This morning I strolled to the nearby ground for my weekly football bout. Sad to say, due to the sheer immobility and lack of stamina, footballing experience is not that satisfying these days.
What I love about going to play is another sweet aspect of this morning get away. I spot some very young talented players these days.
Some of them are terrific, the control, the feigns and flicks are immaculate and sometimes it gets me wondering, if they will be the next Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi. It might be a far-fetched thought...
But TV has had a massive impact on the way football is being played. I am not too sure, if I can claim this with respect to nations who are traditionally stronger in football.
In India at least, TV technology and the so called analysis that ensue a game, has had an impact on the game that is being played in our grounds.
During my childhood days, we never had too much of football on TV and European football was an exclusivity during that time.
All we had access to were glorious articles by great sports writers and live commentary on radio, which more or less proved to be a linear experience.
We never got a chance to see the skills espoused by European players and no one seemed to be knowing those exemplary tricks, which even kids do with ease these days. We relied on the tactics we saw of our elders displayed on the fields.
There is an interesting writing about the impact of Maradona on football in Kerala (India) after the 1986 World Cup. The article says:
Post World Cup, something strange happened. Kozhikkode changed. There were hardly anyone to watch a football match. Matches were held in front of empty stadiums and Mananchira Maidan wore a deserted look. There was jut no one to watch a football match. It was an inexplicable transformation.
It goes to explain the impact that Maradona had on the psyche of an average Indian footballer, who eventually resigned to his house to watch quality football in the plush surroundings than sweating it out by playing or cheering the local team.
These days though, there is an interesting turnaround, kids are getting to watch quality football, providing them a closer analysis and a better perspective on games.
Moreover, until recently in India, football definitely had a class barrier that had to be crossed, and this seems to be fading day by day. In earlier days most of the footballers came from poor backgrounds, the rich resorted to cricket, tennis, golf and other sports.
With European football streaming into their drawing rooms every week, the rich have also started to take an interest in the game.
A decade back, it was very difficult to find a football player wearing a complete adidas kit in my hometown. This morning, I encountered a whopping number of branded accessories on the ground.
Kids come to play with good boots and have better accessories and support than it was some years ago. TV has enormously helped them in developing a better sense of football.
Be it in tricks or strategy, TV has played an integral role is shaping up our football so far.
To conclude, would this mean that there is going to be a wonder kid from India???
It necessarily doesn't.