The FIFA football world cup is underway in Russia and the entire world has been gripped by football mania. India is a nation of puzzling paradoxes. While hockey is our national sport, the unofficial religion is cricket. However, a section of the Indian population is dedicatedly devoted to club football, with fans spouting out figures and stats at the drop of a hat from their favorite football clubs like Manchester United, Arsenal, Barcelona, Liverpool etc.
What happens when a cricket fan meets a football one in India? Do sparks fly? Does an argument ensue? Let’s see how a dialogue goes between the two!
In the conversation below, Saurabh is the football fan while Varun loves cricket. Both are friends.
Saurabh: Hey Varun, what’s up!
Varun: Hi Saurabh, what’s going on?
Saurabh: All great! Are you watching the football WC these days?
Varun: Just a few with Messi and Ronaldo. Don’t really dig football.
Saurabh: What?! That is crazy. Football is the most beautiful sport ever. And the most popular one worldwide!
Varun: Haha! It could be the most popular one in the world but India, it is cricket that rules!
Saurabh: I also watch cricket at times, but man! How does one sit through five days of test cricket? The ODIs also take up an entire day. Even the T20 matches are way longer than a football match. Just 90 minutes and you get full-packed action. Saves a lot of time also. You better become a football fan now!
Varun: Nothing can describe the feeling of watching a cricket match live. If you are in the stadium then it is even crazier. And when India wins, you think you are a part of some powerful, joyous force that sends out a lot of positive vibes. No offense, but India isn’t good enough in football so that feeling doesn’t arise.
Saurabh: But did you see the latest video by Sunil Chhetri, the captain of the Indian football team? He exhorted all fans to go and watch the match and feeding off on fan support, they beat Kenya!
Varun: I guess we should indeed support our football team, but those who love cricket and have been raised on cricket will watch that only. I have grown up watching legends such as Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid play, and the current team under Virat Kohli is also really good and aggressive.
Saurabh: Dude. Once you start watching football, you won’t be watching anything else. I used to be a huge fan of cricket but the IPL has spoilt everything. It is all so commercialized now.
Varun: Hah! What about club football? It is the same as IPL! You have these teams owned by different corporates and players being transferred for record sums to different clubs!
Saurabh: It is technically the same but the entire feel is different. IPL is a one-off thing. Club football happens all year-round!
Varun: T20 is super fun. The IPL is also great entertainment and to scout new talent. How else one would witness the towering sixes of Chris Gayle and wily upcoming spinners like Rashid Khan, that too from Afghanistan?
Saurabh: You should see the mesmerizing talent in these football clubs! And their stories are also immensely fascinating. Lukaku, who plays for Belgium, came from an impoverished background and is now such a valuable player!
Varun: Hehe the same is true for cricket! People coming from war-torn countries like Afghanistan and doing so well, what do you say about that!
Saurabh: I guess, to each his own. But at least, watch the World Cup! It is super fun.
Varun: I will! The semi-finals and finals for sure. And let’s agree that both cricket and football are popular with their own set of fans!
Saurabh: I agree. Football is more popular across the globe while cricket is the de facto religion in india!
Varun: Cheers! I will connect with you on Whatsapp. Give me the latest updates on matches.
Saurabh: Sure thing, I will! Connect with you soon. Cya!
Varun: Take care, man! Goodbye!
Hope this was interesting. Now read an English conversation about cricket.