Farewell Worldcup…

I type this as Ustad Ghulam Ali’s mesmerizing voice drifts into my head… “Pehli wari aj unna Akhiaan ne takkia…”. Those lyrics,music and that voice! Truly out of this world.

And it rained today.  It has stopped raining now, almost. But still that smell, humidity, chilling breeze and clouds haven’t gone yet…

The next song on my playlist, “Waving Flag” starts playing, reminding me the purpose of this post. Worldcup. After  the long wait of 4 years it finally arrived. The biggest sports event. And this time in Africa!

I was and always will be a fan of Arsenal FC. About the international teams, I wasn’t so sure. Brazil, I had heard 4 years ago was brilliant. No doubt it was. Most worldcups won I mean.  But I remained neutral in the first worldcup of my life. 2006 one. Before that I was oblivious of this wonderful game of football. France and Italy managed to fight their way through to the finals. I still remember vividly. We were off to this restaurant named “Zee Grill” with a family living in our neighbourhood. At Zgrill I payed little attention to the match. On the LCD I saw a penalty kick given to France. Zidane took it. He chipped the ball towards the horizontal bar at the top of the goal. It struck the bar and was reflected downwards. For a moment my heart stopped as I saw the ball bounce on the ground and out of the goal. Goal!..? Zidane running others put their arms around his neck saying something with not a smile. Goal..? C’mon! Would somebody mind telling me if this was a goal or not? Top left corner read France1-0Italy. Ahaan! I see…

The second half of the match I saw at home.  But still I missed the headbutt of Zidanne! Was off to the kitchen to fetch some eatable I guess. Anyways the match stretched off to extra time. Italy scored! No they didn’t, offside.

Penalties decided the match. Italy was the new king of football.

And now after 4 years Worldcup arrived again. I had waited for 4 years for this event and then when it was here, I was all of a sudden not so interested. I guess I was more of an English Premier League fan by now. I was much enthusiastic about the Europa Cup. I supported Spain from the beginning and then it went on to win the thing. This time in Worldcup I decided to go for Spain, the team with Arsenal’s captain Cesc Fabregas. That reason alone is more than enough.

Spain lost its very first match. Not a single team lost its very first match and went on to win the worldcup. But Spain, I was sure, would change that. Spain went on to win most of its matches with a single goal’s lead. Ion the semi final Spain vs Germany, dad supported the German side. His reason I’ve got to admit was a strng  one. During WW2, My dad’s grandfather used to buy a newspaper and had people read it out to him. He supported Germany in the war and was thoroughly vexed up at anybody who said a word against the Germans. Well Spain managed to defeat them. The final was Spain vs Netherland. Paul, the Octopus now the most famous one around, predicted Spain’s win. The octopus has successfully predicted 13 out of his 14 predictions! The one time he was wrong was the final of Europa Cup between Spain and Germany where it predicted Germany’s win while Spain won.

I had plans for the screaning of the final with my cousin but it turned out they were ruined. My cousin had to arrange this Army Dinner at CMH, the hospital he works at. So I and my brother Ali again ended up watching the match at “Zee Grill”. This time a new one near my new home. Surprisingly, a big screened projector had been put up and their was a big crowd all seated. We managed to get two spare seats in a comfortable location near the front. Ordered some eatables and the match begun. Their was a lot of excitement in the crowd. Mainly Spain supporters. Cries of protest at fouls, cries of desperation at missed chances and cries of joy at a card being shown to the opposition’s team. I think this has got to be a world record. Most cards shown in a worldcup final. I mean, only Sneijder and the Goal keeper of Netherland were the ones who didn’t get a card! And their were many who got a card from the Spanish side too. At last Fabregas came on and everybody was clapping. I was the only one clapping AND standing. Many great chances were missed by Netherland. The match was a very tight and tensed one with no goals until the 115th minute when Iniesta finally did it! He put the ball into the back of the net at last. And you know who passed him that ball? Yeah right, Fabregas.

The worldcup came to its end with Spain lifting the cup. I slept with a grave heart the last time when France lost. This time it was dad who slept with a grave one. He always supports the team opposing mine. I guess that adds to the excitement…

And well that’s that. Spain beat Netherland. It beat Holland too. See? I always said Spain ccould take down many one handedly…


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