For many, club soccer is their life. They follow and support their club with a burning passion. Every week having their same routine of how and where they watch their teams’ weekend fixture. But every so often the international break comes around and throws things off by making club football take a weekend off. However, contrary to what the name would suggest, it is far from a break.
For so many players and fans these international breaks can mean so much more than any club match could. As much as fans like myself love our teams from all of the different leagues, there is something different about supporting your country. The stakes are raised. Especially at vital times like this where the World Cup is so close to being decided. Some fans will be heartbroken. But some will have unrelenting joy. Such is the nature of international soccer. There is nothing that fills a fan will more pride than seeing success in the national team. It is truly a euphoric feeling at times. For me I just love watching my national team play. I see the players out there and I feel like they represent me and my dreams and goals. I still dream of playing for U.S. National team, although it is more unlikely than Shane Long playing for Brazil. I support the team with all of my heart and when they do well I feel amazing. Pride and joy is the best way to describe it. And what I think is so beautiful about this game and the international break, is that this is true for not just myself, but billions of fans all over the world who live and die by the national side of their home country. This game and specifically the international fixtures bring together so many people and cultures and it is truly a remarkable thing. To see the scenes in Hampden Park today as Scotland secured a late home win to boost their chances of World Cup qualification, or Paraguay come back with 2 late goals to keep their hopes of qualification alive. Even just yesterday Syria and Australia faced off in a playoff to make it to the tournament. All over the globe fans come together to support their sides. And when it goes well, there is no feeling like it. Something words can not do justice. It is as if the world stops for one moment and there is nothing but pure joy, excitement, and happiness. So for myself and many other fans, this next week of international fixtures will be some of the most heart-wrenching, joy-causing, and exciting matches of the year. What the ‘International Break” brings, is anything but a break from the beautiful game.