If world justice prevails on the 15th July, people from all over the globe will be able to watch and admire as England are crowned World Champions of football. Yes, the greatest sporting event will begin on the 14th June 2018. More than two years ago, 207 countries set their sights on joining the party in Russia. We are now left with 32 countries, who will spend the next month battling it out for the right to be crowned Champions of the World.
Those fortunate to be on Dacey’s Cornish Tours in June will witness firsthand the effect this football tournament has on the English. We have endured 50 years of heartbreak, 50 years of pain and shattered dreams. We all believe that this will be our year, this will be our chance to finally lay to rest the ghosts of 1966 (the last time we won the World Cup).
As a native Brit, I have experience with the customs of my countrymen, especially when it comes to a sport I hold dear. The nation’s mood will be dictated by our success: we will win together but inevitably we will lose together. This is normally how it goes when you follow England in the World Cup. When England qualifies, you spend a few months basking in the glory that you are in it so you might win it! And if you have any Scottish, Irish or Welsh friends you phone them and gloat. As the tournament approaches, you succumb to a blind faith that it really could be our time! You chat to friends about our chances, and the nation seems to take on this positive vibe as we begin to believe.
As the tournament kicks off you see some really good teams. Doubt starts to creep in—very slowly, but it’s there. The positive vibe starts to turn a little negative. England’s first game is normally dreadful as we hang on for a dull draw. Thoughts of winning start to dissipate and you hope we do not get embarrassed. We then manage to scrape out of the group stages and the nation starts to believe again. Happiness sweeps through the country, people dance in the street, you greet strangers and shake their hands.
No sooner have we danced with joy than the tears come: It’s all over. We have inevitably been knocked out in the quarter finals if we are lucky, typically by a penalty shoot out. And so the nation begins to mourn. Even the most sunshine-filled day cannot bring a smile to our faces. Then it’s the endless review—everyone has their opinion on why we did not win. The soul-searching begins with promises of more next time. We need to change from the grassroots up, kids need to be more active, we need to change our diet, our society is in decay…We continue to watch as Spain, Brazil, Germany or France go on to lift the World Cup. We allow a few moments to dream and imagine what it would be like. We then dust ourselves down, keeping calm and carrying on, and we think, “You know what? If we keep the same team, we really have a good chance in 4 years.”
And so it goes on and on…
I will let you all in to a secret. I often daydream and wonder to myself what my life would have been like if my mum had given birth to me in Spain. I imagine being born to a country where the national team plays wonderful attractive football and they are always everyone’s favourite . How excited I would be when a major tournament comes along because we have a serious chance of winning the thing! I wonder what it must be like when you talk to strangers and they find out you’re from the country that breeds world champs. If you win the World Cup, how long does the party last?
Alas, fantasies are just that. My only consolation is to the cling to the words of a wise old friend from Cornwall: “All good things come to those that wait.” Well, come on England, we have all waited long enough!!!!
Here are the games to watch out for:
Monday 18th June England vs Tunisia 7pm
Sunday 24th June Panama vs England 1pm
Thursday 28th June England vs Belgium 7pm