Yes I did cheat once, I confess. But I would be lying to myself if I fail to admit that the Canarinhos outwitted the Azzurris in that second round group match. Till date, that squad is regarded as one of the greatest teams in World Cup history even if they failed to win the trophy. If you want to know why, watch this video .
I bet any footie fan would be rendered speechless after watching this. As the football fans mourn the death of the great Brazilian skipper Socrates Oliveira, I can't help lamenting over that lost glory too. The Brazilians then had a way with the ball that transported the beholder to euphoric heights of pleasure as they weaved magic on field like that of an artist. That World Cup witnessed the holy union of skill and aesthetics. Had it not been for Paulo Rossi's hattrick, there was no doubt that Socrates and his men would have lifted the World Cup. But it's not always the best who wins; be it game or life.
I yell, I cry , I curse, all my pent-up emotions find their way out while I watch football. In the course of time, I have evolved, become biased, and at times my ardour for a particular team overpowers my solemn love for the game, making me turn a blind eye when my favourite team wins dirty. I can feel my love slowly metamorphosing into something less lofty.
Like a sepia-tinted photograph that takes us back through time, this video reminds me how football used to be once - an art in its purest form - where an artist renders beauty to life with his impromptu brush strokes. If football can be regarded a religion, I'd say the Brazilians' had the purest form of worship - a paean written in sweat, blood and tears. They did it with great ease like Giotto's O - without any theories, no calculations nor any number games. The kind of worship that makes us sigh over the sacrilegious game plans of the current era where managers resort to Sun Tzu-ian manoeuvre before heading for every battle.
Art has a strange way of making connection - from the creator to beholder through the creation. I can stare at a painting ponderingly for hours, listen again and again to the same music, and carry the weight of an author's soul even after I have shut the book. What then remains is beauty. And in the case of this 1982 Canarinho World Cup squad, that beauty fails to die, even after 29 years Socrates and his men made people fall in love with football. It's indeed a loss for me that I wasn't born then, but what hurts me even more is the longing for that glory. Not that I love Italy less, but that I love football more!