You must have wondered why so many people are ‘crazy’ about football, and that’s if you are not a football lover yourself. Football is the most popular sport globally and has a fan base of billions worldwide.
The extent of the love for the sport is seen in the quadrennial FIFA World Cup tournament, which attracts billions of viewers. For example, the final of the 2022 edition attracted up to 1.5 billion viewers globally.
There are many reasons why people love watching football matches, and it’s not just the thrill of the game. You will find out why many people watch football in this article.
Why do people like watching football?
Football creates a sense of community, excitement, and passion, bringing people together to support their favourite teams. However, it could sometimes make people sad, depending on the outcome of a game.
Here are some of the reasons people like watching football.
Teamwork and Strategy
Many football fans enjoy watching the game to enjoy tactical battles and strategic contests between teams. Also, the teamwork between players and within teams sometimes interests fans and makes them enjoy the sport more.
Many modern-day football fans fell in love with football after watching certain teams. They enjoyed studying their tactics and watching them play, and a prime example of such is Pep Guardiola‘s team at FC Barcelona between 2008 and 2012. The young manager taught his team to blow other teams away with their slick passing style and tiki-taka strategy. Many people came to love the game after watching the Barcelona team dominate opponents, achieving this through their great teamwork and understanding of the game.
During that space of four years, the Barcelona team was crowned one of the greatest teams of all time by UEFA. They won 14 of the 19 competitions they participated in during Guardiola’s time as the manager.
Football is a fiercely competitive sport where teams strive to win matches at all costs. Fans enjoy watching the sport because it is unpredictable and keeps them on the edge of their seats. Unexpected turns and exciting moments can cause twists in games, making them a spectacle for fans.
For instance, the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup final gave fans worldwide much to talk about in this regard. The match kept fans spellbound for over two hours as two of the best teams slugged it out for the Golden trophy.
Argentina took a two-goal lead before losing it in a matter of moments in the second half. They scored again in extra time, but France once more found an equaliser to send the match to penalties. The South American nation eventually won the tournament on penalties in dramatic fashion, and fans have dubbed the match one of the best football matches in history.
Over the years, people have fallen in love with football because of the performances of certain players. Players like Pele, Diego Maradona, Ronaldinho, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and more recently, Kylian Mbappe, have all contributed to the support for football.
Fans enjoy watching these players do breathtaking displays on the pitch with the ball, which spurs them to always come back for more. Watching these players gives fans a great deal of joy and excitement many times. These players thrill millions of viewers and often become role models to the younger generation, as seen in the life of Cristiano Ronaldo.
To some groups of people, football transcends a game and is an intricate part of their culture and heritage as a people. The game has been ingrained in the culture of certain countries and teams, making it their default way of life. This cultural significance makes it easy for fans to relate to the sport, making it a favourite for many.
In England, for example, football is one of the oldest and most significant sports. During the First World War in 1914, a ceasefire allowed English and French troops to engage each other in a football match.
The appreciation of this sports culture makes the sport very relatable for fans, ensuring it remains well followed and watched. This is why it’s a commonplace to see fans in stadiums painted with their team’s colours and wearing their kits proudly.
In human nature, it is normal for people to want to be associated with things they feel connected to. In this case, football teams often hold these connections with their fans.
Supporting a team increases this emotional connection, and this makes victories sweeter and defeats more hurtful. During Euro 2020, Swiss fan Luca Loutenbach became famous for showing emotion when his country faced France. Stadium cameras caught him looking distraught and close to tears as France led 3-2 in the 90th minute.
One minute later, he had ripped off his shirt and was screaming at the top of his lungs after Switzerland equalised. They went on to win the match, and the fan went viral for his reactions. It goes to show the emotional investment that attracts fans to football games.
Here is more about Loutenbach;
Football makes it easy for people to connect personally based on their love for a team. Fans look forward to meeting other fans at games, and they cheer together and groan together when their teams play.
The game brings a sense of community around fans globally. This fact is evidenced by how many clubs travel far from home for pre-season camping and still pull capacity crowds in these countries. Many clubs have fan groups in various countries, and these groups form communities over their common love for a team.
Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Buenos Aires in celebration after Argentina won the FIFA World Cup in 2022. This provides another example of the community feel that comes with football.
Here is what the scene looked like as Argentina celebrated their World Cup win in Buenos Aires;
For many, football is a tradition that deserves to be celebrated at the utmost. From pre-game rituals to chants during games to team traditions, fans enjoy these and enjoy the game, too, as a result.
Certain clubs have chants passed down generations, such as Liverpool’s “You’ll never walk alone” chant. Also, team figures and mascots such as Arsenal’s Gunnersaurus and Manchester United’s Fred the Red make the experience wholesome for fans.
You’ll find Liverpool singing the “You’ll never walk alone” chant here;
For many, their love for playing football means they also love watching the game. Many football fans play the game in one capacity or another, especially at levels that may not be deemed professional.
Football is one of the most available sports to play, with children and adults worldwide constantly engaging in it. People usually enjoy watching football since they enjoy playing it at their leisure. Watching could also improve their playing abilities because they learn new skills and moves whilst watching.
Football is one of the world’s most popular sports, and it garners lots of viewers depending on the competition. Football fans watch the game for several reasons, most of which have been discussed in this article. For many, the thrill of being associated with the sport draws them to it. The sport gets new fans daily without showing any signs of slowing down. It has captured hearts and minds, built communities, and led people to see life differently.