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World Cup Football—The Greatest Show on Earth

Football is celebrated as "the beautiful game" and the World Cup Tournament is considered the greatest show on Earth.

World will witness once more the greatest show on earth by the second week of June 2022 year. I mean the FIFA World Cup Football, to be held in Qatar. Football is celebrated as "the beautiful game" and the World Cup Tournament is considered the greatest show on Earth. It was the Brazilians who gave the epithet "the beautiful game" to the sport. Though the game had its origin in England, its popularity today is due to the Latin American teams, particularly Brazil and to a certain extent Argentina. But the Latin American teams will be languishing in obscurity if they did not have the great stage of the European football. The Europeans simply love football and they love it to distraction. Thanks to television and the modern satellite technology the whole world can watch a match just at the moment when it is being played and be transported to delirious levels of emotion and undergo a sort of catharsis in a short period of 90 minutes.

The game is truly beautiful. After all, what is beauty? To a mother her baby is the most beautiful thing on Earth. From this, we can understand that anything that gives us a healthy happiness—I used "healthy" because some people find happiness in drugs and alcohol—is beautiful and watching a good football match gives us immense happiness. We may feel sad when our favourite team loses. But a superior team has won and we rejoice at that. There are other aspects of the beauty. It is not intensely individualistic like Tennis, or like a writer from paper proofreader, which takes an indefinite time to come to an end and at times can be very boring. The collective efforts of a team to take the ball to the goal and the efforts of the other team to stop it and take hold of the ball, with all the rules of the game observed, makes it a wonderful sight. It is one game that has got speed, power, judgement, art, and adventure—all in itself. It is a game that gives free play to individual initiative as well.

You don’t have to be a millionaire to become a super footballer. It you take the case of Pele, his father was an ordinary worker. In 1950, Brazil lost the final match of the World Cup and Pele’s father wept sitting before the radio that was broadcasting the commentary. At that time Pele was just nine years old. The boy wiped the tears of his father with his tender hands, hugged him, and assured him that he would get the cup for him. And he did!

Brazil won the 1958 World Cup and Pele, at that time just 17 years old, played a decisive role in Brazil’s victory. A super star was born then and to date no one has come anywhere near that super star though quite a few talents stole the hearts of football fans in the meantime. Neither Maradona was a rich man. He learnt his foot ball in the streets of Argentina. Probably that came to his help when he craftily pushed the ball into the goal using his hand at the quarter finals against England in Mexico ’86. Remember the famous "hand of God!" Unfortunately, I do not know much about the Kaiser though he happens to be president of the organizing committee of the hosts. But the Kaiser (Franz Beckenbauer) comes from an affluent country where we don’t see poverty as we see in Afro-Asian and Latin American Countries. And Kaiser is definitely a loveable sports personality.

There are moments in a football game that can be cherished for a lifetime. Remember that second goal, just four minutes after "the hand of God" goal by Diego Armando Maradona! Maradona took the ball in the midfield, tackled four defenders dexterously with great speed, unimaginable speed indeed, and that too combined with great dexterity, and sent the ball into the goal. I was a young man at that time. My joy knew no bounds at that time. Whenever I recall that moment I become young and hopeful. The mind dances with abandon and we are happy that we exist. Let the philosophers break their head trying to figure out the meaning of life. The meaning of life is here.

No other tournament is awaited with such enthusiasm and expectation. Newspapers, magazines and television channels have started bringing out features about the tournament 60 days before the start of the finals. There are retrospectives, features about various teams, their strong and weak points and even repetitions of the biographies of the football idols of yesteryear. Interviews of Pele, Maradona, Kaiser, and various coaches are being published. In India a sports magazine has given an exclusive column named "the kaiserspeak." Now making the world cup tournament a great entertainer depends upon the teams, the players, the referees, the press, the television channels, sports correspondents, the organizers and last but not the least the spectators at the stadium.

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World Cup Football—The Greatest Show on Earth
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