World Cup Fever : The Netherlands

Note: This was originally posted onΒ Jun 14, ’06 10:46 PM. Some ineptness on my part while importing from an old blog makes this looks like a new post.Β 

I am not a big football fan. I don’t stay up late to catch the latest Premiere League or Serie A games. I don’t really care which team wants to have Beckham or how much Zizou transfer fee was. I support Ajax briefly, but that’s because I live there and they did won the Championship Cup at that time so I get to see the team in its glory before most of the players move camp and transfer to Spain.

However, the World Cup is a different story. First of all, it’s only on once every four years and then there’s something about how each country that makes it is represented by the best player that country can offer. Most of the time majority of the players are spread out throughout European clubs and in this one month they are all gathered under their flag; club-mates become ‘enemies’. Particularly if you happen to live in a country that has a team in competition then the atmosphere becomes magical.

I lived in Amsterdam, The Netherlands in 1994. I just graduated from high school and is anxiously waiting for acceptance from university. I knew that the World Cup is happening in the States but in the midst of exam I didn’t really notice anything until one day it seems that Amsterdam is bathed in het Oranje or orange, the team colour. It was amazing. In Bethovenstraat, my neighbourhood shop street, it seems that every single shop had orange banner and the Dutch flag on display, be it a clothes store, supermarket or the newsstand. I think even the cake shop displayed special cakes decorated in orange. When you go to the city centre, say to Leidseplein, the fever is more evident. More elaborate orange display everywhere. Everyone seems happier too!

One time I have to drop someone at the airport when the next day the Orange is playing. Well, even the airport is not saved from the orange onslaught. Fans queue up to go to America, to Orlando or whatever city they played. They bring with them small drums, tambourines and small trumpets and of course some bits of orange in their clothing. But not the full regalia, that they saved for the match itself. Now, Schipol is one of the largest airport I know and in summer it is usually not a very nice place what with sunseekers running the lines everywhere but just this one time, the football fans turned it into party mood. While they wait they toot their horn, played their drums and sing football anthems. Even the check-in counter people seem to be smiling more than usual.

Back in the city, upon waiting for the match the city centres is now not just bathed but drowned in orange. Orange people everywhere filling the streets and the bars since the afternoon. I decided to watch the games in the comfort of my living room. After all, since I’m not a major fan, being squashed amid drunken oranges is not my idea of fun. So I went home.

Well, if memories served, the Dutch time makes the qualifying round but lost to Germany in the quarterfinals or something. In the end Brazil took the cup that year.

This time around, the dutch team is composed of new batch of young players. No more Gullit, Rijkaard and the twins. Now Marco van Basten has switched costume to that of a coach and he did well so far. The team made it
to Germany and won their first match. Of course there’s 2 more to go before the next round and then few more matches to make it to the finals. Out of sentimental reason I hope they make it to the finals. Here’s to you Oranje!


World Cup Fever: Spanyol juga kalah!!!

Huhuhuhuhu….. emang sih rada basi, tapi tetep aja sedih… huhuhuhuhu…. Iker nggak bisa menghalangi bola, ketipu ama Zidane…. huaaaaa…… 4 taon lagi masih Iker nggak ya kipernya Spanyol? Huuhuhuuh……… cedih deh ikke… Yah, yang masuk ke 8 besar die lagi die lagi…. Paling sapa ya, Ukraina yang baru ama Portugal ya kalau nggak salah? Sisanya Inggris, Brasil, Prancis, Jerman… ya muke-muke lama lagi gituh.

Ya sudahlah, that’s the game. The ball is round it can go anywhere. katenye….

World Cup Fever : David Beckham

Sebenarnya dibilang nge-fans berat ama akang Beckham nggak juga sih. Emang betul si akang ini ganteng, cuma metrosexual banget gituh, lebih cihuy groomingnya daripada aye.

