Having led a life surrounded by sports it is hard for me to miss any World Cup match. A childhood spent without a television at home, I would visit my neighbours’ homes to watch matches. At that time, however, we used to watch cricket World Cup matches, not football. I was around 11 years old when I started playing football and fell for the game. I started watching World Cup football matches much later.
I had gone to France in 1998 and later to Germany in 2006 to watch the World Cup matches. In France, I watched about five matches. I consider myself lucky that I have watched Brazil, Germany, Holland play on the field, right in front of my eyes. It was like a dream!
In Germany, 2006, I watched Portugal playing the quarter final match against England. That was an amazing experience!
I led India in several international tournaments, including the Women’s World Cup in 1982. At that time, however, it was not recognised by FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association). In that World Cup, India ranked 12.
It is true that men’s football gets all the attention and it is perhaps the most popular sport in the world, however, people do watch women’s football too, especially these days. There is a lot more enthusiasm about women’s football these days than what used to be in the past.
I have always supported Germany because as they play aggressively, and that matches my style of playing. Another reason I support Germany maybe because I was trained there. Apart from Germany, I also like Spain – it is their style of play.
This year I will definitely watch every match till June 17. I’ll be in an All India Football Federation (AIFF) coaches’ training camp, from June 19. I hope that I’ll still manage to make time and watch the best of the remaining matches till the finals.