The Football fever has gripped the world. And, I am not spared.
Some days ago, I watched on our Lap Top, the movie of the eighties – ‘Escape To Victory’. I watched it with my son, and both of us really enjoyed it. It has a story set during the Second World War, which is simple yet powerful.
The Germans have never won a single football match against the British, and that is difficult to swallow for them. So, the Army chief wants to humiliate the Allies by trouncing them in a Soccer match. But, that would be a match of un equals as the best of the German players would be pitted against a squad from the Allies POW. And, that makes this movie so inspiring, like our own ‘Lagaan’.
Another reason why I liked this movie is that it has my Soccer hero, Pele… and his famous ‘bicycle-kick goal’. In the movie, the coach who selects Pele is highly impressed by the raw, inborn talent of this ‘Black Pearl’. “Where did you learn all this, young man?” the coach asks Pele. “Back home on the streets of my village in Brazil… where I played with oranges,” tells the Soccer Star. The match is terrific… the Allies, the underdogs, win… the thousands of spectators, go ecstatic at the end of the match… they invade the stadium like the surging waves of a violent sea… and escape to the victory.
It is truly inspiring!
And, now, the Football World Cup matches are on. What has made this particular edition already special is the opening song by K’naan – ‘The Waving Flag’. This young rapper was born in the war-torn and devastated Somalia. I still remember the TV images of hungry, dying children on the streets of this battered nation, where K’naan was born. It is ironical that the billions of fans, as they wave their own flags, are reminded by the flag of another kind. The flag of K’naan:
“When I get older,
I will be stronger,
They will call me freedom,
Like a waving flag.”
It is truly inspiring to think that this underdog freedom song of a poor, starving country was chosen to be the official anthem for this year’s football World Cup. No wonder they say Love and Freedom are two of the greatest universal values…
K’naan sings, the little children play… and we all smile through our tears in our drawing rooms!