May 15, 2021

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FIFA World Cup 2022 – News – A first-hand World Cup experience

6 min read
FIFA World Cup 2022™ - News - A first-hand World Cup experience
  • Osvaldo Santander is a member of the #FIFA Fan Movement
  • Argentinian talks about his relationship with soccer and the World Cup
  • “Only a few take away the glory, but everyone can take away the celebrations!

The ardour of the Argentinian fan has been nicely documented, not least on the final two FIFA World Cups™. In each Brazil and Russia, Albiceleste supporters took their devotion to new ranges, attending video games in enormous numbers whereas profitable admirers with their catchy songs and attribute color.

Who higher then than an Argentinian member of the FIFA Fan Movement to inform us first-hand concerning the sport closest to his coronary heart, in addition to his experience sharing that zeal with different followers from all around the globe on the final two FIFA World Cups:

My title is Osvaldo Santander and I’m 55 years outdated. I’ve a level in promoting and, above all, I’m Argentinian. I underline this as a result of it relates on to my ardour for and devotion to soccer, and my unconditional love for the spherical ball.

I’ve been attending soccer video games for the reason that age of three, when my father first took me to see my beloved San Lorenzo de Almagro. That gave rise to one thing inside me that’s nonetheless rising and has made me half of a big soccer household that enjoys video games, delights in objectives, suffers with defeats and experiences many feelings.

The 1974 FIFA World Cup in West Germany will ceaselessly have a spot in my coronary heart. I used to be 9 years outdated and obsessive about filling my sticker album, which proved unimaginable however nonetheless led me to observe all of the video games on a black and white TV. That version, together with the 1978 World Cup in Argentina, ensured my love of soccer would endure ceaselessly.

My life story consistently references the World Cups: if I wish to bear in mind what I used to be doing at 25, I consider Italia ‘90; if I’m questioning about 2006, then I hint it again to the World Cup in Germany. It’s at all times been like that.

I’ve additionally been a collector of soccer memorabilia for greater than 30 years, particularly World Cup objects. Football brings me pleasure and lets me dream. It’s a love that by no means asks something of you in return.

My World Cup obsession led me to spend two weeks in Brazil for the 2014 version. I skilled some unbelievable shared moments there. A full-on celebration, swapping soccer shirts, scarves, flags… I even attended the Algeria-Korea Republic recreation with low expectations and witnessed an absolute cracker (4-2)… That’s after I first realised that I needed to go to Russia 2018!

FIFA Fan Movement Osvaldo Santander

© Others

I got here again very comfortable from Porto Alegre however then it dawned on me how tough it will be: getting tickets, journey and lodging prices, and so on… My buddies informed me I used to be loopy, however nothing might deflect me from my purpose.

The first constructive signal got here from FIFA, who granted me tickets for the seven matches I’d utilized for, all in Moscow. There was additionally the prospect of seeing Argentina there, however there have been nonetheless two matchdays left in South American qualifying and we have been struggling to safe our place.

Luckily, we certified and I might breathe once more. Those tickets weren’t just for me, but in addition for my son Julian – my companion on a thousand soccer adventures – my sister Maria Mercedes and a good friend who was dedicated to our trigger from the start.

Then we purchased our flights. Eight months forward of the World Cup, we already had a very powerful factor!

The months main as much as it have been thrilling. There have been conferences with different followers who have been becoming a member of us, and plenty of plans to satisfy folks whom I’m involved with in different nations. Many of them are additionally collectors, and so they too contributed to creating this journey so great.

As we have been going to be 18 days in Moscow, we rented an residence close to the Luzhniki stadium, behind Moscow University.

FIFA Fan Movement Osvaldo Santander

© Others

En path to Russia, we had an eight-hour stopover in Frankfurt, and so to go the time, we unfold out all of the flags we had with us on the ground. Other followers adopted go well with, and shortly we’d created a magical world confraternity.

Russia 2018 was pure pleasure and pleasure; all the pieces was extremely nicely organised. The authorities have been cordial however strict, which helped us take pleasure in an occasion of nice emotion in a managed manner, with out fights or something like that. That’s exceptional.

If I have been to suggest one factor, it’d be to reach a number of days earlier than the beginning of the event. We obtained there 4 days early and met a great deal of followers in a state of full bliss. None of us had had outcomes to have fun or be down about, that was all nonetheless to come back.

With no tickets to the Opening Ceremony, we left early for Fan Fest. To say it was fabulous is an understatement. We’d seen it in Brazil, however this was on one other scale. During half-time in Russia-Saudi Arabia, we approached the stadium on the hunt for memorabilia for our personal museum: plastic cups that had been binned, credentials, merchandising… something and all the pieces!

Two days later, it was our flip to see our beloved Argentina in opposition to Iceland on the Spartak Stadium. We went with our soccer shirts, hats and flags, in addition to stickers and 300 coasters, which we handed out to anybody we got here throughout.

Hearing our nationwide anthem was very emotional. My son and I have been crying as a result of, only a few months beforehand, the one who’d nurtured my love of soccer – my father (his grandfather Paco) – had handed away, and we felt that he was accompanying us. The outcome was not as vital as the enjoyment of getting cheered on our nationwide workforce so removed from dwelling. That was unforgettable.

After that we attended the Germany-Mexico, Poland-Senegal, Portugal-Morocco, Belgium-Tunisia and Denmark-France video games earlier than we ended our journey with Brazil-Serbia. Those video games have been unbelievable for buying content material for for our museum: we obtained shirts, inflatables, tickets, glasses and lots of different issues.

Safely by to the final 16, we started the journey again to Argentina with a number of unforgettable experiences. And all as a result of soccer is unpredictable: win or lose, you at all times take away tales and moments that stick with you for the remainder of your life.

You meet at an enormous quantity of numerous and inclusive folks at a World Cup. You bounce for pleasure and end up hugging and singing with different followers, and while you look intently, you see one is German, one Ecuadorian, one other Senegalese, one other Romanian… we even met somebody from Nepal! It’s magnificent!

A World Cup isn’t just about gamers, officers and training employees attempting to win the Trophy. It is the approaching-collectively of the world’s folks, all pulsating with the identical ardour, the identical feeling. Only a number of take away the glory, however everybody can take away the celebrations! Long stay soccer!”

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