Category Archives: world cup

On football…

GreatBong has a ball remembering Maradona, and that’s my abiding image of World Cup football as well:

Blame this on the way I was initiated into soccer—my first idol was the greatest dribbler, mid-field general and larger-than-life character of the modern football game: the indubitablly God-like Maradonna. There has never been one player who has dominated a tournament so much as Maradonna did the 1986 World Cup. This man was everywhere, defending behind Neri Pompido (the Argentine keeper), splitting defences with his precise through-balls to the feet of Burruchaga and Valdano and then, sometimes, just to show that he was the greatest, running through defences like an unstoppable juggernaut, caring little for the expectant Argentine forwards.

My abiding memories of him would be his inspired run through the legendary Belgium defence—dribbling like a maniac, the Belgians tripping and shoving and Maradonna maintaining his balance all through (the man could not usually be brought down unless he wanted to), his drawing three Brazilan defenders away and giving Claudio Cannigia a pass in front of goal (this was in the 1990 World Cup where Brazil dominated the match throughout but were undone by this bit of magic at the very end) and of course his Hand of God goal and the blitzkrieging run through the English defence that followed “that” goal. Not only his football but everything about this man was dramatic: his hand and facial gestures at the referee, his exaggerated “dives”—something he did with greater frequency as he got older and his out-of-control off-field activities (drugs and mafia connections).

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Bongs in the world cup 2006

This is a hilarious email I recieved. Non-Bongs please excuse…the humor is truly Bong !

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Yesterday history of sorts was made when Vikash Dhorasoo of France becamethe first player of Indian origin to play in the finals. And he almost got France the winner. Well, Dhorasoomay be the only Indian in fray, but there are a lot of Bengalis in action. Firstly, there is another French player,Louis Saha, related to Meghnad.

However, a few players from the famous Sen family are playing, like Jan Sen of Germany and Ol Sen of USA. England'sgoalkeeper, however, spells his name SON instead of Sen, but he was Robin Sen to begin with. Lot of Bongs are playing under nick-names, especially for African teams. Togo's goalkeeper is Kossi Agassa, which in Chittagongese means fledgling weed. Another African nation, Ghana, has our own Sri
Shiladitya, who has Africanised his name to Illiasu Shilla.
Ghana also has Gyan.
Then there is Kali playing for Angola. I remember 35 years ago a midfielder called Kali BabuSharma playing for the big clubs in Calcutta-Angola's Kali must be a relative. Then Ivory Coast has Boka, whose full name need not be mentioned, but the second part starts with 'C' and ends with'a'.
Kalou of Ivory Coast hails from Phuliya. Ivory Coast also has Bakary Kone, who once lived in the corner of Lord's bakery. European teams havetheir Bongs, too.
That small boy is playing for Germany, in fact he is the captain. Balak is his name, now Germanized to Ballack. Then there is that super strong player for Croatia, Balaban. Then there is Manish Ray of Portugal, now called Maniche Rai. Spain has a Bong who is very lazy andnever hits the ball – Marche na.
Some Bong players are using their family names. Dear Kaka scored a great goal for Brazil yesterday. Brazil's goalie is Dida, obviously breaking the gender bias (and the age barrier). Brazil of course broke this gender bias long ago, when they fielded Didi in the 50s and early 60s. That player has now retired from football and returnedtoBengal as a political leader of Trinamool Congress.
Then Togo has a strange player who is also using a family name, or two, to be exact. These are Mashi and Mesho, and the player is very, very fit or 'changa'. The namehasbeen Africanised to Massamesso Tchangai – an 'Ordho-Narishwar' sort of player. Tunisia has another player who is obviously Bong and obviously suffering from that dreaded Bong disease of 'amasha'. He now calls himself Karim Haggui.