Blues of An Overly-attached Fanatic As The World Cup Ended

The World Cup 2014 became a much loved topic these past few weeks by different news portals, sports channels, online forums, and chats — thanks to its millions of fans across the world who supported, including you.

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                  Photo Credits: www.richliebermanreport.blogspot.com and www.people.com

 

You felt sorry for Spain in the 2010 World Cup Spain for their early elimination after that painful 5-1 loss from Netherlands, and the failure to redeem themselves in their game versus Chile (2-0). The pressure of delivering great games is always on the shoulders of the defending champion in any sports.

You became bewildered over the inappropriate action of Uruguay striker Luis Suarez against Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini. The controversial biting incident banned him from playing for four months and missing the rest of the World Cup.

You commended Tim Howard when he flaunted his exceptional abilities as a goalkeeper with his impressive 16 saves in a lone match, a record-breaker in the World Cup history. Even if they lost that match against Belgium (2-1), he earned the respect of everyone including Vincent Kompany, captain of their opposing team.

You acknowledged Miraslov Klose 16th World Cup goal in their semi-final match against Brazil, another record-breaker, placing him now on top of the World Cup scorers of all time.

You sympathized with Brazil’s devastating 7-1 loss especially that it happened in their homecourt. The hashtags #WorldCup #BRAvsGER in twitter made an all-time high of 35.6 Million tweets all about a single sports event.

You were amazed with those praiseworthy performances executed by star players, Thomas Müller James Rodriguez,Neymar Arjen Robben, Lionel Messi, and Ron Vlaar all in their respective games.

Your heart skipped a beat when Germany’s substitute player Mario Götze made a goal at 113’ of the extra time obliterating the 0-0 deadlock of the finals and sealed the fourth title for Germany.

You were a witness to this year’s story-filled World Cup.

You were there too when the final whistle of the last match ended the month-long tournament.

What now? What will you do next? Just as when you are at the top of your exhilaration then suddenly the World Cup ends. You don’t know what to feel or think of the subsequent events anymore.

You might go through these like the stages of loss and grief by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross though in a comical and light-hearted way.

Denial

“No, it’s not yet done.” you firmly convince yourself. You Google updates and find it a bit difficult to accept the fact that everything is over. You would check the timeline and trending World Cup topics in twitter to relive the matches most talked about imagining like it just ended few seconds ago. You get excited for a particular hour of the day when games are scheduled then when that hour arrives; there is different show on the TV station or no more livestream connection from the link you bookmarked in your browser. It will definitely be hard at first.

Anger

It’s irritating if you lost a few bucks after losing against buddies over another faulty game prediction. You might have been upset too knowing that some matches will have different results only if this or that player/team did or did not execute what they should or should not. Well, we will always have our own beloved team, and will always have the tendency to play favorites no matter how good the other contenders are. It’s crossing too if the team we promised to love forever lost to a ”lesser” squad ,or was eliminated too early failing to meet in the round we expected them to finish.

Bargaining

Have you ever missed a match or turned off the TV predicting the game will go nil-to-nil, only to read the news articles later that goals were nailed at extra time or kick-offs? Or maybe you’re from a different time zone, but failed to wake up in the ungodly hours and missed the game? When things like this happen, don’t you just wish that time can turn back itself for you to be able to watch that epic game you missed? Although there are available replays and highlights online or on different sports channels, nothing beats the excitement of not knowing what the match result will be.

Depression

Questions of missing the World Cup begin: “When is the next World Cup? How long will be the waiting time? Four years? Four long years? That’s like an eternity?!” Counting down another 1460 days before the opening ceremony of World Cup 2018 is unacceptable. Unfortunately for a sports or a football aficionado, you have to bear with this.

Warning: The denial, anger, bargaining, and depression may persist depending on the depth of your attachment or to how much anticipation you poured to this event as compared to other fans. Of course, it varies.

Acceptance

Finally, after weeks of emotional turmoil brought by your attachment to the biggest football event of the year, you can slowly go back to your normal life. The adrenaline of excitement subdues and your inner sports fanatic waits for another sporting event to fanboy/fangirl over (Premier League will resume in August). You can proceed to your daily routine without being interrupted, and thoughts of the World Cup need not plague your mind. (Except for the occasions when something or someone makes you reminisce those thrilling moments.) Acceptance will happen naturally for you can’t hold on to something that is not in your life anymore. Get over it.

