As a 20-year old Tottenham Hotspur supporter who lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I want to share my story of how I became a Spurs supporter.
When I was two or three years old, long before my love for Spurs surfaced, I used to be a River Plate supporter thanks to my dad’s influence. In fact, there is a picture in our family photo album where I am sat in my room wearing the River shirt. However, there was an issue with that football club. They just kept on losing games. And it did not feel right. I did not feel right. At that age, I guess, all I wanted from my club was for them to win every single game. Utter perfection was what I wished.
For some reason, I failed to see River as a successful side in that period despite the fact that between 2002 and 2004, they were crowned champions three times. After some time, I came up with what I acknowledged was, and still would be, a particularly controversial idea. I began supporting the team whose success, in all aspects, was fairly obvious to me at the time. And that team happened to be Boca Juniors. I know, right? I am currently of the opinion, though, that regardless of the circumstances, switching allegiances like that should never happen. It should be practically illegal. In England, and all over the football world, these type of rivalries are sacred and fierce, and every soccer fan feels them as such. Clearly, I did not find it that way. At five years of age, and during the following seven years or so, my admiration and love for Boca increased considerably.
Everything was going really well with Boca. Winning trophies, defeating River in the Superclasico, and so on. However, at one point in which Argentine football was probably at its lowest due to the increasing involvement of the rebellious, troublemaking ‘Barras Bravas,’ Tottenham came calling. I would not say it was the most seamless of transitions from Boca to Spurs, though, but it was love at first sight thanks to the influence of soccer video games and TV, and how interesting and attractive English football was at the time (featuring renowned stars such as Rooney, Lampard, Beckham and Robbie Keane).
Around the 2010/11 season, Spurs had unbelievably talented players. The likes of Dimitar Berbatov, Aaron Lennon, Ledley King and Gareth Bale, just to name a few, made my interest and curiosity for this football club grow gradually into genuine admiration and deep passion. But it was also a challenge for an ardent Tottenham Hotspur fan in Argentina to follow this team from so far away. Or was it?
Everytime Spurs play, I wear my heart on my sleeve. And I would dare to say it has been like that since day one. Although it really is hard sometimes to find a way to watch the mighty Spurs given the fact that, in South America, only DIRECTV has the rights to most Premier League games, leaving ESPN with three or four matches per gameweek. Unfortunately, my cable TV provider doesn’t include the DIRECTV sports channels, so I often find myself either listening to a talkSPORT radio coverage, or scrolling through Twitter updates for Tottenham games. In short, I always manage to find a way to follow my beloved Spurs, and I still dream of the day when I can visit the new White Hart Lane and cheer on my heroes in person.
For more than a decade, the ability of watching the Premier League from Argentina has given the average South American soccer fan a window to feast his or her eyes on a different type of football than the one played and so passionately followed in these parts. It may be the same sport, but the intensity and passion of the Premier League cannot be replicated in South America. Add to that the incredible fans and quality of football on the pitch leaves many stunned by how addictive the Premier League is, no matter where you live in the world.
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