It is easy to get lost in the corporation that is big football these days, with ultra-rich owners buying up teams around the world and player transfer fees continually going up at a ridiculous rate. Kit sponsorship deals and TV package revenue are expanding at an exponential rate. However, from time to time an individual, player and/or match provides an amazing moment that reminds us all why we love not just the sport but the world around it.
Fans were treated to a thrilling match last week during the Champions League group stage play. The mighty, and undefeated at that point, Manchester City rode into town to face the historic Celtic. Pep Guardiola’s army had been cruising through the season, and were clear favorites to top the Scottish Premiership Champions. The atmosphere was electric well before kick-off. It was the kind of match everyone fan who was watching wished that they were not only in attendance, but part of the faithful.
Raining, the packed stadium was full of emotion and energy as the players waited in the tunnel and during the processional. Nothing can capture what it must have felt like in the stadium that night, nor can a YouTube video quite get how it sounded on HDTV. But for just a few minutes, sit back, watch, listen, and appreciate thousands of fans who love their club, no matter the result.
Celtic fans believed from the start, so did their players. They said this is our home, we will show the world our passion. The effort led to an amazing match and a great result for the Bhoys.
You may get frustrated at times when your team doesn’t sign that big-name player, drops what should have been an easy victory, or get matched against a monster of Europe. These fans, and the Celtic players, displayed for the soccer world last week what it means to play and cheer with passion.
Football is about emotion. The bond of fan and club. Celebrating goals, the sadness of defeat, but through it all noise, signing, and support.
Whether you are in the stadium or at home the next time you watch a match, I hope you remember this video and these fans, and give your all for your team.
The journey is all the more sweeter when you are truly with your team regardless of the outcome.
If you would like to see the full match highlights and a bit more of that great opening, you can check them out here.