I picked up my phone one boring day and I thought about writing something on what sealed my love for football, don’t get me wrong I would have loved the sport regardless but seeing this football wizard back then ensured I put no sport above soccer. I was supposed to post the article on that very day the thought of writing it crept in and as I hit the publish button it showed loading only for it to show error posting article. I was going to re-post it and I could not find the post again. I was livid and abandoned it till today.
I had seen a lot of football games and an unquantifiable amount of fantastic footballers before I caught a glimpse of this short man. Please pardon me I always call people I am taller than short even if its by half an inch (I always get bullied or intimidated with height at home too). The first time I saw him play was on the 20th of June, 1994 and I clearly remember it was a Monday night. The little man was playing for Brazil in their first group game of the U.S.A ’94 World Cup against Russia. I had school the next day and it was past my bed time like they always said back then but I had a very understanding mum who knew my love for the sport was second to what I had for her (rest on mom). He was their main striker and he got one of the goals in their 2-0 victory over the Russians.
I couldn’t wait to watch Brazil’s next game, I had found a team to roll with at the tournament. Despite Nigeria’s participation and my young age I knew the Super Eagles had no chance of winning the tourney so why not pitch my tent with potential winners? Brazil was up against Cameroon in their next group game and they made mince meat of the Central Africans beating them 3-0 and the Little Devil was amongst the scorers again. I wasn’t disappointed one bit by his performance. The second game was played on a Friday night and couldn’t wait to get to school on Monday to tell my friends I had dumped Rashidi Yekini as my best player and settled for this Short Genius. I even asked my bro Big Doz about this super talented player’s past and how come I hadn’t heard about him before the U.S ’94 World Cup.
Brazil went on to win the World Cup of 1994 all thanks to the Short One and he was awarded the golden ball of the tournament for his efforts. He was even named World Footballer of the year at the end of the year. The U.S.A ’94 World Cup has been the best I have seen till date because it’s the only World Cup tournament I have successfully predicted the winner from day 1, I saw majority of the games and I think it had the most talented bunch of players from Bebeto, Dunga, Ronald Koeman, Carlos Valderamma, Faustino Asprilla, Gheorge Hagi, Gheorge Popescu, Diego Maradona, Gabriel Batistuta, Claudio Cannigia, Roy Keane, Roberto Baggio, Franco Baresi, Danille Massaro, Dino Baggio, Jorge Campos, Fernando Hierro, Luis Enrique, Emmanuel Amunike, and George Finidi. I could go on but that’s story for another day.
Back to the crux of the post, my Little Devil was born on the 29th of January (he celebrates his birthday exactly a month after mine), 1966 and he played for a number of clubs most notably Barcelona, PSV Eindhoven, Flamengo, Vasco Da Gama and Valencia.
My favourite Brazilian is none other than Romario De Souza Faria whom for me is the best Brazilian footballer ever. Did I hear some say Pele? I never saw Pele play and I wouldn’t be washed by some black and white highlights on TV.
Thanks for your time guys. Stay blessed and watch out for this weekend’s EPL predictions from myself and my friends.
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