This should not be taken as a statement or a opinion, that football is the best game.

Football is the most popular game in this planet.  This wonderfull game has all the qualities to pull the masses and bring them to edge of their seats. 

It is a chess game played on the grass ground. where you are the movers and you are to be moved by yourself. Great footballers manage to think different moves in their brains, before the plot attack on the opposition.

The first Foorball tournament of some substance, I have seen was the 1984 edition of Federation Cup, held in Municipal stadium in my Native. Those days there was no penalty shootouts in decidinding the final winners, In the firsl leg of the finals Mohd sporting of calcutta draw Mohun Began - on the second day they decided to do a replay the same, ulitmately Mohan Began crashed out  (2-0).

I had my first football , in that year. Dont remember that brand, But it was orange and white No-3 ball.

Hearing the running commentary of the Nehru cup football matches was in vogue in mid 80s.

Later they move the competition to north and to goa. That was the end of a immensely succesfull competition, which ran several edtions in kerala

PSV - Eindhoven used to come to india to play some matches 

My favourite competitions include English premiership, La-Liga and UEFA competions.

I dont ilke AFC or any other Asian competitions

I wish Tierry Henry one day will be crowned as the European Footballer of the year

 Cesc Fabergas, Lionel Messi and Robinho will be next heroes of this wonderfull game.

Best matches i have seen, 86 mexico quarterfinals between france and brazil, which extended to decisive  penalty shootouts. Then  two all time greats of football missing the penalties first it was Michael Platini and then Zico. It was the day of Joel Bats the french goalkeeper who save a couple to put the French ahead of the Brazil and subsequently them to Seimfinals. Sadly, none of French  skills and their yesteryear’sEuropean successes  match with the Germans,with the skillfull midfield play from Mathews and attackin front duo Rudi Voeller and Ruminegge. Germans skip past the mastery of the Platini and Tiagana. I remember i was bit sad that day, Because i was on the French side.


Other match which I always remember Is the England versus the Maradona ( Argentina) First it was Hand of god and then  Best goal in the last centuy. Deigo cutting past the 7 English players with ease and class, Finally Terry Butcher trying to pull him down But the ball was like a piece of iron attached with a magnet. shilton was helpless it was 2 for the Argentina. I presume much of the English players in the press did not complain about their loss. They could at least say to their kids and grandchildren with honour and pride that they were present in the time, when the World’s best goal was scored.  Some where I read, Maradona saying that he was about to score such a goal against Uruguay in a international friendly in Wembley, but he before reaching penalty box, shot at the goal and was comprehensively saved.


Liverpool against the AC Milan, in the 2005 UEFA Champions league, Being down to 3 goals in the first half. Inspirational and the charismatic gentleman of the game, Steve Gerrard  pulled a scintillating performance to beat the AC Milan. Infact ACM was one of my favourite teams at time when Gullit, Rijkard and Van Basten was playing. Now while I am writing this para, Franc Rijkard is the coach of Milan and Koeman is the coach of Benefica (Portugal).



It is  a world in 8 inchs

My Tribute to Great Players

 Short and stocky boy from the dirty outskirts of Lanus ( argentina ), with his will and talent rose to the pantheons of the football.   His greatness lies in his talent to take a average argentina team to the 86 worldcup glory. Some one commented once, Deigo can't be a good coach, because he never learned anything from a coach.  This gritty boy did not get the opportunity in 78 edition of the football world cup,  was thrown out of the Barcelona club for kicking a athletico madrid player for calling him "SUDACA" { Dirty South American } has to wait till 86 to cut pass the 7 English players to score the world's best goal.  No surprise when some of his fans erected a church in his name in Argentina, Says themselves in AD-48, since Maradona is 48 now (2006).  People will remember argentina only for two things One of Deigo Armando Maradona and other for Ernesto Che Guevera.


He called Pope a B........, Did not take the offer from IDG to change his nationality for 100million US dollars.  Who on the sports fraternity has the guts to be like that.


