Soccer. . . Er, Futbol

Many Georgia Tech-Lorraine students have a passion for soccer – or futbol, as they call it in Europe – and end up both playing pickup and going to see professional games!

Thursday, October 3, 2019 | Written by Karsten

Europe’s most popular sport is futbol, or what we call soccer. I have never played soccer in my life—unless of course, you count Upward soccer when I was five as real soccer. I began enjoying soccer around 2013 by playing FIFA 14 on the Xbox. Through this, I learned the rules of a sport that I now love. I’ve played countless hours on every FIFA video game released since then (except this year’s release, FIFA 20, as I do not have a way to play it). After I began playing FIFA, I could also watch soccer and appreciate it. Not long after, my dad also began watching it and so on Saturday mornings, that’s what we would do if we weren’t busy—watch the Premier League and eat breakfast.

My freshmen year at Georgia Tech, I actually played soccer for the first time. Though intramurals are not organized, this was my first taste of eleven versus eleven soccer. Cru made a team—called the Crushers—and we were pretty successful. It was a co-rec team, meaning there had to be even numbers of guys and girls in the field, excluding the goalkeeper. We managed to make it to the school championship that year, which we lost on a cold, rainy night. Last year, we made another team and made it to the playoffs but subsequently lost in penalties. However, playing real soccer made me realize how much fun it is to play.

There are tons of people that are in the GTL program that have played soccer. Within a week, there was a group message in GroupMe solely for watching and playing soccer. A couple times each week, we’ve gone out to the high school that’s very close to the Georgia Tech-Lorraine campus and played on their turf field. If we couldn’t play there, there are lots of other possible options. It’s always a great time to go play pickup, and I’ve been able to make quite a few friends that way.

Coming to Georgia Tech-Lorraine, I knew I wanted to go see a few professional games. Being in France, PSG is the easiest choice of teams to go see, with Paris being only a couple of hours away. In the first week of being in France, I was able to go see them, so that’s one checked off. Since FC Metz got promoted last year into Ligue 1, I would like to see them, but I’m not sure I’ll be in Metz on a weekend that they play at home. I would also love to see a Premier League game, but it’s not looking too likely. Lastly, being a Real Madrid fan, I have to see a game at Santiago Bernabeu. I believe that I’ll be able to see them over fall break, and I’m very much looking forward to it.