KATHMANDU, July 1: I hate black coffee and I love Germany. Even little things have great influence on delicate young minds.
I don´t know why but I was influenced the same way by Oliver Kahn, the magnet like goal keeper of Germany. I was in grade three when I started watching The World Cup with my father.
The memories of my first World Cup are vivid in my mind. I became a huge fan of Oliver Kahn because of his charismatic (some believe it to be frightful) personality, his skill and the way he denied goals.
He was a big headache for opposition and thus, I was fond of Germany. I remember crying loudly when he could not stop a hurling ball initiated by the opposition. I played football in my primary level. Needless to say, I was motivated by Kahn and was the goal keeper undoubtedly.
My role model has retired from football and I have grown up. But, I still find it difficult to support any other team apart from Germany. I recall reading Eat, Pray and Love by Elizabeth Gilbert where she has explained about Italy´s football culture. Italians are assigned to a club by their parents at birth.
They remain dedicated to that team all their life. Gilbert quotes an Italian, "We can change our spouse, religion or even our nationality, but we never change our club." Though I have nothing Italian in me except the love for pizza, it applies to me to a large extent. I can never ditch Germany because of Oliver Kahn.
This Euro Cup, being a ardent Germany admirer for life, I was excited when they started with a bang. Not only that, they came to the top of their group with flying colors.
While on my way to college, I would overhear people talking about Euro Cup. When I heard most of the sports enthusiasts proclaim that Germany will lift the cup this time, it was like music to my ears.
When the equations for the semi-finals were drawn, my ecstasy grew ten folds. My strong team was pitched against a comparatively weaker Italy. There was no doubt in my mind that Germany would enter the finals.
I was little worried about Spain but Italy was not even considered a threat. Let me confess honestly, I cannot stay awake till late. On the other hand, I could not miss the game. I slept at 7pm with my alarm set for midnight.
I even asked my dad to wake me up if the alarm failed. He was even allowed to pour a bucket full of cold water over me. To my dad´s surprise, I even volunteered to go down to the kitchen and make some real strong macho black coffee. I needed to gulp it if I wanted to stay awake. Finally, it was the time for kill.
Alas, my hopes came crumbling as the least expected happened. A terror called Mario Balotelli was responsible to bring my hopes down. Two goals from him in the first half saw my favorite team´s royal exit from the semis once again.
It was the eighth time Italy defeated Germany in Euro encounters. The jinx is still to be broken. The sacrifice of my sleep, energy and time turned out worthless. As always, the team which entered the quarter finals with the highest score, which was not defeated by any other team, was defeated in the semifinals..
Italy is now playing Spain in the finals where my favorite team should have been. How equations change in life is surprising. I would have been against the Spaniards, calling out names for them if that had happened.
On the contrary, I will be cheering for them now as I want to see Italy defeated. Such is the intensity of childhood influence and admiration.
The writer is a management student at Golden Gate College and is currently waiting her +2 results.