While studying abroad in Paris, our study abroad group realized we would be in the city the weekend of the Champions League final. To explain the magnitude of this soccer match, approximately 400 million people tune into the Champions League final, making it almost twice as big as the Super Bowl. I was ecstatic to be in the same city as the Champions League final. The match would be between Liverpool and Real Madrid. We decided to cancel all the plans for the day to get amazing seats for the game. I dressed in bright red and white in hopes that Liverpool would win this opportunistic match. We arrived at a British pub at 2 pm to reserve a table right next to the TV to watch the game. We were not the only viewers who had the same idea as tons of Brits had traveled across the channel to watch the game in a pub in Paris. We were seated by a group of three British men whom we quickly befriended. Jamie, Laurie, and Sam could immediately tell we were American and did not understand the significance of this event. They explained to us the magnitude of the match and told us which players to look out for. Above all else, they taught us all of the fight songs for Liverpool. Half of the fun of the day was learning and singing the fight songs.
Our favorite song was the Lad from Portugal, which goes:
“Ohhh, he wears the number 20,
He will take us to victory,
And when he’s running down the left-wing,
He’ll cut inside and score for LFC,
He’s a lad from Portugal,
Better than Figo don’t you know,
Ohhh, his name is Diogo!”
We sang it over and over again until we memorized the words perfectly. Then Laurie taught us the next song: I’m So Glad (That Jurgen is a Red). We continued to sing and laugh with our new friends from across the pond until the game at 9 pm. By the time the game started, the pub was overflowing with the color red. It was so compact, that we were unable to get up from our table to use the restroom or even get food, but it added to the excitement. Hundreds of people had traveled all this way to rejoice and support their beloved home team. It was truly a beautiful experience to see so many people get together for a soccer match. Unfortunately, the game did not end as we wanted. Real Madrid took the victory. We hugged our new friends goodbye and exchanged numbers to keep in touch. Despite the unwanted ending, we left grinning and smiling over the experience. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I will cherish forever.