in four years and I’ve been reading about how some teams may have a hard time playing in Brazil simply because they aren’t used to that kind of tropical climate. It may not have a huge effect but it’ll be interesting to see.

  4. I always feel a tad guilty not rooting for USA (you have to admit they have gotten better) but I have to go with Spain… requested time off from work…check…red and yellow flag face paint, check! I’m hoping for a Spain vs Argentina matchup. P.S. Little Brazil here in NY is buzzing today :)

  5. It’s funny being back in the US for this. The media is pushing it so hard and of course, nobody seems to care. And there’s a commercial for the US team with all of these celebrities chanting, “WE WILL WIN” and I’m like, “no you won’t”. But, they have gotten better. Maybe they’ll win in 2030 ;)

    1. you make a good point about the future…as i have commented 2 days ago on a different blog, it is a matter of time that USA will be powerful at football sooner or later based on the fact that it is a vast country with millions of children playing the sport, so it will come for sure.

      i am fully aware that USA is a country of mainly baseball, nascar and american rugby, but football is growing, and may i add that i would love to see them lift an important trophy, but probably i will not see it because i may have gone to glory before that.

      by the way, i said that either Spain or Germany will win the World Cup…now i feel like a total idiot! yesterday night we lost to Holland and on the pitch we looked like “pollos sin cabeza” (chickens with their heads cut off) players not knowing where to go or where to do, lost in the middle of nowhere and going to any direction with no sense of it…what a shame!

      i don’t even know why i am commenting because i don’t care about our national team, but such a lazyness or bad attitude upsets me a lot….now i take my leave :)

      1. jaja, mas que un bulo es una autentica patraña!

        by the way, important European teams like Spain, England, Italy and Portugal have been kicked out of the tournament, whereas American teams like Costa Rica, Mejico, Uruguay, USA or Chile have easily got to the next round.

        so it is fair and honest to say as it was said yesterday night on the TV news that America is giving Europe a lesson…….although the Cup will be won by Holland, Germany or France :)

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