I love World cup football. It is like a festival every four years. I love the action, the colours; I love the sheer energy, the hair styles, the passion, the overflowing audiences, the excellence. Yes, the excellence.
I also love the vuvuzelas....would like one for Sankranthi kite-flying!
I have been staying up till 2 am to watch the late-night matches. Cheered for Ghana against the US (winning a bet with Gautham on SMS!), and what a win they had! Last night I watched Argentina vs Mexico...and also saw good old Diego Maradona in a new avatar. The guy's got style, whatever he does. Remember watching his antics in 1986 in Ashoknagar, with Mohan mama, Vijaya aunty, Rahul, Paru Prashanth, Sammi, Sai...the whole gang, and shouting and cheering, over cups of chai and beer!
Diego Maradona dominated the World Cup in 1986 like few players ever. Argentina won the event, of course, and Maradona was the awarded the Golden Ball as its best player. That was just a small part of it.
In a 2-1 quarterfinal victory over hated England, he scored twice in the disparate fashions that perfectly define him.
There was the “bad” – the illegal, self-described “Hand of God” goal when he purposefully punched the ball in. And there was the “good” – a spectacular, darting 50-yard run that was voted greatest in the history of the World Cup and hailed by many as the “Goal of the Century.”
And that was just one game.
In front of the media he was controversial and colorful and charismatic. He never backed down. He backed everything up. There was simply nothing like him."
It is strange how one associates certain events with a certain time in life. For me World cup = 1986, Mohan mama, Maradona. It will remain that way. I think every time I watch this great sporting event, I re-live that moment in 209 Ashoknagar.