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Kolkata fans losing interest in World Cup

sports Updated: Jul 04, 2010 21:03 IST

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With the exit of two football giants -- Brazil and Argentina -- from the World Cup, fans in Kolkata have either lost interest or have found new favourites.

Brazil and Argentina have always been overwhelming favourites in the City of Joy.

As both teams stormed their way into the quarter-finals, expectations soared high, but the enthusiasm was shortlived.

The first shock came when five-time champion Brazil lost to the Netherlands on Thursday. Fans also had their hopes pinned on Diego Maradona's Argentina. But their expectations got a drubbing after Germany outplayed Argentina 4-0 Friday for a semi-final spot.

"After Brazil crashed out of the quarterfinals, the only attraction was Argentina. But everything seems to have gone haywire. Now I am least interested in this World Cup," Tamal Das, a MBA student, told IANS.

The streets of Kolkata are still adorned with huge posters of Kaka, Robinho, Messi and Maradona. Flags of Brazil and Argentina are still fluttering atop houses, but the interest has died down.

"It was really pathetic to see the way Argentina lost to Germany," said Saibal Roy, an engineer, who cut short his sleeping hours to see Messi in action.

The German victory has broken many hearts here.

"For me, the World Cup is over as Argentina is out of race. I think it has been proved again that great players don't always make great coaches. I won't see any more matches of this World Cup. Not even the final," a fan wailed, sitting beside a large cutout of Maradona.

The soccer crazy city is now gunning for revenge against Germany and the Netherlands, who knocked out Argentina and Brazil. So Spain and Uraguay are the new favourites that will keep their football appetite alive.

"I am a die hard fan of Argentina but for the time being I am supporting Spain," said Bubun Pal.

"I am banking on Uruguay. But frankly speaking I cannot think of a World Cup final without Brazil and Argentina," says Sanjay Das, a diehard Brazil supporter.