CLUB versus country. Where do your loyalties lie?

According to a poll by The Sun in 2017, 63 per cent of English fans would rather their team win the league than England win a major tournament.

Whether that overall score has improved after England’s exploits in Russia 2018 remains to be seen.

But many England fans of my generation were previously disillusioned with the international scene.

The ongoing theme of disappointment was enough to drive you back to domestic football (in my case, Ipswich Town).

During my years at university, studying a sports journalism degree among a class of avid football fans, I distinctly remember our group were asked to bring in their favourite piece of memorabilia and share their story about how it was obtained, as well as the extent of their allegiance to their respective team.

After observing this trend and somewhat out of place among the Manchester United, Chelsea and West Ham supporters, I produced a segment on Ipswich and England and presented the class with a final question.

“Do you, as a football fan, care more about your club success or national team glory?”

The overwhelming majority of the respondents answered “club”.

I remember being surprised by this consistent viewpoint but agreed with the majority.

Perhaps I'm wrong and international football success should be more important.

Since there are thousands of clubs in hundreds of different leagues around the world, “club success” means different things.

For example, for Real Madrid, success means achieving “The Treble” - winning the league, a cup and the holy grail of the Champions League.

However, for Ipswich, a small club in comparison, despite a rich but distant history, success in previous years has felt like finishing mid-table.

International success, on the contrary, has a much more parallel and consistent meaning worldwide.

At the World Cup, every nation is united together for the 11 players representing their country, heritage and traditions on the global scale for the world to see.

Take Gareth Southgate’s current crop of players, for example. They are united together, with the nation’s fire burning bright once more.

Whichever way you look at it, the World Cup proves that international camaraderie is stronger than the bonds forged with fans of a club side such as Ipswich and Colchester United (even if only on a temporary basis).

During a major tournament, supporters of all nations throw away their hostilities and link arms to support the national squad.

I saw Colchester and Norwich fans embrace Ipswich fans (including myself) in jubilant semi-final celebration when Kieran Trippier fired his free-kick into the Croatia net.

Football is all about passion.

This is certainly the sentiment I stand by each time I walk through the turnstiles at Portman Road and watch Luke Chambers produce the most heartfelt fist pump when we claim three points.

While I'm a massive Town fan, my parents didn’t grow up in Suffolk or even entertain the idea of football.

But many fans I know from different clubs have passed down the importance of their family club through many generations.

It’s their familial, community or historical ties to their club that can often make or break a weekend mood with one result.

Nonetheless, in the end, there is no right or wrong answer.

It’s a matter of opinion and that’s what makes this sport the beautiful game we so cherish.