Saturday, 19 June 2010

The 2010 World Cup: from South Africa to South Korea!

The REDS! That's what the fans of the Korean National Football Team call themselves.

Taeguk Warriors -- are the Korean footballers!

So, on June 17, Thursday night, Korea time, at 8:30 PM, the whole of South Korea was glued on wide screens all over the country. In Seoul, the fans converged at Seoul Plaza, at the COEX, at the World Cup Stadium in Sangam, and almost at every bar and pub.

Not to miss the frenzy opportunity to once again experience the deafening sound of DAE-HA-MIN-GUK! cheering, I took the 22-minute subway ride from Hangangjin Station to the World Cup Station to meet up with a friend there and watch the South Korea-Argentina match.

Like any football fan, every Korean friend I asked about the prospects of winning against the powerhouse Argentina said that the Taeguk Warrios would win,notwithstanding the fact that Argentina has the world's best footballer, Lionel Messi, or that Diego Maradona, the flamboyant Argentine legend, is coaching the opposing team.

And when the match began, the roar of the crowd and the cheering of the fans echoed from the World Cup stadium in Seoul to the Johannesburg Soccer City Stadium and back!

The sea of red shirts, caps and blinking horns flooded the stands and the grounds that anybody wearing another color, say, Blue/White (Argentina's colors) would stand out in the crowd and earn some mean stares from everyone else. And while I moved around the Stadium, nobody was suicidal enough to wear those colors.

And although the ending was not the one all Korean fans hoped for, at least during the match, when a goal was scored by the Taeguk Warriors, the whole World Cup Stadium and the rest of the country erupted in one boisterous cheer heard all over the world!

Even with the 1-4 final score, the whole of 90 minutes of play were full of eager excitement and patriotic cheering for one's national team -- perhaps the same fervor and emotions any football fan would express, experience and scream for during these two weeks of the 2010 World Cup!

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