No one knows for sure why so many people love football. Football is a mixture of nothing and everything. Most the latter, I will argue.
Trying to make sense of football, I am aware, there is a risk of overintellectualising the game, of ‘reading’ it metaphorically, symbolically or addressing all kinds of psychological, political and philosophical aspects of life. Nevertheless, all these aspects are part of what makes football special. There are, after all, numerous way of how and why football plays a major role in many people’s lives.
As long as I can remember, football has been a part of my life, from playing, to watching it as a neutral spectator or a fan, to selling beer and sausages at a stadium in Denmark’s best league, to being a father of children who play football in Spain.
“Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men [or women] chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win,” the English captain Gary Lineker once said. He was wrong, of course, and he knew it. In 1986, Lineker and England lost in the World Cup quarter-final to Argentina due to Maradona’s two famous goals: one with the help of God, the other godlike. In 1992, Denmark beat German in the European Cup Final.
Perhaps, football is not that simple.
Unlike many other games, it’s played at a particular time and place and for a certain time and the players change clothes before playing.
Time. Place. Clothing.
Read the rest of the essay in The Football Pink