Saturday, November 26, 2005

Supermen of Soccer...

Sometime after the 1990 World Cup, DD started a series called "Supermen of Soccer"hosted by Naresh Kumar (former Davis Cupper, and non-playing Captain of the team during the early 90s). It was fun for a soccer crazy 10 year old to watch footage of greats like Pele, Eusebio, and Maradona, among others. And mind you, this was before the cable tv revolution.

I'd religiously stay up till 11pm just to watch that show - those were the days when I needed "special permission" to stay up. Achan also used to record the show and I think we still have the tapes back home. The tricks of the trade demonstrated very ably by the stars would be put into use that week during the PT period, with "Maradona" pitting his wits against "Yashin" - a showdown which might have had soccer aficionados licking their lips with anticipation (ah the cliches!). It's amazing how as kids we imagined ourselves to be cricket/soccer stars transcending time and entering the arena!

One of the shows put George Best under the scanner, and it was interesting to hear that he was considered the star of his days - a time which also had Pele (approaching the sunset of his career), Cryuff and Beckenbauer. The impish/boyish charm sure had its effect on the British gals - little wonder that he was sometimes called the "Fifth Beatle". It was nice to see his life being celebrated as he passed, but then everyone's thoughts invariably went back to think of what he could have been if he had just not squandered his talents away. For every Bobby Charlton (arguably England's best IMHO), there's a George Best.

For every Pele, there's a Garrincha. Garrincha was one of the most amazing dribblers in the game, and I'd probably say that Pele might not have been as great a player had Garrincha (among others) been on the feeding line. But then, he too went 'wrong' somewhere, lost among the booze and the babes, dying a pauper on the streets of Rio. Came across a nice tribute to him on Rediff (written last year).

Maradona's done enough to see the 'other side', but thankfully he's on the mend and doing quite well. Atleast he had the decency to finally admit that the goal he initially attributed to God's hand was actually that of a mere mortal's! The England-Argentina match of 1986 is remembered more for the goal that wasnt, than for the goal that was sheer brilliance (I'm at a loss of words to describe what exactly it was!).

Ah nostalgia....all thanks to Georgie boy.....so long, and thanks for all the memories...RIP!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh Oh not again...That maradona goal( not the hand of goal, the other one, which he dribbles and scores) is the most over-rated goal in history..just check out the defenders around him, they just allow him to waltz by, if something like that had happened in present time, the second defender would have hacked him. Honestly the Owen solo agnst Argentina and Giggs run agnst Arsenal were much much better.

Maradona was just allowed to score it...

Abhilash said...

hey bala nice blog

staying in the same thread, George best was(forget his talent) amongst the most prudish pricks the game has ever seen. He once reportedly said "If i had been born ugly, the world would have not heard of pele" (There was a piece in the sportstar on him this week)

Anonymous said...

So says someone who has never seen Best or for that matter, Pele or Garrincha play. STFU!

ravi said...

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