Mumbai's football fans gear up for the FIFA World Cup final
It is different picks for getting their kicks, as Mumbai gets set for a footballing weekend like no other
For Alisha D'Mello who has watched almost all matches of the FIFA World Cup 2014, Sunday and Monday early morning is going to be a time when she is wide awake.
The Information Technology professional who has been rooting for Germany and Brazil says, “I wanted either Germany or Brazil to lift the cup. My dream is coming true somewhat as Germany is in the final. I will be watching Brazil and the Netherlands lock horns for third and fourth place as I want Brazil to win that match.”
Shouts and cheers
D’Mello’s father and uncle who are also football crazy fans like her will join in watching the matches. She adds, “I scream every time they have a near miss and every time they score. I am sure my neighbours get disturbed a lot but the football World Cup doesn’t come every day. I actually keep saying, ‘please, come on, move and run’ to the television in the hope that the team will listen to me.”
Lavina Talreja claims that she didn’t know much about football till this World Cup but now she has become a diehard fan. She says, “I started watching the game with friends and began to enjoy the way it is played. Now I have caught the football fever.”
Talreja will be cheering Germany as she says, “I like the way they play the game. Their 7-1 win over Brazil was a super display of football prowess. I will be watching the match with my friends in a sports bar. We have already reserved a table, as many people will be out watching the match in sports bars. Special offers for the final will make watching the match more exciting.”
Argentina all the way
South American teams have always won all the World Cups that have taken place in the Americas and this gives Mario Rebello hope that Argentina will beat Germany.
He says, “I am supporting Brazil in their match with the Netherlands and obviously Argentina in the final. Lionel Messi will be on the attack and perform his mesmerising magic as he tries to emulate Diego Maradona.”
Popcorn and juice have been stocked up in the Andheri resident’s house. He says, “I make popcorn to stay awake while the match is on. The finals and third-fourth place match will be an explosive contest and I will be watching it with my children. Specially, for the World Cup I bought a new high definition television and just like I’ve been screaming and shouting for every goal scored, I’ll do the same for these last two matches, too.”
Conroy Castelino is another Argentina fan and has been supporting the Messi-lead team from the start of the tournament. The hospitality professional says, “Argentina have played with passion and given their all which is why they are in the finals. Their captain Messi will lead from the front and take them all the way. He has been sensational and has proved to his critics why he is called a football god.”
With their faces painted in blue and white, wearing Argentina jerseys, Castelino and his friends plan to gather together at his house to watch the match. He says, “We are 15 people who will come together. Some friends like Germany and some like Argentina so whoever wins there will surely be a party.”
Set to celebrate
Messi and his great playing style have made Priya Lobo stay awake and watch all Argentina’s matches and the final will be no exception. The 24-year-old says, “The way Germany played and annihilated Brazil in the semi-finals makes me fear for Argentina. But then again Messi and his magic give me hope that they will lift the Cup.”
The Andheri resident who is very excited about the final will watch with her brother and cousins. She says, “We will be buying lots of chips and soft drinks of the brands that Messi endorses. What better way to celebrate than to go all out with Messi mania. My brother is supporting Germany but I know that Argentina will pull off a win.”
Lobo plans to celebrate by bursting crackers and posting pictures on social media congratulating Messi and the team. She adds, “When India wins their cricket matches, we burst crackers so if it doesn’t rain we’ll do the same when Argentina wins on Monday morning.”
Since the tournament kicked off Borivali resident, Savio Vaz has been confident that Messi and coach Alejandro Sabella will lead Argentina to the Cup.
He says, “Messi is my favourite player and so far in the tournament he has been on fire with four Man of the Match performances. I am confident that he will lead the team to a World Cup win. Mentally I am all set to celebrate and have bought my favourite chocolates to enjoy the win.”
Like Vaz, Naomi Gonsalves his friend is also cheering Argentina in the final. She says, “Sergio Agüero and Messi are the players I like. I am a huge Neymar and Brazil fan but now that they are out of contention, Argentina is my pick for the win.
I hope Argentina avenge the mauling of fellow South Americans, Brazil. On the day Brazil lost I was literally in tears, but on Monday I am hoping to kick-star my week by seeing Argentina beat Germany. To celebrate Brazil finishing third and Argentina lifting the cup, I am planning to eat my favourite ice cream after the finals.”
Gaga for a German win
Rohan Fadnis will be cheering Germany and he says, “I have a lucky seat where I will be sitting, for the full match. I will also be wearing this shirt that I have worn in the knock out stages and every time that Germany has played and won in this tournament. Interestingly, it is black and white — the German colours and so even though it sounds superstitious, I will wear it and watch the finals. I am sure we will be celebrating a German win.”
Anita Pandit is planning to wear the German team jersey and will be painting her nails black, yellow and red before the match. The 30-year-old software engineer says, “I have been rooting for Germany since the last World Cup in 2010. I know that this time they will win it for Miroslav Klose, who is playing his last World Cup. Like India won the cricket World Cup in 2011 for Sachin Tendulkar, Germany will do the same in football for Klose.”
Yohann Gomes has been won over by Manuel Neuer, the German goalkeeper. He says, “Neuer is a world class keeper and like the entire German team, he is a super act.
People keep talking about the scorers but Neuer has been instrumental in every German win. He will lead the team to a World Cup win thanks to his quality keeping.”
Borivali resident Brendon Pesso and his friends have been coming together to watch matches for the last month and will continue the trend on Sunday and Monday mornings.
The 21-year-old says, “Our screaming when a goal is scored makes my building watchman come up all the time to tell us not to make so much noise. So far this has happened a couple of times in the tournament. We will be watching the third and fourth place as well as the final.”
Food and drinks before and during the match keeps the spirits up for them as Pesso says, “I was rooting for the Netherlands but, after they failed to make the final, I am hoping they finish third. Germany is my team for the Cup. My friends and I sit and discuss the formation and the style that the footballers should play in. We even discuss the tactics, so it is almost like we are there in Brazil.”
At Jogeshwari’s Malcom Baug Parsi Colony Gymkhana the youngsters have been watching the entire tournament together and plan to continue till the final.
Zubin Patel who was a fanatic Brazilian fan till the thrashing in the semis by Germany says, “I will be cheering Brazil in their third and fourth place match hopefully they’ll win that one. In the final, I will just watch the game for the football and whoever wins I will be happy.”
Pizzas and cold drinks, which the group have bought with their contributions, in addition to a projector for the semis and final, are all in place. Patel says, “We invite all the residents of our colony and it is like a mini-party as we celebrate the beautiful game with its shots and spectacular play.”