Fans are an integral part of any sport. Sports are one of the first forms entertainment from the dawn of human evolution. They have persisted till date in different ways across different cultures and in different forms. There is a common saying that a person who doesn’t like music and sports, doesn’t like life. The choice of the sport may be varied, but almost everyone is passionate about one sport or the other. On an international level, sports provide to the fans a sense of heightened nationalism, an identity. Hence, sports are deeply rooted in almost every culture.
As mentioned above, fans are passionate. At the end of the day, all the players are answerable to the fans. It is them these players play for, it is them they want to appease. In the game of football, we have often seen situations where the odds are heavily stacked up against a side. Even the most optimistic fans give up their hopes. In those times, miracles happen. In those times, magic happens. Last week in Spain, something similar happened. The Catalonians chased the French away, in a manner never seen before.
The Champions League Pre-Quarters:
Last month, the Champions League resumed after two months of hiatus. The RO16 matches took place. Most of the ties were tilted towards a direction, while a few were evenly matched. Given the performances of last year, any neutral fan would agree that the tie was inclined in Barcelona’s favour against PSG. Well, PSG pulled off the shock of the year as they downed the Spanish giants 4-0. That set up the next tie with Barcelona needing to win by a 5 goal margin.
In the return tie, Barcelona started off well with a goal in the very third minute. By half time they were 2-0 up and chances looked bright for them. In just minutes into the second half, Barcelona went up to 3-0 via a Messi penalty. The fans grew more and more confident. The cheers went louder and louder. Exactly after 10 minutes, Cavani’s shot took the Camp Nou’s down the drain. Barca were still leading at 3-1 but needed 3 more goals to qualify now, due to the away goal rule.
At the 87th minute, began Barca’s most memorable dying minutes in any football match they ever played. Neymar took a beautiful free kick followed by two more goals. This made Barca secure qualifications and record the best comeback in the history of Champions League. The uproar was fantastic with the fans celebrating with the players. At that very moment, an observatory close to the stadium recorded a 1.0 unit on the Richter Scale. Though it is a minor quake, it technically qualifies as an earthquake as it touched the 1.0 mark. This is one of those rare moments where fan celebrations alone caused something of this stature.
Last year, the English Premier League recorded its first fan made quake. It was caused by the Leicester City fans last year. The goal came in the match at the end of February where Leicester was entering an anxious period as table toppers. The Foxes scored a last minute winner against Norwich and maintained their lead at the top. The fans erupted into cheers and caused the mini 0.3 scale quake. They named it the Vardy Quake after their and League top scorer Jamie Vardy.
Football continues to dominate other sports globally when it comes to passion, miracles and magic.