And I can’t wait! I am actually not planning to watch every single match, but I will watch lots and lots of them. While I follow the German Bundesliga, the first league, with great enthusiasm every year, the World Cup is something else still. For one thing, it’s super-exciting to watch all (or almost all of) the best players of a generation, for another I thoroughly enjoy the peculiar brand of patriotism – one unabashedly supports one’s favorite team, but all in a sense of great fun – that comes with each World Cup.
So while there is a scarf for Germany hanging from our own balcony, our neighbors may put up an Italian flag, and the people down the road may support Greece. You will see people in the streets, in schools and even at some workplaces who wear T-shirts or make-up or both that indicate which team they support. Teachers give next to no homework on the days on which the German team plays, and my husband is busy organizing a viewing area at his workplace for the one match he can’t get home in time for, with his boss’s full approval. It is a kind of madness that takes over the whole country, and some excesses notwithstanding, it is an energizing and amicable kind of madness.
Although my strongest loyalty is for the German team, in the course of the World Cup I will probably pick other teams to support, because I love their game or because they have outstanding players. This means that whoever makes the finals, I will still be taking sides, hoping with all my heart that the team I prefer will make it.
This World Cup’s German team is very young, and thus mostly off the radar for many commentators from abroad. Still there are great talents among them, for example two excellent midfielders from my favorite team Werder Bremen, Mesut Özil and Marko Marin. Watch out for them! Here is a video assembling some of Özil’s best scenes: