The Cup of Life

Disclaimer: Ignoring the new age and all-encompassing definitions of the sacred word ‘Football,’ I will refer to it as exactly that and no other term.

Football brings out a lot of things in people – this note, for instance. Other stuff include loads of nostalgia wrapped in sweet memories, some irretrievable moments, forgotten habits, and a sea of passion for something that most people would call off as ‘just another game.’ I was introduced to this enigma in Italia ’90 at the age of eight. My father decided to sow an interest of the sport he loved the most into me as early as he could. Not much of that world cup remains in the memory barn except the image of ponytailed Roberto Baggio swerving around. USA ’94 is more memorable, with Baggio and Gheorghe Hagi and Jurgen Klinsman and Hristo Stoichkov, watching teams like Bulgaria and Colombia play which have become almost extinct in world football now. ’94 was special in other ways too. I had started getting interested in football before that, spending summer vacations listening to maternal uncle and cousin brother fiercely debating about who’s a better player, Roger Milla or Gabriel Batitusta.

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