Forget about writing, even visiting my favourite domain everyday reduced to far and few in between. It being July, this is shamefully my third post for the year. As much as possible, I try to keep updated with the current events around me, but when it comes to putting my thoughts here, it is just not happening.
Every once in four years (not leap years) is the time when the whole world is gripped with high fever around one ball!!!FIFA fever is reaching its final stages with just the semi-finals and finals remaining. I will miss the liveliness, action, the noise that surrounds the whole stadium filled with fans dressed in the jerseys of their respective teams. Mine is not high fever which means that I stay awake to watch the matches that take place close to midnight (IST). I will miss the time slot from 7:30 to 9:30 PM for some days to come after July 15th. I am just another layperson, whose interest in football matches is aroused just to watch world cup matches. But this time, I found myself following it with little more interest than before. The difference from previous years is that I learnt the names of couple of more players and some terms or words that are used. This world cup has thrown up whole lot of surprises compared to previous years. This has been the year of underdogs reaching the quarterfinals, and the usual favourites ousted before the quarterfinals!
I started to watch the matches before the pre-quarters sacrificing my evening walks. While most of the Asian countries were out before the pre-quarters, South Korea surprised us by beating the Germany, the defending champions. Notable was that Koreans scored the 2 goals during the extra time, especially the 2nd one was scored when there was no goalkeeper to defend it!! Though S Korea did not advance further, it was a memorable match for them. The simple vocabulary like dribble, header, pass made more sense to me this time. Depending on the teams, some matches were more exciting. The much awaited France-Argentina match turned out to be a big disappointment for the Argentenian fans, but the team France is young and in 20s, whereas the whole of Argentina is known by Messi only and also in 30s. The speed of France was way ahead and Argentina just could not match them and crumbled easily. The pre-quarter match between Spain and Russia was another impressive one in which the hometown shot to quarterfinals beating Spain in a thrilling penalty shootout where the Russian goalkeeper stopped the last goal by kicking out in a style and thus becoming the hero. As I write this, Croatia beat Russia in a thrilling penalty shootout, but Russia has succeeded winning my heart. Some can call it hometown advantage though! Every quarterfinal match was full of drama and action except the Sweden-England one which was comparatively a tame affair! All the favorite teams and names like Messi, Neymar, Suarez, Ronaldo were sent packing home before semi-finals. As I am not a crazy fan of any of these countries, each match is full entertainment for me. Whenever my husband switches the channel to watch the Wimbledon matches, I feel it is all so quiet in Wimbledon stadium compared to the noise and action in Russian stadium. I just could not bear the silence here :) . Let the best team win and not the favorite ones, only if the matches are fixed! This world cup has proved it beyond words! I instinctively feel that France may lift the FIFA 2018 trophy. Until then, happy snacking, shouting, cheering, watching! After July 15th, we will miss the action that happens after 7:30 PM (IST).