Worry not if those who aren’t football fans find you weird and silly for behaving in such manner. Never will they understand how it feels like to undergo that World Cup Blues if they didn’t experience its bliss in the first place. However, as much as possible, help yourself to conquer these blues, just like how you move on with life after important things or people leave. *sob*See you again at the World Cup 2018 in Russia!

 

Pele, The World’s Greatest Soccer Player

There are many famous soccer players in the world such as Ronaldo and Garrincha from France, Maradona and Di Stefano from Argentina, Zidane from France, Eusebio from Portugal, Puskas from Hungary, Cruyff from Netherlands, and Beckenbauer from Germany. Of all these names, there is one player that stands out from the rest – Edison Arantes do Nascimento. Known by many as Pele, he is considered by many as the greatest soccer player in the history of soccer.

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It seems that God brought me to Earth with a mission to play soccer” – Pele

 

The Early Years

Edison Arantes do Nascimento, aka Dico, was born on October 23, 1940 in Tres Coracoes, Brazil to Joao Ramos and Dona Celeste. His father, Joao Ramos also known as Dondinho, was a local professional soccer player. Like most people, Dico grew up in poverty, but this did not hinder him from exemplifying his talent for soccer. Growing up, he would play by kicking rolled-up socks filled with rags. His friends gave his nickname, “Pele” – a name he despised and did not know why he was called as such.

In his adolescent years, Valdemar de Brito, a youth squad coach and former World Cup player, discovered his talent and convinced him to try out for Santos, a midlevel club team in Brazil. During his time at Santos, he scored 32 goals in his first full season. Because of this, he was selected for Brazil’s 1958 World Cup at the age of 17.

He made his debut in the match against Sweden in 1958. It was Pele’s goal that helped Brazil win past Wales, and made him the youngest player to score a goal in the history of World Cup. 

 

A National Treasure

Pele received enormous amounts of offers from European teams. He also received a million dollar offer from Inter Milan of Italy. This prompted Brazil’s president, Janio Quadros, to declare Pele as a “National Treasure” to make it hard for him to join other teams.

In his 22 years of playing professional soccer, he scored 1,281 goals in 1,363 games. He was also the highest paid team-sport athlete with an estimated annual income of $150,000. He was the most famous soccer player in his time, even the Shah of Iran waited three hours to speak with him. His name also came in the list of the most popular brands in Europe, just one rank behind Coca-Cola.

Like most players, his entire soccer career wasn’t smooth. There were bumps along the road, and he suffered massive injuries while playing soccer. In the 1962 tournament in Chile, he sustained a groin injury, but still managed to score a goal in a 2-0 win against Mexico. He tried to hide his injury; however, during the second match against Czechoslovakia, his injury got worse and he was forced to sit out in the final rounds. In his return to the world stage in England, he sustained leg injuries from attacks by defenders of the opposing team, which forced him to be side lined for the rest of the tournament.

Despite his injuries, his legacy continued to grow. In the 1960’s, a two-day truce was declared between Nigeria and Biafra’s war so they could watch him play. In the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, Pele scored 4 goals in the tournament, and Brazil won over Italy. This tournament marked Pele and Brazil’s triumphant return.

 

New York Cosmos

In 1974, Pele announced his retirement from soccer. However, Clive Toye, Cosmos’ general manager encouraged him to go back to the field. He said, “I told him don’t go to Italy, don’t go to Spain, all you can do is win a championship. Come to the U.S. and you can win a country.” He signed a 2.8 million dollar, 3-year contract with the Cosmos. His presence in the Cosmos helped make NASL an attraction. In 1977, he played his final game in an exhibition game between Cosmos and Santos. In a speech he made before the fans, Pele asked the crowd to pay more attention to the children of the world.

 

The Legacy Continues

Despite his retirement, Pele’s legacy continues. Pele is considered an inspiration to most people, especially the poor. Journalist Joao Luiz de Albuquerque said, “He was the light at the end of the tunnel. All the poor said, hey, this guy made it, I can make it. He brought the rest of Brazil with him.” In 1978, he was awarded the International Peace Award from UNICEF because of his extensive work in advancing children’s causes. In 1999, he was given the title, “Hero of the Century” by Time Magazine. FIFA named him as the “Player of the Century” in 2000. The title, “O Rei de Futbol” (The King of Football) was given to him by the International Olympic Committee, and last January 2014, he received the FIFA Ballon d’Or Prix d’Honneur award.