Update: Fair enough. As I do not have facts, some part of this entry has been removed.
Do you know how it feels when something that you feel strongly about, something you are passionate about, something that you fight for, might end up to be nothing but a façade?
It was June 1998, and it was the World Cup Final 1998 in Paris between the defending champion Brazil and the host France, a team which failed to qualify for world cup in 1994. The score was 3-0 to France, 2 goals from Zidane who rose unmarked to head the ball from corners.
For those who watched the match, you would noticed that standing next to Zidane was Dunga, the ferocious Brazilian captain who looks as though he will bite off your head on the pitch. But all he did during those 2 fated corners were to turn his head and stare as Zidane headed 2 goals into his net. I don’t recall Zidane ever scored any headers there-after in his career.
My neighbour told me that ‘an agreement has been reached’. I was just a hot-blooded teenage football fan. I don’t know any such ‘agreement’.
Along the years, I still hear a bit here and there about such ‘agreements’ and how things can be fixed with money. But I still never buy any of it. At least not until June 2004, also a world cup year.
15 minutes before the game, this friend of mine called me and told me…
“Zewt, put your money on xxx, eat half ball. Then extra time, xxx will give ball, take yyy instead. In penalty shoot out, take yyy”
That match changed my perception on football forever.
From then on, I always remember my friend’s motto --- don’t let your passion damage your wallet. The bookmakers rule the game, he said.