         Argentina 1986 World Cup Winning Squad. Coach - Carlos Menotti

Maradona career Highlights

* 1978: Top Goalscorer of the Campeonato Metropolitano.
* 1979: Top Goalscorer of the Campeonato Metropolitano.
* 1979: Top Goalscorer of the Campeonato Nacional.
* 1979: World Champion with Argentina in the Youth World Cup.
* 1979: "Olimpia de Oro" to the Best Argentine Footballer of the year.
* 1979: Chosen by FIFA as the Best Player of the year in South America.
* 1979: Receives the Gold Ball as the best player of the moment.
* 1980: Top Goalscorer of the Campeonato Metropolitano.
* 1980: Top Goalscorer of the Campeonato Nacional.
* 1980: Chosen by FIFA as the Best Player of the year in South America.
* 1981: Top Goalscorer of the Campeonato Nacional.
* 1981: Receives the Trofeo Gandulla as Best Footballer of the year.
* 1981: Champion of Argentina with Boca Juniors.
* 1983: Wins the Copa del Rey with Barcelona.
* 1985: Named Ambassador of the UNICEF.
* 1986: World Champion with Argentina.
* 1986: Wins his second "Olimpia de Oro" to the Best Argentine Footballer of the year.
* 1986: Named "Distinguished Citizen" by the City of Buenos Aires.
* 1986: Receives the Golden Shoe assigned by Adidas to the Best Footballer of the year.
* 1986: Gets the Golden Pen as Best Player in Europe.
* 1987: Italian Serie A Champion with Napoli.
* 1987: Wins the Italian Cup with Napoli.
* 1988: Top goalscorer of the Serie A with Napoli.
* 1989: Wins the UEFA Cup with Napoli.
* 1990: Italian Serie A Champion with Napoli.
* 1990: Receives the Premio Konex di Brillante for his sport skill.
* 1990: Second place in the World Cup.
* 1990: Named "Ambassador of Sport" by the President of Argentina.
* 1990: Wins the Supercoppa Italiana with Napoli.
* 1993: Awarded as Best Argentine Footballer of all time.
* 1993: Wins the Artemio Franchi Cup with Argentina.
* 1995: Receives the Golden Ball for his career.
* 1995: Awarded as "Master Inspirer of Dreams" by the University of Oxford.
* 1999: "Olimpia de Platino" as Best Footballer of the century.
* 1999: Receives from the AFA the award as best sportsman of the century in Argentina.
* 1999: His goal of 1986 against England is chosen as the best goal ever in the history of football.
* 2000: Elected "FIFA best football player of the century" in a gala ceremony in Rome after a worldwide poll on the internet

Article published in Guardian after 20 years on June 22, 2006 by Jorge Valdano.

The office was now turned upside down but the crazy man had only just begun. Shortly afterwards he received a very difficult ball in the middle of the pitch with his back to goal. He turned, took off and got into a series of tight scrapes from which he escaped perfectly.

I was accompanying him level with the far post as if I were a television camera tracking him. Diego assures me that he meant to pass to me several times but there was always some obstacle that forced him to change plans. Just as well. I was dazzled and I thought it was impossible (it still seems that way to me) that in the middle of all those problems he would have had me in mind.

If he had passed me the ball as it seems Plan A called for, I would have grabbed it in my hand and applauded. Can you imagine? But let's not deceive ourselves, I am convinced that Diego was never going to release that ball. Throughout those 10 seconds and 10 touches, he changed his mind hundreds of times because that's how the mind of genius in action works.

That celebration that put intelligence, the body and the ball in tune was an act of genius - but also in the most profound way, in footballing terms, of being Argentinian. What Maradona was doing was making Argentinians' football dream a reality: we love the ball more than the game and, for that reason, the dribble more than the pass.

When the ball went into the net I knew, in that instant, we were present at a moment of great significance: Maradona had just put on Pele's crown. Aware of the historical moment in which I was living, I did something that humanity has still not recognised. I, ladies and gentlemen, took the ball out of the net where Maradona had put it. The focus, fortunately, was still elsewhere. In fact, 20 years on, the ball keeps going into the net time and again in the memories of those who love football . . . and there was me thinking I'd taken it out.

Michael Platini