Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, June 10, 2010

RS Speaks

With the World Cup starting tomorrow, we've all contracted a major case of football fever. This week, we bring you a special issue dedicated to the world's favourite sport, with all the music, the magic, and the madness that grips even those who don't watch the games. Here at RS, we sat down to discuss who we will be rooting for, and of course, a conversation like this caused a lot of debate. While we're still fighting it out, check out what some of the members had to say, and a big shout out to the new team, which will be debuting this week.

While growing up I saw a drunkard of a Maradona and a fatso of a Ronaldo, our godly vessels of football, and that is maybe why I developed a bad taste for football (more like, learned to hate it). But then again, that would be sheer blasphemy from my part given the fact that I have never watched a match full-length. Therefore, it would surely look absurd, nay, highly stupid if I were to support a team in this World Cup when I cannot pick out either Messi or Kaka in a crowd of two.

I see no reason in choosing the Argentine flag for my building just because it is cheaper and also deny to choose the Brazillian green in the face of crazy fans who have decided that the wrongly coached Argentines stand no chance against the star studded Samba dancers (I disagree).

Then again, it would be wrong for me to choose one side, given that the only time I have played an actual match was, what, eons ago! And so, I leave the hard work of decision-making in the hands of the winner; the one who comes out of this maddening saga is my "future" team. GO WINNER!!!
By Eshpelin Mishtak


Ever since I was asked to write that football game review, I've been hooked on football. While the games are fun to watch and, most importantly, short enough for my attention-span-of-a-cat, it's the players that interest me more.

I had never really gotten into football, and then I laid eyes on Michael Ballack. And then the rest came parading out: Adam Johnson, Victor Valdes, Wayne Rooney, Joe Cole to name a few and it was addiction at first sight.

As for who I support in the coming football World Cup? It's still undecided, after much thought and inspection of the eye candy, I have narrowed it down to Germany, Spain and Sweden.

I suppose I should devote myself to Germany because of Ballack,(who isn't playing) but the other Greek-gods deserve attention too, don't they?

Actually, I'll be rooting for every hot guy that scores a goal.
By Musarrat Rahman


The teams people are betting on to win the World Cup are: Spain, Argentina, Brazil, France, Italy, Germany and England. Let's speculate which one of these high expected teams will be eliminated first. With a superb attacking force in the form of Villa, Torres, Fàbregas and Xavi, not to mention a balanced squad, Spain may be the team to beat this year. But I've always put them in the same category as South Africa in cricket: Chokers. They have so much expectation on them that it might just backfire. Same thing may happen to Argentina. Maradona might be one of the greatest players, but his ability to motivate the team by something other than pure emotion remains to be seen. How successful he will be if Messy is heavily guarded or even injured is a matter of debate, because a one-man army is after all a one-man army. So to me one of them will have a shocking exit. France doesn't deserve to qualify for the second round, 'nuff said. As to who will be the world champions, I think the crown will go to a new team this year, but the cup will stay in Europe. I place my bets on Netherlands. They sport vibrant orange colours for god's sake, enough to blind anyone.
By Ero Senin


Les Bleus all the way for me in this World Cup. Or at least until they get booted out in the first round (no pun intended). Not saying France was lucky last tournament, but they did have one of the greatest football gods with them Zinedine Zidane. He will be sorely missed. Having Thierry Henry and Franck Ribery up front helps, but Henry has to live with the guilt of the qualifying drama with Ireland throughout the tournament. Will it get to him, or will he prove his critics wrong and prove how good he is? Will Domenech's decision to leave out Nasri and Benzema turn out to be his worst yet? We'll have to wait and see.

If France does self-destruct in the first round, I'm rooting for Argentina and Messi magic. Without Zanetti, Cambiasso and Riquelme, how will Maradona coordinate midfield under pressure from Nigeria, South Korea, even Greece? Diego Millito and Messi will have to bear the brunt it seems. Or else everyone's current favourite Spain might just spirit the cup away. Good luck to them.
By Shaer Duita Fish Reaz


There's much to say about my strained relationship with sports. We we're introduced back when I was young and naïve: When I thought all girls liked pink and all boys liked girls. As of today, we're cool…at least, superficially: I don't get all awkward when my friends bring it up, I don't actively avoid crossing paths with it…and I try my best to not feel insecure when my friends choose sports over hanging out with me. But yeah, I'm not deaf. I have been hearing things lately. I hear its upto something big. Something in Africa. I'm trying to not think about it, you know, but its just so hard. Everywhere I go, there are all these songs about it; and all these commercials; and practically everyone's talking about it. I don't know, its like, noone cares about my feelings anymore. Strange how people sometimes act like nothing ever happened. Maybe I'm just paranoid, but its like, everyone is taking sides. But don't worry about me; I'll make it through. I always do, somehow.
By Nuhash Humayun


