The Universality of Soccer

We are sitting in a small roadside cafe in Con Son. This quiet place is the main town of the remote Con Dao Islands and has about 6000 inhabitants.

The rest of the coffee shop is full of teenage boys drinking pepsi or cold coffee and screaming passionately (although Vietnamese sounds pretty screechy to us) in irregular intervals at the TV. Ther are no girls. We are watching the 23rd of December live match between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. After 2 mins the reception breaks off and a very loud cacophony of complaints breaks loose. A couple of minutes later the picture is back and the screams, ahs and ohs return. This place could be anywhere in the world. Apparently, soccer is Vietnam`s national sport. Christiano Ronaldo seems to be the most popular player. He constantly smiles at us from different billboards all over the country.

Soccer is amazingly universal. The best thing about “the beautiful game” is that it truly knows no borders – which is a beautiful thought, even if you are not a sports fan.

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