Those 90 Minutes (2009)

What does 90 minutes mean to you? One hour and 30 minutes; are 90 minutes all that and nothing more? For some the same 90 minutes is their reward, victory, joy and also agony. 90 minutes are more than just time; it is joy, passion and energy. It is the feeling of being able to show that you are the best in the world. Those 90 minutes shaped lives and changed the world and made fans around the globe, tied us together in a world so different. This is the magical 90 minutes of football.

I never understood the importance of sports when I was a child. Overlooking sports was a common thing I did. I never realized that sports were just more than what I thought it to be. It was magical, energetic and revitalizing. It was also opportunity, chance and a way to show your skills. I was never good at sports, neither in football, basketball, tennis or anything else. Though I was a bit good at chess but then made no significant progress. During elementary school I found running interesting. But still I wasn’t quite fast. I remember participating in a race when I was in grade 7. I even tried getting selected in badminton games but couldn’t manage to. I wasn’t good enough. I was discouraged. This put off my interest from sports. I didn’t like playing, and did not find much interest in watching either.

Not very long after an anime series was on air in ‘animax’. ‘Slamdunk’, a story about a wanna be basketball star. It was good and I started watching the show. In no time I started playing basketball too but the magic didn’t last long as I stopped again.

While in grade 10 we had a girls’ football match. I regret not participating in it. I wasn’t confident that I could actually kick a ball. Isn’t that funny? After the tournament the certificates were distributed to the participants and the winners. I must say there was also a brilliant shining shield for the best player of the league. I wished I had participated no matter how clumsy I was, but I didn’t. I valued fear over having fun and learning something new.

The year was 2008. The Euro Cup was on its way. I missed most of its matches. I was supporting Germany and Portugal. Germany had managed it to reach the finals along with Spain. I had never seen the Spanish players play before. They played for different league cups but I didn’t watch so didn’t know much about them. This was the first time Spain played so well after some 44 years. So, it was Germany and Spain battling to become the next European champions. They were there to play the final 90 minutes of the Euro 08. I managed to wake up at 12:30 in the morning to watch the live telecast of that match.

“This is Fernando Torres surpassing Philip Lahm and Jens Lehmann fails to stop his ball and …….its a goal for Spain!!!” The commentary was probably somewhat like that. Fernando Torres, the no. 9 of Spain had just scored one of the most important goals of his football career. He was simply brilliant. Those 90 minutes bought Fernando Torres his important goal and bought Spain a major title after almost 44 years.

These were the magical 90 minutes for Spain and the fans of Spain. Both the teams were magnificent but one has to win after all. But those 90 minutes were not just mere 90 minutes. These 90 minutes taught me what I could never learn before. It was not only winning or losing but playing and giving your best. It was playing not only for yourself and your team but also for those who supported you around the world. That wasn’t just a game, it was passion, devotion, determination and the desire to be the best. At the end of those 90 minutes Germany couldn’t manage to equalize Torres’s goal. When the Italian referee added some three minutes more, there arose a desire again in the German players to win. It wasn’t over yet. There were a few seconds left. That made me realize that every second was very important; may it be football or anything else. Every second counts and it did. But it was Spain’s time to win and end their title drought. Spanish caravan rolled in Vienna. I must say, everybody were brilliant in that game. Their spirit, energy and will to win could be clearly seen. I was hundreds of miles away but still I could feel the same enthusiasm and spirit. I don’t quite understand the technicality of the game, but it was beautiful because it inspired.

There’s a place, a time where you’ll be able to prove yourself. But you must always be ready to give it your best. It actually raised an interest of football and sports in me. I was inspired. I couldn’t play, but watching someone play inspired me, watching my favorite team win added the zeal. There will always be a winner, but we must not stop improving and giving our best.

Now when I look back, I still regret not being active in sports. But again that is all in the past. I can still run in the Olympics of my life, lose some fat, feel the air fill my lungs as I run past the monuments, I can still watch my favorite club and country play and win, I can still learn new things. The opportunity hasnt died, neither has it passed. We can all do what we can. J

And of course it felt awesome to see Germany win the World Cup this year, the year 2014 after a long wait. I will always have a favorite team, there will always be winners, but the game will always have my utmost #respect for teaching me some important things.

No matter who you are, where you are, give your best in everything you do. You never know who may be watching you and getting inspired. 🙂

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