Your team has a two goal lead on aggregate heading into the second leg of your Champions League qualifying round. Now, you’re back at home, and you’ve scored another goal to increase the lead. Suddenly, the team implodes and lets in three goals. Your supporters are going through fits of disbelief and rage. The manager taps you on the shoulder and sends you in as a substitute late on. With nine minutes left to play, you get your first touch. The ball flies past the keeper and your club is through to the next round – supporters now going wild with excitement.
This is how Roman Kienast saw things as Austria Wien took down Dinamo Zagreb to qualify for the Champions League. This is also why I have grown to love the game of football. Football supporters live and die with their club. Sitting on the couch, I was going absolutely crazy over the match. I had no stake in the outcome of the match. I was even pulling for Zagreb to go through due to some Croatian connections in my family.
However, I was so happy to see the supporters of Wien watch their club qualify for the Champions League for the first time ever. I could have watched superpowers like Arsenal and Fenerbache play, but I chose to watch two of the lesser known clubs. Their support in the stands was nothing short of true. Perhaps you haven’t watched a football match before. I urge you to watch just one match and look past the silly dives. Look deep into what the game means to the players and supporters. The connection is like no other sport in the world. Like the title says, what could be better?