Spain Wins Euro 2012

Euro 2012: Welcome to the World of Soccer

Spain Wins Euro 2012
Credit: Associated Press/Gregorio Borgia

So I’ve been keeping up with Euro 2012, and man…has it been quite the wonderful sports experience.

I’m still very much a newbie when it comes to soccer, but I believe I am making the transition from basketball to futbol well.

It’s not like being a fan of basketball, soccer, or any other sport is mutually exclusive. Becoming a more well-rounded sports fan is one of my goals.

Speaking of goals, Spain sure can score some.

The Spanish national team took home the trophy and medals from the Euro Finals on July 1. I was rooting for the Spanish team, and can I just say, I am no front runner.

First, let me remind you that I am a Knicks fan. Second, Spain has been one of my favorite countries; it’s where I hope to visit one day. I’m a little fangirly over the patterned double arches in the Cordoba Masjid.

Cordoba Mosque

I’m not entirely sure when or why my love affair with the country began, but in eighth grade, I wrote a paper on “The Kingdom of Spain.” It was probably the longest paper I had to write at that point in my life (eight pages…haha middle school), and I could have picked ANY topic in the world. My classmates chose topics like The Beatles and the Indiana Pacers franchise…I chose Spain.

So I like to believe Spain and I go way back.

Later in high school, one of my soccer loving friends breathed, watched, and played the game. The only players I came to know were because of her. So, I had vague ideas of the existence of Casillas, Ronaldo, Messi, Henry, Kaka, Ronaldinho, Rooney, and Fabregas.

When our high school’s annual Foreign Language World Cup game between the students came around, we had the option of customizing our shirts. Now looking back, I’m shaking my head at me being the girl who slapped Cesc’s name and number on my back while stinking at the sport and not even appreciating who he was or his skill.

But, thank God, I’m a different person now.

I’m still not good at playing the game, but I actually LIKE watching and learning about it.

I had a blast keeping up with the Euros for the past month. It was tough remembering all the players, but I guess that knowledge will come with more observance. I can’t wait to move beyond my n00b status.

That’s exactly what a n00b would say…

But, whatever, I’m embracing it! I’m not ashamed of my lack of soccer knowledge and analysis skills, because I know that comes with experience. I’m looking forward to falling in love with a global game that has definitely intrigued me for the past couple months.

My favorite part of the Euros (and any sport really) is the celebration. The mini-parties after the goals are great, but the scene on ESPN (thank God it started working after being down a few minutes after Spain’s first goal) when Captain Casillas held the trophy above his head as the world around him and his jumping brothers became silver sparkling confetti–THAT moment, that’s the moment I love to see. He gave the trophy a kiss, and the beaming smiles each player had on his face–that uncontainable happiness, joy, and excitement from achieving a feat like winning the 2012 European Championship–that’s why I love sports.

Congratulations to the Spanish national team and to all the teams that competed. I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to this worldwide phenomenon of a sport that is soccer.

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