I will confess. I am not an avid football..err..soccer..alright..er…football fan. At least not the kind who follows UEFA teams and lose my sleep over a point here or a point there, with time zone differences for a few months every year. But I am the kind who develops this grandiose devotion to the game every four years when FIFA world cup ‘kicks’ in. With that said, you know why and how this post came about.
It is almost a week since the world cup started and I didn’t get to see all the matches in their entirety – live or recorded. But I am caught up with most of the action. Because I follow this sport every four years, it is kind of hard to keep tab on all the players. Those that make headlines in sports pages around the globe become familiar even if they don’t make the world cup squad..I mean those star players. Of course, in the 7 world cups that I remember following, almost 80% of the players who are considered star players before the tournament starts, end up performing under par. And there is always a handful of new ‘star players’ who emerge at the end of each tournament. To a fan like me, this makes it exciting. Because I am watching almost all games with no expectations except my personal preference for one team over the other (For example I wanted New Zealand to win over Slovakia today but wanted Germany to win over Australia last week)..There is no well-thought out reasoning behind me picking favorites. Of course, when top teams play, there is certainly some method to my picking.
Be it the time period when I started following 2 games other than cricket religiously in my early childhood or the age when I started following these games, I kind of have an adulatory passion towards Becker in Tennis and Maradona in Football. There is something striking about their careers – both on and off the field. As I type this, I contemplate what was in them that drew me to them? And the flamboyancy they exhibited on field got them lot of critics and because of the way they handled (or couldn’t) their fame & popularity, they hit the bottom of their PR campaign, once they went past their respective points of prime in their careers.
I am glad Maradona has managed to find his way back to a decent position. So naturally, I am rooting for Argentina this world cup. Even though Dunga decided to drop Ronaldhino from the squad, Brazil will always be a favorite even if they were to beat Argentina. Italy & Germany have always been my favorite teams because of their consistency followed by Netherlands (thanks to some eye catchy uniforms and crazy hair players in the 80s and 90s). The likes of Linekar & Rooney don’t impress me enough to root for England much like David Gower or Ian Botham couldn’t (BTW, I loved Botham as an individual cricketer). There is something about the English which always makes me respect them but not be passionate about them.
With this post going nowhere, I am glad I have managed to compile at least one post under the world cup football topic. With so much travel coming in the next 3 weeks, I am not sure if I am going to be able to stay on top form as far as blogging goes.
Tsamina mina eh..eh..waka..waka..eh.eh..Tsamina mina sangalewa..This time it’s for Africa!