Around a dozen years ago, cable TV had just arrived. STAR Sports was doing a feature on great goals. A short, stocky chap had just got the ball, and what followed was pure magic. He sidestepped not one, not two, but five opposition players, and tonked the ball into the goal setting off celebrations in his camp. And a young lad who would later head south to a town made famous by the cigar smoked by the victim in the Holmes' mystery "A Study in Scarlet" became a fan for life. Maradona had just scored the 'Goal of the Century' (actually 8 years earlier, but my frame of reference begins from the day of the STAR Sports feature).
Since then, the kid in question has been closely following the fortunes of the country otherwise famous only for the Falklands war and sensational captures of former Nazis. He saw Maradona getting chucked out for doping (a pity actually), and then the team's fluctuating fortunes, peaking with the form of Batistuta (and his two hat-tricks) and reaching a nadir in Korea with them getting knocked out courtesy a goal from the worse half of the affluent fifth of a famous all-girl band.
And now the World Cup is here again. And the nation is question is playing pretty well... in fact all the favorites are playing pretty well... good enough to win, at least! Which brings me to the topic.
Flashback to Argentina vs Serbia & Montenegro. The score is 3-0, and 75 minutes are up. A young lad touted as the next Maradona enters. 13 minutes later, the scoreline reads 6-0. Coincidence? The kid scores one, sets another up, and the whole team start playing like gods.
I've caught just a few glimpses of the kid at this Cup, but having seen him in some Barca matches (which I watch whenever I'm at home), I for one believe he will be the next big thing in football. He is the Messi-ah!!
Brazil may be the favorites, and most people may be supporting them too (no offence meant, but this may be because of lack of knowledge or due to sheep instinct, who knows), but I'm all for Argentina (and have been since I don't remember when). Go Argentina!!
p.s. My heart may be with Argentina, but I'd place my money on Brazil. Cheers to the World Cup!!