This is an excerpt from my book Unbeatable. This part is about football the game I love.
I’d always loved football. The immaculate game, I’ve played it since I was 8. I would wake up in the morning at 5am thrice a week and shine my shoes get in the car and head to school for practice. I’ve played all my life but apart from watching the 1998 world cup, i started watching premier league and champions league football seriously only around 2001-2002.
And from the get go I followed, supported and loved Chelsea football club. The team in blue, the same colour as my school jersey, the team with Zola, Desailly, Le Saux, Lampard, Gudjohnsen, the underdogs for the title, the team struggling to qualify for the champions league. I did’nt choose Chelsea, Chelsea chose me.
I remember my dad buying me my first football jersey and it was Chelsea blue, he had absolutely no clue, but i loved that jersey. At that time the only teams people supported in India were Manchester United and Arsenal. But i hated both those teams, i fucking hated them, i hated the fact that people supported only these 2 teams. I wanted to be different, I liked the players at Chelsea and I liked their style of play, I watched them and asked why don’t people like this team? They were so good. But everybody wanted to be Beckham or Henry, everybody wanted to support whoever was winning. I told people I supported Chelsea and they laughed, half of them never watched them play, the others didn’t know such a team existed, the fucking ignorant pricks.
But that was life back in 2001 in India, at the lunch break our game would be divided into Arsenal fans vs United fans, i hated that. Until i finally convinced them to make it house wise. It made the game and the competition fiercer. Red and White vs Blue and Green and me in the White house, we were the underdogs but we won most of the times.
Thats the thing about football. Its something that can’t be described in words. The feeling you get whether your playing it or watching it; it can’t be described.
Some people argue that its just something to get by and give meaning to our normal everday lives, but its more than that. It’s more than just a game. It’s more than supporting 11 men on a pitch kicking a ball around. You’ll do we’ll in your exams and be happy with the result, that’s about it. You do well at work, get a bonus, take the boys drinking, it ends there. You’ll find a girl get married, have kids and life goes on.
This though, I’m watching people I’ve never met, people I’ll probably never meet, men from so many various nationalities only having the colour they wear and the badge on their chest and sleeves in common, and it feels fucking fantastic. I love Chelsea football club and every week i watch them it feels fucking fantastic. I love this feeling, it feels fucking glorious. You have no idea how fucking fantastic it feels. Something to end the monotony of the week, something to look forward to and for those 90 plus minutes i sit , stand and shout; glued to my screen, waiting for the kickoff whistle and hoping that fucking ball hits the back of the opposition net!