Four years of pride, joy, sorrow, happiness and every kind of emotions humanely possible comes to us in a neatly wrapped package of one month. No matter what happens in the rest of the 3 years and 11 months, nothing can beat this month of World Cup football. This is the greatest show on earth, with the greatest entertainers each country boasts. In this month, everything just makes sense. It's okay to pick fights with best friends over supporting a country you barely even know (apart from football, of course). It's okay to break TVs, throw snacks, chairs and basically anything you can get your hands on at the poor television. It's okay to make friends with complete strangers in streets just because they support the same team. It's okay to buy ridiculously proportioned flags with things like 'Messi the bessst' written on them. It's just okay. Because it's when the world lets you be free, it lets you feel alive. Even though after this month you end up feeling sad and out of place and are left with distorted sleep cycles, every single moment of it is absolutely worth it. Because there'll be so many years you have to cope without another World Cup that you have to savour every moment of pride and glory, and the torment and miseries. Because there's only a month you get for that to happen. Only one glorious, precious, brilliant month.
By Tasnima Haque Orin


“Apa, Ajjentena toh jitbei eibar, sheur kotha!” That was my tailor. Helplessly, I watch as he puts the white fabric into the sewing machine and attaches it to the blue. His ten-year-old assistant sneaks me a smile. He obviously seems to think otherwise, what with his lurid yellow shorts and lime green t-shirt loudly proclaiming 'Brazil the Best' across his tiny torso. The tailor goes back to sewing his flags, which he tells me, will keep him occupied until the end of the World Cup season.

Fuming, I walk out of his shop. Why is it that every Mofiz, Rofiz and their bhabi get so hyped up about football during the World Cup? I mean, the eye can only take that much of green and yellow. That too, in fluorescent shades. And after a while, you do feel compelled to demand that your neighbour removes their thirteenth custom-made Argentinean flag from the roof of the apartment so that you finally have space to hang up your laundry. It's torture, I tell you. As for me, I will be hibernating throughout the football season, for health and safety reasons, of course. Wake me up when it's over, guys. I hope England wins the Cup.
By Tahmida Zaman


To fill in the blanks on the sentence above, we must wait till 11 July 2010. Yet no team has more chances of lifting the coveted trophy at Soccer City than Spain or Brazil. The Spanish Armada arrives on the grand stage with probably the best team the world has seen since Pele's Brazil team won the World Cup a record three times. In front of a world class midfield of Xavi and Iniesta, Torres and Villa should thrive and make life difficult for any defence. Provided Iker Casillas turns up at his best form, it would become extremely difficult to bet against Spain.

Brazil is a perennial favourite of every World Cup and this time it's no different. In Kaka and Robinho, Brazil have players capable of unlocking even the formidable Spanish midfield. The precision of Fabiano, the aerial balls from Alves can terrorise any defence and Cesar is not a goalkeeper who lets the goals in. Lucio and Maicon provide the right armoury in the heart of Brazilian defence. Germany lacking a world-class midfielder, goalkeeper and strikers should be pathetic to watch. Italy, with most players past their prime shouldn't survive any longer than Germany. Argentina, England and Holland are teams that can make the semifinals but it is unlikely any of them will be in the final. Which team will triumph in the end? The team that score the most goals!
By Nayeem Islam


The FIFA World Cup is so close that I can almost smell the players' sweat. But the million dollar question is, is all the hype worth it? I don't think so. Now don't get me wrong, I love football as much as Maradona loved drugs back in the day, but I get the feeling the World Cup this time is not going to be the World Cup of the past which we all know and love.

The big money players this year have hardly played any international football at all. The international teams hardly play together. Brazil has lost its magical tough over football. They no long possess the firepower to decimate their opponents and dazzle the crowd. Argentina is highly unlikely to provide much entertainment this year. They had a lacklustre performance in the qualification stages. Others such as Italy, France, Netherlands are not promising a great deal of entertainment.

So don't expect much entertainment or drama this time around. But (yes their is a BUT) it is the World Cup, a place where possibilities are endless the miracles just keep on coming.
By Alvi Ahmed


There was hysteria when we last met. Abandoned soft drinks going flat, chips spilling onto the carpet, half-eaten chicken legs and pizza crusts idling away where we left them. There was a semi-circle of anguished faces looming expectantly over the TV. Did I even spot prayer beads? Entirely possible. And all the anticipation of the nation no, the entire FIFA world was hinged on that one goal, that one instant of soaring-football-meets-goalpost.

There was no method in this madness. This was just sheer, unadulterated football fever.

When it swung by, four years ago, every newspaper that I spied, every neighbourhood roadside that I ambled by, bore a stamp of the World Cup. Team flags fluttered in the barest of summer breezes. Conversations around school desks and café tables got heated. Passionate words were exchanged, fists slammed down for emphasis, and allegiances were swapped, picked, defended, abandoned. The air sizzled with the mania, the heady mix of fandom and obsession, and all of us knew the World Cup jingle by heart. Only here, football is an oblong, chocolate-coloured deal tossed around by men in helmets. Here, there is no mania. Only the sports magazines will grace the faces of soccer, will mention in passing the FIFA World Cup. And the American days will begin and end, happily oblivious.
By Shehtaz Huq



home | The Daily Star Home

2010 The Daily Star