“What kind of a game is that?” was the thing that sauntered into my mind when I first caught a glimpse of the game that I now worship, adore and love deeply. What sense could a 12 year old kid, in a Cricket loving country possibly have derived from Football right? I couldn’t either. Guys running around the pitch chasing a ball seemed stupid to me then. Though incidentally, a few days later my dad got me FIFA (the game) to play on the desktop and I decided to give it a try.
To my disbelief I started loving the game and this player, Cristiano Ronaldo caught my eye as I whiled away hours hooked to my computer. No wonder I googled him, read about him and his achievements. But all that’s in the past now. I love football and though Cristiano still is one of those players that I love watching, with his immaculate free kicks and all, I’m a Chelsea fan. I love watching my team play, especially Hazard, giving those defenders a hard time in their own halves and emulating another great of our era, Lionel Messi.
Football is astonishing. Everything connects. The game which binds together more than half of the world’s population in competition, friendliness and peace, is like a giant web. One could trace back, be startled and be in awe of how things pan out. My favorite team player now and my favorite player of this generation for example, are both winners of the PFA Young Player of the year award. As I sat back that day, sipping coffee and watched my team lose the round of 16 tie to PSG, I reckoned. I reckoned that though both of those guys are up and doing great, turning into better players each day, not all of the PFA award winners share such trail of success. While Mr. Laurent Blanc was congratulating his players on the win, I ran the list of last 10 years’ winners in my head. Sure, when you think of Cesc Fabregas, Cristiano Ronaldo, Stevie G, Rooney, Bale and Hazard, you hear applause and watch the stadium pay these guys a standing ovation most of the times when they walk off the pitch. But not all the winners have had such magnificent careers, after winning the coveted trophy.
I see ManU fans cursing Ashley Young most days when he steps on to the pitch and the applause I hear, is for the manager for taking him off of it. Poor guys Jack Wilshere and Kyle Walker have suffered long injury spells in the past few seasons and well, frankly, it took me a while to remember what club Craig Bellamy represents these days (no offense to guy.)
Football, has presented me with so much that I can’t thank enough for the game. It has bestowed many of the aforementioned, with a succession of landmarks at the youngest of ages. But as we all know, there is a downside to everything and sadly, not all of those guys were able to handle it, WHEN LOVE CAME RAINING DOWN, at a young age.