Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Football crazy cabbie

I was pleasantly surprised when this cabbie joined me and Francis discussing about Germany 2006. Francis was telling me about an article in one of the Indian portals. It carried a story about Vikash Dhorasoo, the man of Indian origin from Mauritius whose parents migrated to France long ago (It is a wee bit confusing!!). As the conversation moved on, I told Francis that I was feeling sad about the French drawing their game with Switzerland, I thought the French would easily win.

The cabbie quietly slipped into the conversation with one comment “Sir, Brazil will win this time too”. I considered it a regular smart ass comment about the football world cup. Ask anyone, they know about three teams for sure – Brazil, for whatever reasons. Germany, for they are the hosts. And Saudi Arabia, because they are our neighbors. But this man proved me wrong with his subsequent comments. He knows the game, in and out.

“Sir, this year it is either Brazil or Portugal. You know why?”.

Francis and me meekly nodded our head indicating we don’t.

“Because both have a Brazilian coach. And you know the man coaching Portugal has already won the cup with Brazil. I forgot his name…”

“It is Felipe Scolari” said Francis

“No I forgot the name but he is a good coach, even their captain is a good player. His name is…”

“Figo” said Francis

“Yes, he is a brilliant player and they have a couple of good forwards. The Brazilian coach, he is also good. He has a long name a passenger told me his name yesterday. I forgot that name it has 3 names, a very long one and difficult too”

“Carlos Alberto Parraira” Said me

“May be, I forgot. Today I wouldn’t drive in the evening, you know why?”

One dead nod of no from us

“Because Saudi is playing their first match. Against Senegal, it would be a good match because they are also a good team. But Saudi beat Australia 3-0 in the qualifiers to go to Germany. Did you see Australia winning 3-1? Then it is quite natural Saudi would also win comfortably. They have got some good players you know?”

Another nod signifying you have enlightened us buddy

“So I am going to park my cab in front of this shop there in Sheik Zayed, they have a big two side TV. You can watch it from both the sides, they show the match. All the big people watch from inside the shop. We sit outside and watch the match, it is good fun. I am not going to miss this match”

This is probably the first time I am seeing a cabbie so intelligent, committed to watching a game of football armed with abundance of game knowledge.

It was pleasure riding your cab buddy. God bless.

Ps: Saudi has just drawn their game with Tunisia. It is a 2 – 2 at fulltime, my cabbie friend would have been disappointed.

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