Everyone reading this probably has a favourite football team. I’d also be willing to bet that all of you have at least one football club that you hate. Maybe it’s because their star player is a diver, or because they once broke your hearts in a season-defining, must-win game. Though probably it’s because you have to. Being a fan of one club means being expected to hate at least one other. But isn’t it just a little bit arbitrary? Who told you that you have to hate United or City? Arsenal and not Spurs? Then again, who told you that you have to hate anyone at all? Why does supporting one football club even have to mean hating another? In other words, why do we as football fans choose our rivals? And more to the point – how? Our motivations for choosing rivals are an interesting psychological phenomenon, one which the work of the Austrian psychoanalysts in the early 20th century can help to explain. The contemporaries Otto Rank and Sigmund Freud might go a long way to explaining why rivalry is meaningful, why it is that we’re so viscerally connected not just to seeing our local team do well,… Read full this story
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