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Maybe I will also get to celebrate my team winning the World Cup one day

The agony of being a Dutch football fan

Argentina finally won a World Cup. The wait of 36 long years for the World Cup trophy has ended. For the hordes and legions of fans of the legendary Albiceleste, most of who have never seen their team lift a World Cup, this has been the watershed moment they’ve been waiting for all their lives. December 18, 2022 will be remembered when the dreams of millions came true in a single night.

That is really something, isn’t it. To see something you have been waiting for all your life being fulfilled in front of your eyes? A literal dream coming true? Watching decades of encrusted tears, disappointment, sadness and agony evaporate into the thin, cold air of the night, drowned out by the roar of the fans? To witness your fellow fans dissolve into a potpourri of emotions? Letting that indescribable feeling of (tears of) happiness, jubilation, ecstasy and disbelief elevate you to a transdimensional level? That sense of lightness of feeling coming from that sense of deliverance, a weight lifted from your heart as you dance the night away? Redemption from a long wait that you thought would never end.

Most football fans have been offered the chance to celebrate their team win at least once. And then there’s us. We’ve been waiting to experience that feeling of redemption forever and especially for the past 48 years. The agony, however, continues with no end in sight, the weight of which gets heavier with every passing four years. Three World Cup finals, only to fall in them all. We’ve seen great players, greatest players, golden generations, historic games, goals of the ages. And still, here we are, denied of the opportunity to feel that elation in our chest. It hurts so bad. Maybe we are cursed to live with the weight forever, to watch as everyone gets their turn to celebrate while we sink into a fresh wave of disappointment. Eternal sorrow. Never to rejoice. Permanent gloom.

Still, we wait. To experience that feeling. To see the “best team in the world to never win a World Cup”, the team that has played the most number of World Cup final matches without winning, be World Champions. Despite what has now evolved into the greatest World Cup rivalry, this is why I am happy for the Argentina fans. Because I can imagine what their ecstasy must feel like. Maybe it will happen in my lifetime. Then I will know how to share your happiness.

Hup Holland!

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