Friday, January 27, 2023

Why we have not lost the meaning of football

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At times football is a sinister, murky and ruthless game. Since the game has become big business it seems to have moved away from the working class, who nurtured the game. The true fans of the beautiful game. Clubs are now scared of relegation or not winning the big trophies, they sack their bosses on a regular basis. However, there are still signs of why we as fans still love the game and they have been on display in recent days.

Juventus fans applauding Ronaldo’s goal

It is a very rare sight in football to see fans applaud scored by the opposition. However, on Tuesday night Juventus did just that after Cristiano Ronaldo scored one of the best goals the Champions League has ever seen.

I am far from a Ronaldo fanboy, but the goal was simply sublime and seems to get better on every viewing. As a neutral, it was the sort of goal you have to cheer.

However, for Juventus fans in the Allianz Stadium to do that shows that fans have not forgotten that football is supposed to be entertainment. As fans and writers, we head to the stadium to be entertained.

Most of us will have loyalties to one side or the other and want our side to win, but surely we can appreciate a moment of sheer brilliance from any player.

The Juventus fans did and Cristiano Ronaldo actually acknowledged the home fans applause, which was a rare moment of humility from the 33-year-old.

It was a great moment, especially as Ronaldo had virtually just given Real Madrid a foot into the last four of the competition. Los Blancos are odds of 4/7 to win in the second leg of the tie at the Bernabeu.

Everton fans stay to applaud City off the pitch

As an Everton fan, last Saturday’s 3-1 home defeat by runaway leaders Manchester City in the Premier League hurt. It was not because City did not deserve to win, they did, Pep Guardiola’s side were outstanding and the Blues were simply woeful.

They are by far the best team in the Premier League, and arguably Europe right now. City were in another league to the Toffees and some Everton fans stayed to applaud the City players off. As one of my friends rightly pointed out, we do not see that standard of team at Goodison Park very often. This is the sort of thing that only true fans of the game do.

Some have rather cynically said well that is why we are such a soft touch (Everton). However, I would argue that actions like those should be applauded, as we watch football to be entertained and that is what Ronaldo did and City on Merseyside they produced entertainment.

Nice to see some positives

Football fans often get a bad press. However, many football fans are sound-minded people. However, sometimes their loyalties and bitterness get the better of them when it comes to football.

Some football fans arguing over football say it is just banter. However, so called banter can be motivated by bitterness and loathing of a certain team or a certain player. We are often judged by the team we support or even on the simple fact that we are football supporters. It is all ridiculous at times.

These two acts by fans at grounds that are not known for the warmest of receptions for opposition teams, just shows that there is still a bit of love for entertainment and good football.

They appreciated what the team or player produced, despite the fact that it was against their team. There is hope left for football and it would be nice to see more of this gracious behaviour in the future.

Should fans applaud opposition teams?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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