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Superfans share their tournament strategies

We quizzed some local superfans about their World Cup strategies

 

Andre Delarue, 38, general manager at German freight forwarding company
Teams: 1 FC Köln, Germany

My number plate is "1FCKOELN" after my team 1. FC Köln. I've supported them since I was born, as my father was a 1. FC Köln fan as well. My generation supported the teams their dads supported. You fall in love with a team when you are young, and it never changes.

I consider myself a German superfan because I try to watch all the national team games on TV. I stay up to watch the Bundesliga, and the Champions League games when German teams are playing. I have two TVs at home, so I can watch the Premier League and Bundesliga at the same time.

The morning after we beat England in the 2010 World Cup, I booked a ticket from Hong Kong to Cape Town to see Germany play Argentina in the quarter finals. We beat them 4-0.

After watching the 2006 World Cup, I always think we are going to win. But this year, I am very concerned. We don't have a real striker in the team, and defence, as always, is our weak point.

My favourite player is Lukas Podolski, because of his association with my team. On a good day, he is one of the best midfielders around. Unfortunately, he had a very mixed season at Arsenal this year.

I usually watch every game during a World Cup, but this year will be tough with the big time difference. I will watch at home as much as possible. I'll go straight to bed after work and set the alarm for midnight, then take cat naps between the games. I have booked time off after the group stage, and will spend it in a time zone closer to Brazil.

 

Carlo Anceschi, 34, director at a luxury textile company
Teams: AS Roma, Italy

I am Italian, so I've supported Italy since the day I was born. But I've always been a fan of Brazilian football, too. During the 1980s, AS Roma had many Brazilian players like Falcao, Cerezo, and Renato Portaluppi, so I decided to become an AS Roma fan. Part of my family is from Rome, so it must be in my blood.

During past World Cups, I've learned a lesson: anything can happen, and any team can win, no matter how they are ranked. In the 2002 Japan/Korea World Cup, we were knocked out by South Korea, which was unbelievable. This year, we have a pretty good team with lots of young players, especially strikers.

I am a big fan of Gianluigi Buffon [Italy's goalie] - even though he plays for Juventus, the team I hate the most. Internationally, I'm really impressed by the Belgian "golden generation".

Due to business commitments, I will be in Europe from June 13 until the end of the month. It means no more matches during the middle of the night.

The last World Cup was a disaster for Italy, as we were knocked out at the group stage. That was humiliating. My best memory ever was from the 2006 World Cup in Germany. My friend and I were in Hong Kong in a bar full of French people. I have to admit it was pretty unforgettable when Italy beat France in the penalty shootout. After we lifted the trophy, all the Italians were out on the street in Lan Kwai Fong at 6am to celebrate. This year, I hope history repeats itself.

 

Steve Parry, 52, chairman of Liverpool FC Supporters Hong Kong
Teams: Liverpool, England

I'm not sure about the word "superfan" but I am a super passionate one for sure. I am an ardent Liverpool supporter, and have followed my team for more than 46 years. Despite living in Hong Kong, I make regular trips to Anfield for most home games. Last season I flew back 15 times and also did the three-city Asia tour (Jakarta, Melbourne and Bangkok).

I also have the world's largest Liverpool Facebook page with a following of over 3.75 million fans (Liverpool FC Supporters Hong Kong). I am from Wales, so I don't have a home team to support. I will, therefore, follow teams with Liverpool players.

I guess England is going to be my main team as they have five Liverpool players in the squad. I think they only have a fair chance, but in football you just never know. I look forward to England versus Uruguay as I want to see England facing Suarez (if he is back from injury), which is sure to be a spectacle. I like Steven Gerrard, as he is one of that rare breed of one-club players who plays for the shirt and not the money.

As for the time difference, I am an insomniac so it shouldn't be a problem. For previous World Cups I was travelling, so had to catch matches wherever I could. But I enjoyed watching Spain the most as they were on top of their game throughout.

As for memories, it was great to see the passionate supporters in South Africa singing and dancing and bringing a new energy to the game, although those noisy vuvuzelas (plastic horns) drove me crazy.

 

Anson Mui, 36, imports wine to the mainland
Teams: Chelsea, Italy

I've been a soccer fan since I was in primary school. The first World Cup I watched on TV that I can remember was Italy 1990. I started to support the Italian team back then. I am the chairman of the Official Chelsea FC Supporters Club Hong Kong and the consultant chairman of the Official Chelsea FC Supporters Club China.

I attended the 2002 World Cup in Japan, and the 2006 World Cup in Germany. I always dress up when I attend soccer matches.

For the World Cup, we always get some tattoos.

I'm creating a fan app which will launch before the World Cup starts, and this will be the first soccer fan social media app in China.

I'm supporting Italy for this year's World Cup, although I think Brazil has the best chance. But, who knows, Italy is a highly tactical team, so we are in with a chance.

My all-time favourite is Roberto Baggio, he is such a legend, he can change a game. Buffon is the goalkeeper I like the most, he is just superb.

My best memory from the last World Cup was the goal by Spain in the final, which killed off Holland.

 

Alex M. Fargas, in his 30s, chef
Teams: FC Barcelona, Spain

I love football and it's always nice to see your national team playing in any kind of sport. I think that sport is a good way to represent a country. I support the Spanish national team, because I am Spanish. I think they have an opportunity to win the World Cup again. This generation has seen great success already and this is, maybe, the last time they will play together. So I am sure they will perform well.

I plan to go to sleep first and then wake up for the games. Also I won't be drinking during the games, so the next day I will have no problem at work. When it comes to the final, I'll take the next day off.

I watched the last World Cup in Hong Kong, in a Spanish bar; it was amazing. Spain won, and as 75 per cent of the team came from FC Barcelona, that made for a great moment. I felt very proud.

 

 

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