by cam smith
I am going to write about my favorite team from the heart. I remember the first soccer game I ever watched. It was years ago and I was very young, yet I recall that day like it was yesterday. It was a match between two English giants, Manchester United and Chelsea FC. They were competing for the UEFA Champion’s League cup, a highly desired and fought for trophy which decides the reigning club soccer kings in Europe. I watched eagerly with my older brother, noticing how fierce the game was becoming and something caught my eye about the way the team in red was playing. They possessed what would commonly be described as a “never say die” attitude. The game was close, with Manchester United prevailing in the end. From that moment on, they were my favorite team.
Manchester United is one of England’s oldest clubs located in Greater Manchester, England. The official team colors are red and white and the team mascot is the Red Devil. With a massive fan base worldwide, Manchester United is one of the most well known English clubs in the world. The current manager of the club is Sir Alex Ferguson, most commonly known simply as “Sir Alex” or “Fergie”. Dearly loved by fans and well respected by some of the best managers in the world, Sir Alex has led the Red Devils since 1986 making him the longest serving manager in the club’s history. At 70 years old, Sir Alex is still not prepared to step down, not that any of us fans would want him to. He is known for his crafty plays, prevailing tactics, and the previously mentioned “never say die” attitude he passes along to his players. Sir Alex’s tendency to push his players to the last second of the game has even led his fans and players to dub the extra minutes at the end of the game, Fergie time. I don’t know what drives Manchester United players to desire to put all the heart and strength they can muster into a game. Perhaps it is the respect that comes with the shirt bearing the club badge worn by many legends before them. Perhaps it is the inspiration of the Busby Babes, a group of gifted player who played under Sir Matt Busby (another famous United manager) who were involved in the fatal Munich air disaster of 1958 resulting in the death of eight key players. Or maybe it is the dedication and consistent support of the fans, which drives them.
Manchester United have the highest attendance at home than any other club in England. Thousands of fans pour into Old Trafford and sing their hearts out for the entire 90+ minutes. Maybe it is a combination of these and many other factors. All I know is that whatever it is, it works. Manchester United has won 19 titles; one more than rivals Liverpool FC. Manchester United is also home to some of the biggest names in world football such as Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, and the recently retired Edwin Van Der Sar. All of whom are well known, admired, and idolized athletes. In fact, living in America, where the soccer obsession is only now beginning to grow rapidly, I can confirm that it is not very rare to spot several individuals casually sporting a bright red Manchester United jersey with one of their favorite athletes’ names on the back. Since Manchester United have taken a few summer tours in America, including one just last summer, many Americans have become familiar with them and have developed respect for them. There is good and bad in all things in life. And the only bad thing I have to say about my favorite club Manchester United is that the season never seems long enough.