World Cup Soccer Mania in Spain

Spain Team: Image Via
The other night I was sitting in my room, studying, when I heard a yell from the living room:
“Yes.Yes.Yes! Come on, you can do it! Goal!”
Confused, I poked my head into the living room to see what was going on. I should have known without looking though: My house-father was watching his favorite fútbol (soccer) team on the television, and they were winning.
Soccer is a big deal here in Spain, and with the World Cup starting Friday, June 11, 2010, soccer madness is raging!
Everyone I have talked to has definite plans for where they will be during the game, which is scheduled for 9:00 CST. The first game will be played by South Africa and Mexico. USA faces off against England on June 12, at 1:30, CST.
Fernando De los Rios, 28, said he and his friends prefer to go to a local bar “and watch the game there with more people [so they can] feel the passion when everybody gets excited at the same time.”
Even some study abroad students are catching the soccer bug; My study abroad group is going to Cordoba on June 12 to see a beautiful mosque that is known through Spain for its grand architecture and cultural relevance. However, not everyone plans on attending.
“I plan on skipping the tour and sitting in a sports bar to watch the USA game,” said Alex Wood, a senior at Texas A&M University. “I’ll go see the mosque later, but I can’t miss out on watching soccer with a group of Spanish soccer fanatics!”
Spain’s first game is against Switzerland on June 16, at 4:00 pm, local time. They also play Honduras on June 21 and Chile on June 25.
“I will not be working on those days,” my house-father told me. “I am taking personal business days. The World Cup is very important to me. Spain has never won the World Cup, but we have a fairly good chance this year, so I cannot miss the chance to support my team.”
“Spain is one of the best teams in the world playing soccer right now,” said De los Rios. “So we’ll see what happens, but I’m very optimistic about our chances.”
According to the New York Times, a recent computer simulation of the World Cup showed Spain winning it all.
I am hoping this will prove correct! Hey, even if I am American by birth, I am now officially Spanish by heart.
¡Viva España!