As summer kicks off this month I am yet again behind on the start of global football, or soccer(*the official title of football in the U.S.) match tournaments taking place around the world. My boyfriend, however, is well-informed. This is because he is a Football Namcha (축구 남자).
Since our second or third date my boyfriend started testing my knowledge on football (soccer) during our evenings together. Each and every time he would stump me with his questions about international and regional soccer teams like FC Barcelona, FC Manchester, FC Bayern Munich(*which are his favorite teams), and famous football (soccer) players such as Arjen Robben, Andres Iniesta, and Lionel Messi who play for these respective teams.
My boyfriend’s interest in football (soccer) started in his teen years. Prior to football (soccer) he did Taekwondo (태권도) a Korean martial art and played as a drummer in a school & church band. Since then only football (soccer) has remained a favorite activity. Currently, football (soccer) is my boyfriend’s third love, after me and fried chicken. Whenever a major international tournament such as FIFA, COPA, or UEFA Euro is streaming in real-time he is glued to a TV or handheld device. Usually, in stances such as these I can be in the same room as him and be non-existent. But, this was not always the case starting out. As we began to spend more evenings together my boyfriend was fine with missing a game. But, as time went by he revealed his intense love for football (soccer). To my surprise he informed me that he regularly played football (soccer) every weekend with his junior high friends and was the team’s designated captain.
Finding out that I was the girlfriend of a team captain felt electrifying. It also made my boyfriend look more masculine in my eyes. I believe this was due to watching too many (American) high school sport movies growing up. Right away, I began to respect my boyfriend’s diehard interest in football (soccer) and zombie-like moments when watching games. After our first few months together I also started building up my knowledge on football (soccer) and football teams/ clubs. Seeing my enthusiasm my boyfriend no longer left me on the sidelines during live-streaming football (soccer) games. Nowadays he engages in discussions with me about the players, the teams, and the game overall. Since we’ve been together I’ve gained so much more knowledge about football (soccer) especially UEFA football (soccer) teams. My boyfriend’s favorite football (soccer) team is FC Bayern Munich. He keeps track of all of the teams games regionally and internationally.
My boyfriend’s passion for football (soccer) is truly admirable. While football (soccer) is a renowned sport it is one of the most body intensive sports for both men and women. Staying fit and eating healthy are just basics to playing well. As team captain my boyfriend organizes weekly games with other local neighborhood teams, creates game strategies, attends training sessions, and sets a great example through his total commitment to his team.