Once every four years, I get super excited by one event - the FIFA World Cup. I still vividly remember the first live World Cup final match that I watched on tv 16 years ago. The year: 1994. The venue: US. The teams: Brazil vs. Italy.
It was a school night (wee hours of Monday morning if I remember correctly) so there was no way I could watch the entire match live. So I went to bed, woke up the next morning and switched on the tv. The match was at its climax, the part when they had to decide the winning team using penalty shootouts as the score remained 0-0 even after extra time. I watched nervously and each player took his turn. One penalty shoot after another, the score was still even. On Italy’s fourth attempt, Daniele Massaro missed the penalty. My hard raced. Would this mean Brazil was going to win? Brazil’s captain Dunga took over the spot. With a swift move, his right foot hit the ball and it went straight pass the keeper into the net. Then Roberto Baggio, Italy’s star player, took his turn. He was under enormous pressure, Brazil was already leading at 3-2. His ponytailed hair bounced as he took a long run towards the dead ball. He kicked hard, a little too hard that the ball went flying over the goal post into the crowd. Brazil was the champion!
Throughout the years I’ve enjoyed watching World Cup, I’ve never had a problem to choose which team to support. It has always been Brazil. From Romario to Ronaldo to Ronaldinho, Brazillian men never fail to impress me with their skills on the pitch. But this year, I’m slightly divided. I don’t have any favorite in Brazil’s team anymore, my current favorite is Lionel Messi of Argentina (mostly because he’s also the star player of FC Barcelona). I’ve also been learning Spanish language and culture for a while now, so Spain is close to heart. And I just got home from South Korea with Park Jisung’s jersey as my memento. So which team to support now?
Do I keep supporting Brazil?
Or should I choose you and go for Argentina?
Or do I now support you and South Korea, living the spirit of Asia?
Ahh.. decisions.. decisions..
I’ve added Y! Sports special page on World Cup to my favorites. I think it’s the best website to keep updated with the latest news, scores and standings. And that’s about the only variation to my life this World Cup. Gone were the days I used to change my Y! Messenger skin to something World Cup themed. No more Ronaldinho’s bucked-tooth face smiling on my wallpaper. Not going to download all the cool football ads on Nike and Adidas websites. Not buying Hotlink prepaid cards with different pics of football players or forcing anyone to do so and give the card to me after topping up. Nope, I’m no longer into all that hype. All I want is to watch the matches live on tv.
A video of the penalty shootout in 1994 final match. I can watch this again and again and never get bored. So nostalgic!
Let’s kick-off the party!