|The bond that cherishes my life|
The first time I was really into football was back in 2002 when I supported Brazil in the coveted FIFA World Cup. Eventually, my supported team out-powered Germany 2-0 to clinch the prize for the record fifth time. The victory brought delight to the Brazilians, but for me, it delivered a package that was soon to be complemented by another soul. A soul that will remain a part of me and that will embark on my journey like a shadow unable to betray its source of existence. The journey we made began in 2003 when my fanatic football fan, my brother, shared his utopia experiences of being a part of a century old tradition and a tie that we were destined to live with numerous obligations.
My brother had already been supporting Arsenal since the last three years or so. When he arrived back home from his Alma mater,he was naturally glued to the television set and watched the highlights that he had missed from Arsenal’s weekend fixture. He did this at the expense of my cartoon watching time. I admit that it was agitating but I had no choice than to start watching alongside him. After a few days, the adept playing style of the Gunners captivated my mind to the extent that I deliberately left out some of my favorite cartoons into a distant memory. I started to listen to my brother who elaborated the details on why my decision to support Arsenal was the right one and why it mattered for the rest of my life. As every Gunner knows that the season of 2003-2004 was the golden era in Arsenal’s footballing history, there was not much to explain to me by my brother. Undoubtedly, the natural tendency to support a club that was on the brink of making a history tempted me to follow all the football actions of Arsenal and make a commitment to never miss its majestic performances for the rest of my life. If, by any sheer means, I were to miss the big match, I promised to catch a glimpse on the highlight shows and on other football talk shows. I thank my brother time and again for making me a big fan of Arsenal for the joy that it has brought in my life cannot be described in words. At that period, although I was not into remembering the names of the Playing XI and their jersey numbers, all the beautiful football that they played and the rampant goal scoring matches that they delivered to the fans left me speechless and often I did nothing but to revere their jaw dropping moments.
The other thing that my brother taught me was to be mad about the two time FIFA Player of The Year runner up and Arsenal’s legend Thierry Daniel Henry. Henry has been with me ever since. I have followed him in every performances and he has lived up to my expectations. He is a role model for me. Since his move to Arsenal, he has captured the elegance of the English football and even helped to redefine the ways that game provides its audiences with absolute cracker football episodes. The man has been an integral part of the golden era and has surpassed numerous records to add to his name. He topped the chart with the most number of Arsenal goals and his partnership with Dennis Bergkamp has been named as the most lethal pair in EPL history. It won’t be a necessity to explain other traits that have wowed me and that have heavily influenced me. Henry continued to deliver historic goals and skills and my admiration for him grew even stronger. After the departure of Patrick Viera, Henry was appointed as the captain and he proved that the added responsibility was worth the decision as he guided his team to the first ever UEFA Champions League final. Sadly, Barcelona thumped Arsenal 2-1 to embrace the title. But the defeat was not to be disappointed about as Arsenal broke the record of not conceding a goal for the maximum consecutive minutes in UEFA Champions League. The final still remains engraved in my memory and I hope that revenge will be taken for the disappointment.
Sadly in 2007, Henry departed for Barcelona but his finesse continued to inspire the next generation of Gunners. Arsenal continued to provide its fans with scintillating displays of football and the talking point for football analysts became its world class style of passing the ball and a class of footballing display. For me, Arsenal was respecting the footballing quality of its predecessors. The games improved and it was natural for us (the fans) to think that our trophy drought was soon going to be a history.
During this transition, I continued to believe in Arsenal. I could see light at the end of the horizon. After all, I was not going to betray my companion whom I had more trust than any of my peers. I was inclined to the Gunners’ adage Once a Gunner, Always a Gunner. For me, blood composites of another substance unknown to the scientists :Arsenal.
The bond between Arsenal and me will never end. Since my childhood, I was fanatic about collecting newspaper articles in which Arsenal made its mark. And now that facebook is ubiquitous, the bond has been even stronger. Most of the pages that I have liked have something to do with Arsenal.Every news is just a fingertip away in my Arseblog app in my phone. In fact, the one website that I have never forgotten to visit whenever I surf the internet is Arsenal’s official website. I just can’t forget to know its developments. Sometimes, I wonder if the very last thing I would do in this life will be related to Arsenal.
My passion to the football club is so deep-rooted that I was left in tears when my brother surprised me by sending a certified certificate with our names being engraved in the famous North Bank Terrace near Arsenal’ s Emirates Stadium. It was a sight to cherish for the rest of my life. From here, I sometimes come to believe that I have been watching the games through my own eyes. With this formidable passion, I did what my brother did to me to my younger brothers. I passed down the prophecy of our family: The destiny of being an Arsenal fan. Hopefully, I will make other close football viewers to support Arsenal as well.
The joy of being an Arsenal fan is truly great and an important event to talk about for the rest of my life. I believe it is a bond parallel to the bond between brothers and a bond that does not know the meaning of divorce.
GUNNERS FOR LIFE!