Watching the Worldcup final in the centre of Tilburg
Tilburg Travel Blog› entry 15 of 15 › view all entries
On Sunday the 11th of July, the Dutch soccer team had made it to the final of the Worldcup in South Africa. Even though the match wouldn’t start until 8.30 PM, bars and terraces all around the centre were filling up at 4 in the afternoon. Everybody wanted to make sure he or she had a good spot to watch the game and celebrate the victory that was naturally coming to our nation.
In 1974 and 1978 the Dutch soccer team had reached the final of the Worldcup too, but on both occasions the team had to settle with a loss. Especially the defeat against the German team in the final of 1974 is considered a national trauma, since we all thought the Dutch had a better team (with legendary soccer player Johan Cruyff). Since the Spanish team had never made it to the final of a Worldcup before, we had all decided it was our turn to win.
Next to that, The Spanish team hadn’t won all the matches at the Worldcup. They lost their first match against Switzerland, while the Dutch team had won all their matches. The coach, the players, the journalists on television and in newspapers, people on the street, everybody was convinced that the Worldcup 2010 was meant for The Netherlands and millions of people were out wearing orange and ready to party.
I was surrounded by hundreds who all cheered with joy and utmost respect when Nelson Mandela appeared at the Soccer Stadium. There was even a half hidden tear here and there. We all bellowed our national anthem and started cheering like madmen as soon as the match started.
A couple of hours later the Dutch had lost and the dream was finished.
Within an hour after the match was over, the streets were empty and most orange decorations had magically disappeared.
It’s now a day later, and both my husband and myself had taken today off from work since last night was supposed to be a huge party. We’re now just wandering around a bit, not saying much.
In a corner of our living room there’s a small pile of orange clothing, orange hats and some orange flags. It’s covered up by a beige towel. Rens and I refuse to look at it, yet the pile seems to be mocking us by its presence.
I suppose I could move the pile to the attic, but I really do not want to touch all that orange stuff right now. It’s the same why I don’t want to watch any television or read a newspaper today.
Maybe tomorrow, looking at anything in the colour orange will no longer feel as if bamboo is being stuck under my fingernails. Maybe tomorrow, when our Dutch soccer team gets a victory tour through the canals of Amsterdam for reaching the second place in a world tournament, I will be able to feel genuine pride for that marvelous achievement. But not right now.