TODAY -

E-Pao! EI - Spirits of football

.:: S P I R I T S O F F O O T B A L L ::.

By: James Vaiphei *


The awaited four years " Spirits of football" World Cup is just a head of us , which will begin from 9th June 2006 in Germany .Thirty-two teams from across the globe make up the field for the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ finals.

Six continents are represented and six past winners will take part, including hosts Germany, who head the 14-strong European contingent, and holders Brazil who lead the South American challenge. For the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, the FIFA TSG (Technical Study Group) will be made up of 12 internationally-renowned coaches and each of the 64 games will be observed by two TSG members.

The TSG will also be responsible for the nominations for various awards such as the Budweiser Man of the Match and the Golden Shoe winner. In addition the TSG will compile a list of outstanding players from which journalists will ultimately choose the Player of the Tournament. There is a new award for the Gillette Best Young Player, to be selected from a shortlist of six drawn up after the semi-finals.

My World Cup Memories started from 1990 at Italy, 8 June - 8 July 1990.I was in 4th Standard, young to remember much about the football. Those days in Imphal there was hardly TV, so we got a small Black and white TV all the match where broadcast in Doordarshan, the matches will start like mid-night.

Friends and family will be waiting for the match with maggi noodles with fry eggs and cold drinks. Local big brother’s will be sitting next to me helping me in getting to know who is who playing for, the next day I will be busy collecting pictures of players from the news paper and star sports magazine pasting them in my own hand make dairy with the information I got from myself.

What I can share about the World Cup 1990 was Italia '90 was a World Cup for the old powers. All the previous winners were present. All the previous winners survived the group stage and the semi-final places were occupied by four of the five best teams on the all-time ranking.

England and Argentina are my favorite Teams-

England :-
The key player was-He had chocolate cake smeared all over his face and then fell backwards into a swimming pool, he trained with a toilet brush down his shorts, he had the audacity to do a cruyff turn against, the Dutch, he wore a plastic beer belly, he was the best player at Italia 90,he cried, he is England’s greatest World Cup legend, his name is Paul ’Gazza’ Gascoigne. England had a tiresome World Cup and got nothing for free.

Three tight matches in the groupstage were followed by three more matches that went to extra-time, the last against West Germany, even to penalties. Paul Gascoigne had a fine tournament and Lineker got better as the tournament progressed and scored four goals.

England defender Stuart Pearce, his penalty was saved in England's 1990 World Cup semi-final defeat by Germany in a shootout, He Said "I had been taking penalties for as long as I could remember but now I'd missed the most important penalty of my life in the semi-final of the World Cup.

While remembered fondly on these shores for England's best finals performance since 1966, this was, in truth, a poor World Cup.

Argentina: The key Player was-Diego Armando Maradona is by many regarded as the greatest player in the history of the game. A single Maradona-Caniggia combination was enough to send Careca and company home.

Maradona showed glimpses, like against Brazil, of his old self but couldn't fully repeat what he did in 1986. Goycoechea was the hero in consecutive penalty shoot-outs. First against Yugoslavia and then in the semifinal against Italy where he saved efforts from Donadoni and Serena.

Italy had until midway through the second half of that semifinal not conceded a single goal in the tournament before Caniggia headed past Walter Zenga who was out of position. Unbeaten for 517 minutes is a World Cup record.

Final was the most memorable to remember in the history of World Cup that I have ever seen, at 85 minutes the final match referee Mr. Edgardo Codesal Mendez (Mexico) give a penalty in favour of West Germany, where Andreas Brehme score the only goal which give victory to West Germany against the nine players Argentina.

Booked: Völler / Troglio of W.Germany and Maradona Argentina. Sent off: Monzón (65), Dezotti (87) both from Argentina. Youngest player González (COSTA RICA ) 19years 307 days Oldest player Shilton (ENGLAND) 40years 292 days.

One person to be remember was this colourful and talented midfielder has been regarded as one of the very best in his position in South America over the past decade or so.

Known as "El Pibe" (the kid), Carlos Valderrama is easy recognizable with his big curly blonde hair and all his jewelry. He was an accurate passer of the ball and a playmaker of finest caliber. He is also one of very few players to have captained his country in three World Cups.

His biggest World Cup moment was when he dribbled past several players and delivered a pinpoint pass to teammate Rincon who scored the necessary equalizer three minutes into injurytime against eventual winners West Germany in 1990. That goal meant Colombia qualified to the second round.

1990 was definitely a year for unlikely heroes. Milla and Goycoechea are already mentioned and so should Salvatore Schillaci be. He who took over the role Gianluca Vialli was supposed to have as hero for the host nation.

Schillaci scored six goals and became topscorer. He scored in six different matches and opened his account as a substitute against Austria and closed it with a goal against England that secured bronze medals for Italy. He never found this form again and faded quickly after the World Cup.


James Vaiphei contributes regularly to e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at zillaivaiphei@yahoo.co.uk
This article was webcasted on June 05th, 2006

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