World Cup fever has spread well
Hundreds of people gathered in a Montreal bar on Sunday to cheer on the national soccer team as they faced Croatia at the World Cup.
< p>From 9 a.m., the beer flowed freely at Le St-Laurent Frappe bar, which became the favorite meeting point for fans of the Canadian team.
“I did not expect to see so many people for a Canada match,” said Leonel Paulo, manager of the establishment. It's barely 11 o'clock, and we've already sold quite a few barrels of beer! »
At the time of the national anthem, the approximately 200 people present in the bar rose to sing it together, in French.
« When it comes to sport , there is no more politics, says Rémi Martin, originally from Montreal. There are players from all over Canada on this team, including a few Quebecers. It brings us all together! »
Already electric before the game, the atmosphere went up a notch after the opening of the scoring on a goal from Canadian Alphonso Davies. Fans let their joy explode.
Exhilaration on a historic goal
“It's Canada's first goal in the history of the World Cup, it's something very special, underlines Sophie David, passionate about soccer forever. It really moved me at the time.
It was not just in Montreal that this goal was celebrated. Several Quebec City enthusiasts also met at La Cage in the Lebourgneuf sector.
“It's unrealistic, to be able to witness this, it's incredible. We were flipping! “says Thomas Marcotte, who was accompanied by several of his friends.
Beyond the soccer enthusiasts, several uninitiated were present at the bar Le St-Laurent knocked, Sunday to encourage the team of Canada
“Basically I am interested in hockey, underlines Jean-Philippe Gauthier, who came to accompany some friends. If someone had told me a few years ago that I would be up on a Sunday morning for a soccer game, I would not have believed it!
Faces grew longer after Croatia's first goal.
The happiness was short-lived for fans, however, as Canada ultimately lost 4-1.
Gain in popularity
Proof of growing fervor, Canada's game against Belgium last Wednesday is the second most-watched sporting event in Canada in 2022, attracting nearly 3.7 million viewers according to RDS, which broadcasts the event.
< p>“A few years ago, it was unimaginable to see people gathered in a bar to cheer on the national soccer team, says Pierre Maillhot, a fan of this sport since the 80s. For the World Cup in 1986, we had trouble watching games on TV. We are still very far from the popularity of hockey, but it is progressing.
Frederik Gauthier, 21, explains that soccer is part of his DNA, just like hockey.
“Our generation is very keen on soccer, explains the young man, who wore the maple leaf on his shoulders during the meeting. The next World Cup, which will take place partly on Canadian soil, will greatly help to popularize the discipline in Quebec. »
– With Jérémy Bernier
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