Faces of Soccer: Switzerland – a letter to the nationwide workforce

Faces of Football: Switzerland - a letter to the national team

Pricey Swiss nationwide workforce,

My title is Sonja Missio and I’m a Swiss residing in Toronto, Canada. Regardless of residing so distant, I at all times really feel my Swiss roots whereas watching the nationwide workforce. 

To be sincere, I can’t keep in mind the primary time I watched you play. I didn’t have an epiphany or a precise second after I fell in love with the workforce. No fairytale story or core reminiscence; you’ve simply at all times been there, like an undercurrent that’s merely a part of my life. 

I feel that’s the great thing about supporting your nation: you don’t have to have that pin-point second if you fell in love, such as you would with a membership workforce. No, your love and assist to your nation is simply at all times there, a way of satisfaction and belonging you could’t describe in phrases. 

It’s not a choice, however slightly a sense; one which turns into so entrenched within the make-up of your being, that you simply nearly take it as a right. It’s not a query of ‘why do I assist the Swiss nationwide workforce?’, however slightly, ‘how may I not assist the Swiss nationwide workforce?’

Don’t get me unsuitable, I’ve moments: favorite moments, horrible moments, and proud moments that stay inside me. I keep in mind Sommer’s precise arm positions when he saved the Mbappe penalty (Euro 2020). I keep in mind Alexander Frei’s face when he collided knee-to-knee with Zdenek Grygera simply earlier than halftime (Euro 2008). And I keep in mind Gelson Fernandes’ objective celebration after he scored in opposition to Spain (World Cup 2010).

And these moments have morphed into reminiscences that now stay inside my head. Items of time which might be lengthy gone, however nonetheless evoke the identical emotion from me as they did on the day they occurred. 

I imply, typically talking, that’s how reminiscences work. Nonetheless, this World Cup shall be completely different. This World Cup, these soon-to-be reminiscences received’t simply be for me; this 12 months I get to share them. 

That is the primary 12 months I’m watching a World Cup with my son. He’ll nonetheless be lower than a 12 months outdated by the point the match begins, however I can’t watch for the 2 of us to observe you are taking to the pitch. 

I used to be pregnant with him final summer season, if you knocked out France within the Euro. I feel that have left a mark on him; he knew, earlier than he was born, methods to really feel the love and the eagerness for the Swiss nationwide workforce. 

I additionally suppose that’s what it means to be Swiss. Individuals joke about our neutrality, however we’re removed from impartial with regards to soccer. Trying into any stadium, you possibly can spot the Swiss followers – with our cowbells and sq. flags – immediately. There might not be lots of us, however what we lack in numbers, we make up in assist. 

The entire nation has your again. We’ll have a good time your triumphs and assist you in your struggles. Whether or not it’s your followers again dwelling in Switzerland or these of us residing overseas, we’ll assist carry you thru. 

And, this 12 months, you will have yet one more little fan who will watch you, wide-eyed, not understanding what’s happening, however figuring out that it’s one thing particular. 

And, hopefully, in 18 years, he too will learn a letter from a fan, cheering and supporting the workforce on, proper earlier than he runs out onto the pitch taking his place at centre again for La Nati

Alles gueti und viel schwein,

Sonja Cori Missio (and Max)

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