A friend once asked me why I like so much watching 22 half naked man chasing after the same small round object on a field? Well I think any answer won't satisfy this chair-leg (kaki bangku) type of person. The first ever World Cup final I watched was great. Watching the likes of Rumenigge, Matthaus, Toni Schumacher and co. lost to Maradona, Burruchaga, Pumpido and co. in the final of World Cup 1986 has sparked my keen interest in football in general and the German team in particular.
That same feeling was also there since I started going to "stadium keramat" Stadium Sultan Mohd ke 4 since my primary schooldays. It was an unforgettable experience to be part of the crowd witnessing the great Kelantan team with the likes of Hashim Mustapha, Marko Kraljevic, Boonphop Praphut, Zahasmi Ismail, Dalini Dali and so many more great players mesmerizing the crowds and in some other times playing not so great.
Back to the future in 2010 my interest to the game is still the same if not more. It has also spilled over to my kids though their heroes now are the likes of Lampard, Torres, Kaka and Messi. So what has World Cup 2010 given to us? It has certainly change our time zone for a month. Transforming us to be lively (mata celik) like Batman after midnight and looks like zombie kampung pisang in the morning (also in court).
On the good side, now some us know that we actually can wake up for tahajjud, albeit it started as jabulani tahajjud but of course we can upgrade it to a real tahajjud after the world cup. It also helps to ensure some of us to pray subuh prayer on time (a.s.a.p once we hear azan) as compared to mammoth or godzilla or "ngam-ngam" subuh prayer time. Its also good to see some non-football fans started to talk and eat football, although majority unsurprisingly decided to support Spain or at least Holland. We can call them "mee segera" fans or "lalang" fans.
There are some annoying and irritating features in the World Cup. Firstly, is definitely the "sakitkan telinga dan hati" vuvuzela that made me watch games in a low volume mode to prevent my ears from any damage. Secondly, the belief that many (Muslims included) had put on an ordinary octopus named Paul. This "sotong" shouldn't have been so popular as he correctly predicted most of the games as it actually choses which flag which is brighter in colour (this theory I do believe).
Thirdly, was the way some referees showing cards for contacts that weren't fouls. They should be refereeing chess or monopoly if they continue to do that. Also, I view some negativities like simulations to earn penalty (David Villa of all people did it v Paraguay), play-acting (remember Rivaldo 2002 v Turkey?) and wrestling or kungfu style football (De Jong landing a beautiful front thrust kick on Xabi Alonso).
But let's not forget i't is still a beautiful game to watch. Although the Germans are refreshing with the exuberance of youth and so un-Germans that they play like Brazillians (old Brazillians actually). England are still as boring and overrated as ever (goal line technology won't help to win the World Cup). And it is nice to see some non-favorite teams like Uruguay, Ghana and Paraguay emerged to give a breath of fresh air to the usual suspects.
Learning from Spain's win, we can learn that patience, organisation, team work and persistence works and the reward is the cup itself. We also learn to be dirty or ultra agressive like Felipo Melo and Mark van Bommel doesn't work. Furthermore, poster boys like Ronaldo, Rooney, Kaka and the like normally will succumb to pressure and will not perform on the big stage. Teamwork as evidence in Spain, Germany and Uruguay is a far more potent weapon than individual flair and talent as what happened to mighty Argentina, Brazil and England.
Well, the World Cup 2010 has been a great experience and come Brazil 2014, may the best team with the best performance and attitude win the game. As for football fans, stay loyal with your team be it the not so great anymore Brazil, the exciting Germany, the old England or even the super efficient (and boring) Spain. Don't be a frog. It's politically and morally wrong. Wassalam.