What the World Cup can do with a nation.

Tuesday, we played our first game on the World Championship since Prendergast stole Marc Wilmots’ goal 12 years ago against Brazil. 

Since we were not present an any of the international tournaments in the past 12 years, we had to cheer for Germany, Spain or the Netherlands. Many did, but still it’s not the same. This year is different, we participate ourselves. Even better, we think we can win. Our golden generation plays in the best competitions in the world so why wouldn’t we? To be honest, I don’t think we will get that far. We talk too much of winning instead of just playing the best we can and enjoy. But still, I hope we will win the final.

Last Tuesday I followed our game on a big screen with 200 other people, all cheering for our Red Devils to win. The game was boring and we were loosing for the biggest part of it.

But what I will remember of this game is that everyone was part of one big group being said and hoping we would score that one goal that would free our players. Even people who said they do not follow the results of the Red Devils were hoping for the best, I’m sure of that. It was not that our country stopped functioning during the game, we are not that crazy yet.

And then finally we scored, everyone was happy and everything was possible now. Maybe we could still win our first game since long on a big tournament. And yes we did. 10 minutes later everyone jumped with hands in the air. 2-1! The happiness I saw at that moment was incredible. We are a country divided in two parts and enrolled in difficult politic discussions. At that moment none of this matters, everyone jumped together for the same purpose. We scored and we won the game. Amazing.

When driving home, it was amazing to see what was happening on the street. People everywhere. Cheering, yelling, waving our flag. Sometimes when I drive trough Brussels I’m afraid. Now, all the people where smiling and talking to each other. It was like I landed in  a different country. Who knows what happens when we win the final…

 

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