Feature

World Cup supporter stories: Zac

Zac

During the World Cup, as well as focusing on the stories of our players representing their countries, we are also shining a light on those Gooners around the globe cheering on their nations.

Here, Zac, a 26-year-old Facilities Manager discusses his pride in seeing Ghana compete at the global showpiece:

I grew up in Watford, so I think of myself as British-Ghanian. Growing up in the UK, you become entwined with what’s going on here, but my family have a big part to play in keeping me close to my Ghanaian roots, through the food and the language I speak.

It also helps that the UK has a great Ghanaian community; I know many second-generation migrants who also share that same beautiful heritage blended with the great London attitude.

Watching Ghana compete in World Cups makes you feel proud to have a team that represents your country on the world stage. Even if they do not get all the way to the final, you just hope that they can string together a series of performances that will do themselves, and the country, proud.

Obviously supporting your nation comes with a lot of happiness, but also sometimes sadness. The memory that stands out to me - probably to all Ghanaians - would be the 2010 World Cup against Uruguay where Suarez handballed. Therefore, it was very disappointing to see us lose to Uruguay again in a fixture that historically and emotionally carries a lot of weight. I just hope that lessons can be learnt and we can come back better as a team.

While I still want to attend Arsenal games every week, it has been a good break to support your national team, which comes with a lot of pride. You also want our players to do well for their various countries because we love them, and we want them to do well - just not against Ghana!

I first became an Arsenal supporter aged around eight. My best friend was trying to convince me to support a team, and he told me about Arsenal. I think this was around the Invincibles season. I trusted him, so I supported Arsenal from then.

My dad’s a Spurs fan so we have a love-hate relationship! I feel like he’s not got a clue what’s going on, clearly, if he’s picking Spurs. There are a lot of Ghanaian Arsenal fans, possibly because we've had a lot of black players and I feel like a lot of Ghanaians, and Africans in general, felt like they could relate to the team.

It’s good to be able to go to games, meet people and make new connections. You can speak about things you’ve been going through, not only about the game, but just in general, so it can bring you closer to people. It’s a good time to take a break from work and focus on something else. So I think in that aspect, you create a bond with people, one you might not get somewhere else.

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