Football is not football without fans

My first season in England has finished and it is time for some well needed rest at home in Sweden with family and friends. The Olympics in Japan are a couple of weeks away and preparation needs to be done to give myself the best possible chance of being picked in the squad that travels in July. It has been an amazing few months in Chelsea so far and I have learned a lot. The pandemic has changed our lives greatly and for me, football has been the main activity during my stay in the UK. The team won three titles, I had the good fortune of being a part of two of them. But what lessons am I taking with me?  What reflections have I made? 

The pandemic has caused a lot of damage for many people. People have lost their jobs, many have been forced to readjust their everyday life and many people have been staying inside feeling lonely because of lockdown in different parts of the world. For myself the pandemic has meant that I have not been able to fly home to my family, the coffee after training has not been possible and doing things outside football rarely happened. But I have been able to continue as normal with football and keep the same routines before, during and after training and games. This is something I am extremely grateful for, to be able to continue doing what I love during hard times. Being grateful for that has made me look at things differently and become even more grateful for other small things in life, things that we often take for granted. When I start to see things from that perspective, I find myself enjoying life even more. 

I like to plan how things should be and what my days will look like. The pandemic has made this so much more difficult. I came to the UK in January without any knowledge of how things would turn out or how my days would be, apart from the current day. Suddenly I found myself caring less about what would happen next week or how the important game in a couple of days would go. The only thing I cared about was that day, how the training would go and how I could maximize the day. The move to England, where because of the pandemic all I had was football, in addition to how far away I was from my family and the uncertainty that the pandemic had Created, have definitely caused me to better stay in the present, and to live day by day. 

This topic has been discussed many times and I am sure many of us share the same frustration. The fans. Football is not football without our fans in the stands. Football for me means a lot of emotions, adrenaline and sharing in the community that is created. We still get those things with our team, but only in a limited amount. Winning the League is awesome and playing in the Champions League final is cool, but far less cool than it could have been if we were allowed to play with fans. That little extra thing is missing. The goosebumps you get when you see all the fans or that burst of adrenaline when someone scores or makes a sick save and the whole arena is cheering. Without fans in the stands all of that is missing and that is something that is hard to replicate. Football is not football without fans. 

There has been a lot of lessons and there are a lot of good things we can take with us into the future. The pandemic has led to many good changes in our everyday life. Like the gratefulness for the smaller things in life and the ability to stay in the present. We miss our fans, we really do and I am sure that they miss us. But I think that that is also something that will lead to good things in the future, that we will not take each other for granted. To be grateful for each other when things get back to normal. Yes, we look forward to that day and can not wait for it to come. But for now, the best thing we can do is stay in the present and make sure we are maximizing maximizing it. 

Read the original text in Swedish @ Fotbollskanalen

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