Eniwe, selain karena dulu sakolanya di Inggris, temen serumah juga ada yang dari Manchester, jadi kalau soal bola meski dia nggak terlalu hobi temen2 sekampungnya kan demen banget dan tentu kalau Premier League yang dijagokan ya Manchester United lah. Meski waktu itu masih jaman jayanya Ryan Giggs dan mbah Alex Ferguson masih wong biasa aja belon dapet gelar “Sir” tetap aje ngebekas tu percobaan brainwashing para ‘Madchesters” berusaha meyakinkan bahwa Man U is the best!!! Jadi ya meski nggak nonton bola, tetaplah diikuti berita2 si Man U pada ngapain aje, termasuk para pemainnya seperti Beckham inilah.

Karena nggak pernah nonton, sebetulnya saya nggak tau kehebatan dia tu bagaimana. Apalagi pas PD yang kemaren dulu – waktu debutnya Michael Owen – kan dia sempat kena kartu merah tuh gara2 nendang pemain lawan jadilah pers Inggris menjuluki dia “One Stupid Boy” dan dapatlah Brooklyn as a result. Tapi trus kan dia jadi kapten tim Inggris jadi pastilah sebagai pemain dia nggak jelek2 amat. Saya ingat menonton dokumenternya waktu dia baru aja diangkat jadi kapten, waktu itu dia masih sama Man U, trus dia lagi ngobrol ama temannya dirumah en dia bilang kira-kira gini, “Gile bo! Gw jadi Kapten Inggris! Itu pan impian gw dari kecil. Nggak kebayang euy!”

Nah, di PD sekarang ini jadi lebih sering nonton selain karena menemani suami (karena nggak ada pilihan lain sih ) jadilah melihat juga laga tim St. George’s Cross. Baru deh liat oh ya, ternyata dia itu emang pemain yang bagus ya, tendangannya memang lebih akurat dan lebih cihuy dibanding pemain tim lain di posisi yang sama. Juga karena sekarang si Beckham tampangnya lebih dewasa, rambutnya nggak neko-neko, cuma tatonya aja yang ada dimana-mana. Jadi sepertinya dia emang sekarang lebih serius. Dan terbukti kemaren dia yang nge-gol satu-satunya gol buat Inggris. Cantik nian golnya itu, dari free kick pula. Pantaslah dia udah merumput dari remaja, bakatnya emang keren banget.

Okeh deh akang David, kita liat sampai mana dikau bisa menggiring tim anda di PD kali ini.

World Cup Fever : Iker Casillas

Ok, like I said before, I’m not a big football fan. However that doesn’t stop me from checking out the players every once in a while. Now, footie players are buff. They just have to. They’re young, they do sport everyday, they have six-pack abs, and some of them are just total dreamboats. For example, Iker Casillas. I noticed him on the last World Cup. I don’t remember who Spain was playing, after all it was 4 years ago, but yeah the Spaniards was being attacked ferociously hence I can see Iker fighting hard to protect his goal. Spain won that match but I think they lost the next one, nevertheless a crush was formed. Then the world cup was over, Brazil took the cup, again. And I forget all about Iker. I don’t even know which club he played. Fast forward to 2006. Spain makes it to the World Cupand I suddenly remember about that hottie Iker Casillas. I asked my husband, is Iker in the team? Yes, was the reply. So of course I have to watch the match. Luckily the match is on at 8pm our time. Had it been the later games, at 11 or 2 am I think I would have slept through, Iker or no Iker. The thing about fancying a goalie is that you don’t actually want to see him in close up at the games. Because if that happens, that means his goal is under attack and of course you don’t want him to lose. You want him to be able to defend his goal and deflect all those pesky shots aimed at your goal. However, because (part of) the reason you watch the game is to see the dude, its kinda hard not being able to see your idol in all their glory. Thankfully, Iker is also the captain so I get to see him in the beginning where they exchange banner and deciding sides. In all fairness yesterday game was a good game. Espana attacked Ukraina like there’s no tomorrow. And they didn’t lose steam from the beginning till the end they keep on trying to shot more goals. The Ukraine briefly visited the Spain’s side but more often it didn’t merit a close up of Iker. The wide shot was enough to see the ball deflected or miss the goal completely. In the end they won 4-0 against the Ukraine. I hope they keep winning the games all the way to the finals. Go Iker Casillas!