Of the love for football, Kolkata and a lot more

India has always been a frenzied nation, be it politics, entertainment and even sports. While the prospect of India playing the World Cup in the future remains a distant dream, it doesn’t, in any way stop its people from celebrating one of the biggest sporting events in the world.

Kolkata has always been a football-loving place and the impact of the World Cup is tremendously felt if one takes a walk through the many lanes and by-lanes of the city. Soaring high above almost every lane is an Argentina or Brazil flag and one can feel the exuberance of the crowd when the decibel levels go up every time either a Lionel Messi or a Neymar Jr hits the back of the net.

Such is the jubilance of the people in this city! News Sense ventured through some streets in North Kolkata where young boys from the Agnishikha Club in Garanhata Lane lined up in Brazil and Portugal shirts and even though the latter led by an icon in Ronaldo has already been knocked out, the fire in their hearts are still going strong.

“Every year, we come up with these huge flags because it gives us joy and nothing else. Here, we have supporters of Brazil, Argentina, Portugal and many other teams. We enjoy the game!” said Arindam Dey, a resident of that locality who rooted for Portugal in the ongoing World Cup.

An entire locality was designed in Brazil’s colours. Small green and yellow flags flew graciously in the blue sky above and life-size cutouts of Brazilian stars in the form of Marcelo, Neymar and Thiago Silva adorned the road, which had yellow imprints on it as well. Speaking about this frenzied fan-following, a Brazil fan named, Abhishek Dey said “The World Cup is something so very different from everything else. We watch club football but the World Cup gives a different feeling.”

He mesmerized the small crowd gathered there with his dribbling skills-just beside a huge poster of Neymar Jr. Needless to say, this was hero worship at its best. His idol does it on the field and he is trying to emulate that very role in the dingy lanes of Kolkata. Talk of love for the game!

Amidst all their support for the teams participating in the ongoing World Cup, there lay in them-a concrete belief in the fact that India too would play the tournament someday. “Probably 10-12 years down the line, but it will happen one day,” said one.

Russia might be the place for the world’s biggest footballing extravaganza but Kolkata, in its capacity, has held the same spirit of the game in all these years and their undying love for the game teaches a lesson or two about life itself-just as the famous Brazilian icon Ronaldinho had said, “I learned all about life with a ball at my feet.”