Anyway, today is the day where all Canadians get out of their igloos, wearing red and white, to celebrate our national holiday: Canada Day!! It is only 3 days apart from the American holiday on July 4th so I guess July is a happily proud month for North America! :D
My hometown Ottawa (for those who have no idea where it is... It's in Ontario and it's the capital of Canada) is probably where most Canadian people want to be on July 1st. The one and only Parliament Hill will be filled with people anxiously waiting to see concerts by amazing artists while others wonder the main street downtown, enjoying the red and white atmosphere. Also, sales in stores are a must see!! Even stores that don't usually have big sales will be having red tags. All of this... I will be missing this year it seems because as I'm writing this now, I'm still at least 3hours away from home. Boston is far... Car rides are long... Motion sickness is a devil...
Anyways, before we left for the trip, I was glued to my TV for FIFA. Canada is, as expected, not even trying to participate so I had no country to root for. That's what most people thought at least... I ROOT FOR SAMURAI BLUE JAPAN!! I mentioned 2 players in an earlier post I think and I was just so anxious to watch them play. After all, they were the Champions for Asia Cup! However, after the first match against Cote d'Ivoire, it just went downhill for them. If ONLY they could win against them. If ONLY they could at least win against Greece. Then I thought of a factor that could not be changed, physical. The Japanese players are, indeed, very talented and skilled but they seem to be so much weaker physically compared to Caucasians. All the clashing and sliding made me cringe. All I can say is しょうがない.
I knew Hasebe (C) and Uchida had terrible injuries right before the event and had to do rehabilitation like crazy to get back into the game. Then there was a picture of Uchida with taping on his knees after the match against Columbia. It just broke my heart to see them like this.
During a TV interview after the painful play, the interviewer asked if he will be joining the Japanese Soccer team in the future and he answered with "I've been thinking about leaving the team for a while now, mostly due to my leg injuries." No matter what his decision is, it's for the best. Either way, I'm sure he wants to give his 100% to the team and felt powerless in front of his injuries. It's not something very hard to understand; you take your sport seriously, there's a big chance you will get seriously injured.
On the internet (mostly Japanese E-Communities like Twitter, Naver and 2 Channel) were piled with posts against the captain, Hasebe, since he and Honda have left the team to go to Europe instead of returning to Japan on the 27th. Many were calling the two "run-aways", saying they are not responsible enough to deal with the angry fans waiting for them so they fled. The truth is, from what I had read on many posts, Hasebe needed to take care of matters about changing soccer clubs while Honda had some health check up to do for his club. Personally, I was taught to always look at things from different point of vues to avoid single stories. I felt extremely bad for Hasebe since he has to deal with all kinds of comments, mean or good, because he is the captain. It's a miracle he didn't crumble under pressure. He also released a book a while ago, called 心を整える。 and I happen to have found it in my local bookstore when I lived in Japan. I spent about 2 hours standing there, reading through the first half of the book, until my legs were about to give up on me. From my unprofessional judgement, his writing reflects the way he is: calm and focused. Those are 2 of the most important skills to have when you are a leader. That's how I fell for him, through a book (haha). It's weird how people usually become fans of a player due to their play, but I became a fan because of his book. If you have the chance, please go check it out!! I should've bought it!! Every time I think about it, I hate myself. I only brought about 300 yen (about 3.50$) that day since I thought I was only going for a run. Ahh so mad!
Other players like Kagawa (who's name got butchered so many times during the match by the narrator) also received bashing from people since he was supposed to be the star of the team. Instead, it seems he didn't really "do" anything. As unbelievable as it sounds, "doing" something or assisting in a soccer game is not as easy as it seems. I had done soccer for a few months and all I can say is a part of the goal relies on chances and opportunities. It's not easy to block someone who's 2ft. taller than you! It's not like you can do anything about the physical differences. I don't think he did a bad job at all! It's hard for anybody in that position and I hope people understand that. Of course, I'm not saying they should be given flowers and enjoy welcoming parties even though they lost. However, I think being bitter after a team loses and therefore bashing them is not only disrespectful but also immature.
And here is the end of my forever on-going rant about soccer.
If you feel like discussing about this, I'm always open!! Please comment down below and I'll get back to you as soon as possible!!