The 21st FIFA World Cup is starting from June 14 (Thursday) and the fans are eagerly waiting for the kick off to the most prestigious football tournament. The first game will see Saudi Arabia take on the hosts Russia.
The countdown to the opening game has started and not only fans, but cricketers are also getting excited to witness the mega event. Many of the Indian cricketers are religious followers of football.
Yuvraj Singh remembers key moments of the FIFA World Cup as well. As per SportsStar Live quotes, he said, “I have always followed the World Cup. This time I will watch in bits and pieces till it gets exciting in the later stages of the tournament. There have been many classic matches in the World Cup, but I can never forget 2006 final in Germany when Italy beat France on penalties. It was also the match where Zidane got a red card for headbutting Materazzi. That was sad really. I have backed Brazil always. My favorites are Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Junior, and Anthony Martial.”
Nothing new, we know Indian opener Rohit Sharma is also a football enthusiast and is backing Spain to lift the trophy in this tournament. His limited overs opening partner Shikhar Dhawan is backing Germany to retain the title.
"Honestly, I am not a big football fan, but when I learn there is a great contest coming up, I don’t miss it. I have not watched football at the ground, but it is fun to watch on TV with friends. The World Cup, I know, is a great stage for entertainment and I am also going to catch up on some matches. The final of the last World Cup when Germany beat Argentina was a thriller. Also, the 7-1 destruction of Brazil by Germany. It broke millions of hearts. I will back Germany to retain the title. They are a complete side. When it comes to a player, I think Messi towers over the rest," Dhawan said.
Some cricketers are so excited about the tournament that they are ready to visit Russia. Kuldeep Yadav is one of them. But the busy schedule of Indian cricket didn't allow him. “I was planning to visit Russia for the World Cup, but that will not be possible because of the busy schedule. But I will definitely watch all the games of Brazil. I have been a big fan of the side and will be rooting for its victory,” said Yadav.
While Kuldeep couldn't make it to the stadium, his senior Harbhajan Singh may visit the venue to follow the event. "I don’t miss an opportunity to follow the games. In fact, for the last World Cup, I was lucky to be in Brazil on an invitation and had the opportunity to meet the great Pele. I plan to be in Russia this time, too. I have seen quite a few matches live in England, but going to Rio was a great experience. Argentina is my favorite team for their attacking style of football. I can walk miles to watch Messi. What a footballer!”, Harbhajan said.
It's not that they only follow the game as a sportsman. The cricketers also have a good knowledge of the game. Indian wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha is a follower of Italy. “I have always been a supporter of Italy. It is a bit saddening to not have the Azzurri in the tournament this time. However, I will watch the World Cup and keep an eye on Brazil, Argentina, and Germany,” he said.