Two Mexicans use the World Cup for international understanding
They want to remain unknown, so they asked not to take a picture. You had already seen yourself the day before, they ate meat skewers, you ate fish yourself. There was a game on TV, it was the first week of the World Cup, there were still many teams in the race and many more fans on the road. One sat at small tables almost next to each other, but had talked with others.
Actually, a World Cup should always be a group stage. The preliminary round is the essence of the tournament, perhaps not from a sporting point of view. But when it comes to international understanding, especially in increasingly turbulent times worldwide, the often coincidental clash of many supporters at street corners or parks can certainly help to break down prejudices. Because sooner or later you always get into conversation with strangers, you are a stranger almost everywhere in the world yourself, you only forget quickly when you are too much into homeland hustle and bustle.
Perhaps all national concrete heads should be made to visit the World Cup, as a rehabilitation measure so to speak. But please send on your own. If they don’t, they’ll just build themselves a fortress again.
We spoke to two “US-Mexicans”, let’s call them Miguel and Martin, both born in the USA. One a free spirit, the other a concrete head, at least at first glance.
Both feel like US citizens and Mexicans, this Monday they are playing their “Tricolor” in Samara against Brazil, at least that was the plan when they met. Look at the round of 16, no matter where or against whom. But the “Tri”, which had already been beaten by Germany, was only a marginal issue in our conversation. And Miguel and Martin are also only marginally concerned with what may be the first quarter-final entry since 1986.
Miguel’s mother comes from Baden-Württemberg, where he still visits her granny, who is now 90 years old, every two years. He speaks and jumps from English into Spanish and even a little German is brought out. He knows Munich and the Allianz Arena, where he saw Inter Milan winning the round of 16 in 2011. But above all he knows Stuttgart, where Miguel always spent his summer holidays as a child, “school of life for a US-Mexican” had been. “I didn’t really enjoy it, the cultures were too different”, but in retrospect that was the enriching thing.
American football, on the other hand, is not culture, says Miguel, but “rubbish”. MLS is much better if it continues to be a paradise for pensioners. See, brand new, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Unfortunately, Chicago Fire in his home town is only a little better than the “rubbish” of American football, and even Bastian Schweinsteiger cannot do much about it.
When he landed in Chicago over a year ago, he received the world champion at the airport as a fan. Meanwhile one has the same pub, the former Municher enjoys it, that hardly anyone recognizes him at Lake Michigan. “Being human in a foreign land”, that’s the point.