I have been terribly busy over the last month and a half, which partially explains the lack of any posts for a while. Having officially resigned, I have been put into a project which is taking its own sweet time to get over, and I am working late nights to be able to finish the project and get out of this company. Which, as you can tell, by the sense of frustration creeping into this post, has not happened as of yet. It might take another week, or another two weeks, but the flip side is that they cannot keep me after 3rd July. When I will be free. Free as a bird. Or at least something close to it. Till then, the World Cup, and Argentina's performance, will keep me sane.
I am in love. Been in love for the last 20 years, and the love surfaces every four years. While I have fallen in and out of love many times since, this love story stood the test of time. It is this story I am telling you about now.
I fell in love with Argentina during the build up to the Italia 1990. As a 7 year old, it was my first time watching and reading about football. I didn't remember anything of the 1986 World Cup, and there was not much club football to be viewed in those pre-ESPN days. So well, DD had a number of programs as built up to the Italia 1990, and it was in them that I saw clips of the 1986 World Cup. And it was that goal, I guess which hooked me to the legend of Maradona. I was sure he was someone special, and I knew which team to support in Italia 1990.
And what a tournament it was! History records it as the worst tournament ever, dominated by defenses and bad fouls. But if you were a 7 year old falling in love with football in general and the best team in general, it did not matter. All I knew was that Maradona and Argentina were my team and I was going to support them, no matter what. Which is why, the first match of Italia 1990, which was probably the first World Cup match I remember seeing, was such a shock. A team, from the unheard country of Cameroon, beat Argentina 1-0. I was crying after the result, and remember asking my relatives if Argentina had any chance to qualify. They did qualify. And a love affair started - along with a run to the final, during which they defeated Brazil and Italy among others - two teams I have never really ever liked. Only for the run to be ended by a ridiculous referee in the final. A false penalty given, and Argentina and Maradona were condemned to finish second. But I knew who were my number one.
The love story has endured over the past 20 years now, and it has been a source of more sorrow than joy. Second round in 1994, quarter final in 1998 and 2006, while failure to reach the second round in 2002 are not just the results you expect from the Argentines. Which is why I believe the time has come for payback. Messi and co., you owe me that much for supporting you through thick and thin. All you need to do is to win the World Cup. Beating Brazil and Italy again in the process would be just a bonus.