Asianet NewsableAsianet Newsable

Indian fans await Argentina's Messi to have his '2011 Tendulkar moment' at Qatar World Cup 2022 final

Can Sunday bring the 2011 Sachin Tendulkar moment for Lionel Messi and Argentina when they play in the Qatar World Cup 2022 finals? The batting legend lived his dream, and millions would pray that it happens for their 'Messi'ah too. 

football Indian fans await Argentina's Messi to have his '2011 Tendulkar moment' at Qatar World Cup 2022 final snt
First Published Dec 14, 2022, 4:50 PM IST

The world around you can stop when Lionel Messi fixes his moist eyes on nothingness. You, too, become enraged when he becomes excited and quarrels with a referee. The world is better when you witness him outdueling the finest players in the world and forcing them to chase ghosts, as he did with defender Josko Gvardiol on Tuesday night in Doha. You're ecstatic and jumping.

Some people might have roused their loved ones from a sound nap to share the joy. Every trophy is yours to claim, but the FIFA World Cup is unique.

Pele touched it thrice, and Maradona, too, got a chance to caress the hands that held the 'Golden Globe'. And If Messi now misses this chance, it would be a chapter unfinished in pages of football history. 

Also read: 'Magical duo does it again': Messi, Alvarez show seals Argentina's World Cup 2022 finals berth; fans overjoyed

Like cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, Messi is playing in his fifth and last World Cup and is desperate to win the trophy. Tendulkar lifted the Blue Riband trophy in his sixth and last global appearance in 2011 in Mumbai. Can Sunday bring that Tendulkar moment for Messi and Argentina? 

Tendulkar realised his ambition, and millions of others hope that Messi will as well.

"I have seen God walk on earth. All I want now is to see Messi lift the World Cup. I won't have any regrets in my life if I don't watch any sport after that day. But Man, Messi, should win. Think of it, what a memorable moment it would be one last time for the Albicelestes," Deepto Roy, a Mumbai-based lawyer, who is in Doha to watch the semi-finals and final, told PTI. 

"Being an Indian and also someone who watched that cricket World Cup final in Mumbai, Messi gives you that Sachin Tendulkar-like feeling. It seems the entire world wants to see Messi lift that World Cup. We hear about fairy tales, and I want to live this fairy tale on Sunday night," Deepto said. 

When Doordarshan began airing the FIFA World Cup matches starting in the second round in 1986, Argentina and Diego Maradona permanently entered the lives of Indian fans. Even in the days before the internet, when social media wasn't a concept, Maradona's talents brought together the three football-crazy Indian states of Bengalis, Malayalis, and Goans.

"Messi belongs to Barcelona as much as to Argentina. But a social context is associated with the mad Argentina fandom, especially in Kolkata and Kochi. Bengalis and Malayalis are lovers of art, and in Maradona, they found an artist they had never seen in their lives. There is a generation which actually watches football only once in four years, but Maradona made them fall in love with the Argentina football team and Messi," Dwaipayan Chatterjee, an avid club football watcher, said. 

"So Messi and Argentina became a sentimental connection for many who aren't even following Messi in PSG these days. But one must admit, as an Indian, the 2011 World Cup seemed like everything about SRT, and you get the same feeling for Messi," he added.

football Indian fans await Argentina's Messi to have his '2011 Tendulkar moment' at Qatar World Cup 2022 final snt

As strange as it may seem, Julian Alvarez is still a hero for helping Argentina win the semi-final, and his 40-meter dash down the centre was a game-changer. But no one will bring up his second goal. The third goal he scored will also be discussed, but not because of him. Alvarez will also have to put up with the reality that, for once, the goal's creator will receive more attention than the goal's scorer.

Gvardiol, who is just 20 years old and can play both as a stopper and a lateral back, is predicted to dominate football for at least ten years (side back). Wearing a black mask to protect his fractured nose (he played with one in the World Cup), Gvardiol at times loosely resembled 'Captain America' with Messi's 'spider-man' like skills.

Gvardiol was technically flawless during most of that sprint, so he didn't make any mistakes. As Messi began to stride down wide right, he stayed by his side, denying him any chance to go (left of Gvardiol). The "Messi Magic" began when he got close to the penalty area's side. One that is joie de vivre and orgasmic. 

Messi quickly turned his back on Gvardiol and defeated him with a quick body feint and hip swivel before maintaining a perfect cut-back for young Alvarez. Furthermore, being inside the stadium gave Melbourne-based software expert Dipanjan Ghosh the most "surreal feeling."

Also read: 'Goodbye Ivana Knoll': 'Hottest fan' trolled after Argentina beat Croatia to enter World Cup 2022 finals

"Messi's performance was to me what Argentina and "my team" would do in a tournament. I live in country of fine wine. Messi is that fine wine, ageing perfectly with time," Ghosh said. 

"I will still be a supporter of Argentina after he is gone but when my eight-year-old grows up and I grow even older, I would tell him 'Buddy, you will be richer than me, smarter than me but you can't be luckier. You know why? I watched Lionel Messi live and play."

(With inputs from PTI)

Follow Us:
Download App:
  • android
  • ios