During this summer’s Euro 2008 campaign, I confessed my passion for soccer. Like it or not, but sporting events actually has the potential to make or break a day for me. Luckily, you just caught me on one of the best soccer days I’ve had in a long time. I’ve been a fervent Liverpool supporter since I was about 8 or 9 years old, and during the English season (August to May), my weekend mood may fluctuate with the performance of my beloved Reds. Thus, I’m in heaven at the moment. For the first time under Rafael Benitez’ reign at Anfield, we took three points from a Premiership game against main rivals Manchester United, courtesy of an own goal by United defender Wes Brown, and a goal by Dutch Liverpool winger Ryan Babel.
I guess I shouldn’t complain, supporting a team routinely mentioned as a serious contender for the Premiership (I have good friends who are supporters of Newcastle United and Stoke City, after all), but it hasn’t always been easy being a Liverpool supporter. The team is constantly compared to its own gold-laced history, and if it isn’t, then it’s reminded of the fact that it hasn’t had a real shot at the big prize in the last fifteen years. But all that can be moved to the back of the mind for a moment with today’s result, and I can return to one of the convenient (and pleasurable) side-effects of my soccer obsessions: The chance to combine my interest in the game itself with my interest in fit footballers reaching for their physical limits to please the people watching (for whatever slightly dubious reasons).
However deeply rooted my Liverpool loyality may lay, I could define have been worse off when it comes to the players I’m supposed to worship. Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard are of course first and foremost word-class players, but doesn’t exactly that they are also super hot. The Spaniard has that sense of classic beauty, but I have always been just as drawn to the masculine charms of the native Scouser captain. I bet you couldn’t say this about many players, but even his facing face has my heart racing. The term ‘love’ seems fitting, on several levels.
But Liverpool is a club committed to egalitarianism, and hence even cuteness trickles down: Argentinian Javier Mascherano is not for everyone, but to me he has a sort of stubborn (associated with his somewhat aggressive playing style) charm; Ryan Babel is still young, but he’s boyishly good-looking; new signings Nabil El Zhar and David Ngog have real potential, both on the field and the gossip rags, and I just realized that I’m kinda hot for Jamie Carragher, as well. Have you heard him talk? He has the cutest voice. And, though I’m still reluctant to admit it, there’s something oddly attractive about Dirk Kuyt. Not to mention Daniel Agger. Can’t wait to see him play again.
That sure isn’t a bad roster, and I’m pleased to get to see them compete for my attention every weekend. But today’s match even offered fierce competition from the half of the field. Unfortunately, the world’s most smashing footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo, still hasn’t recovered from his injury, but United (a team I absolutely hate, in every respect but this one), of course had other goods to offer up: How about Anderson? Or Nani? Or Michael Carrick? Nemanja Vidic? You get the picture.
A sport that brings this much joy and pleasure has to be good. I would expect to write more about soccer jocks as the season progresses.