Dear Canada National Team,
I fell in love with this team when I was 12 and recently you guys made a dream come true that seemed impossible to most of us Canadians.
My name is Aaron Hooper from Ottawa, Canada and I have been supporting the Canadian Men’s and Women’s National Teams since 2006. I must say that it was not an easy time for me as a kid who fell in love with Canadian football. All Canadian fans – and I’m sure some of you players (since we’re a similar age) are among them – remember that there was no professional soccer team in Canada at the time. While there were indications that Toronto FC would form in 2007, it was still a big deal.
Being a Canadian football fan wasn’t exactly “cool” in our country at the time, especially in junior high. In middle school and early high school, we were often bullied by the hockey players. We asked others to train and play with us as we dreamed that one day football might gain even a semblance of popularity or even just respectability.
I remember running with my teammates in high school at 6:30 in the morning, or standing on the field after school and saying, “Man, imagine Canada playing in the World Cup…that would be what.. . I hope I can be part of that team…” But I always ended the conversation with “But who knows when that will happen… maybe when we have grandchildren”.
But for some reason, in my heart, I believed in it. I was convinced that the Canadian men’s team would play in the World Cup in my lifetime.
Ever since the 8-1 loss to Honduras a few years back, we thought maybe the day wouldn’t come until 2026 when Canada would host the World Cup. But let me tell you that you have exceeded all our dreams. You gave confidence to the whole of Canada. You have made every lifelong fan and past wearer of the Canada jersey proud. You made dreams come true and created many new dreams for all the young fans who dream of playing professionally and now also dream of playing in the World Cup. But this time to play not for the country of his parents’ birth but for our own national team – and a way to actually play in Europe’s top leagues to play alongside Jonathan Davids, Alphonso Davies, Milan and Let’s dream To follow them
Going to the World Cup with this national team is a dream and even reaching the last 16 would be a dream and I know you guys and John Herdman (who should have an idol) have many more on their minds Is. The blessing that we have is that there are no expectations, no pressure and no fear.
You show no fear on the pitch and that is evident against any opponent. I got to know this when you played qualifiers against USA, Mexico and Honduras. You gave us all confidence.
When I was 12 I fell in love with Canadian football and believed in our country’s potential, but I was declared crazy and to see where we are now – it’s truly amazing.
To all of us who have cried tears of joy and despair, who have fought, who have dreamed of this moment, who have believed when others said it was impossible, and who have believed: enjoy the dream.
I’m sure you already know this, but don’t be afraid and take it one sport at a time. And Canadian football continues to change the culture and make the future brighter than the past.
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