THE TRINITY OF SOCCER
Within the span of three world cup games in 1986, one Diego Maradonna of
Glimpses of what Zidane can do with the ball were on show against
His skills are not alien to us but every time he conjures magic we are left spellbound, for he makes us believe how absurd playing football can be. With a ballerina’s shift he ensures the ball lands gently kissing his feet. As if on a spinning top he ruses gracefully evading the tackles. His pirouettes leaves opponents confronting thin air in awed appreciation filled with jealousy. One can imagine the pressure his strolls put on the defenders. Even walking on water he makes light of the situation making mockery of the opponent’s strategy with consummate ease as he manages a great ball for the on rushers.
A sort of collective amnesia strikes mankind and even though trying to hate Zidane they end up praising the sheer genius of his even at the sub conscious level. Zidane is a connoisseur’s delight since style of performance has counted something. Football is all about the flair, the invention, the beauty and the aesthetic appeal and Zidane’s game screams out loud these virtues. With every twist and shimmy, every duck of the shoulder and cleverly chipped pass, he orchestrated the magical moment in Euro Cup 2000. These were the all too rare moments when sport relegates above the normal earthly pastures to the realm of celestial.
Though this world cup boasted of so many superstars the real stars could surely be counted in the fingers of a hand excluding the goalkeepers. This world cup had flattened the globe for once as day or night seemed to be of little consequence. The finals cried for a star like Zidane to adorn the cup. How incredible has been this resurrection, for aging athletes do not abruptly reassume their powers. To top it the entire feat was conjured after he had hung up his boots propounding the fading skills. How ironic, for like an aging culture restorer he revitalized himself to stage football as the greatest game ever. The virtuoso performance by him will be long etched in the memory as the stage is being set to adieu the game’s one of the most celebrated player.
Surely, many will agree with me that the celebrated duo of the football fraternity awaits a worthy campaigner. Let Zizou wreck havoc in last of his few matches; let Zizou get a farewell befitting his work. Infallibly, Zizou can be put at the top of the pedestal alongside the likes of Pele and Maradonna.
P.S. This article was written before the semifinals.