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'Brazil's attitude amazes me'

Their game reflects the entire character of their nation, Olympic silver medallist RVS Rathore tells S Kannan.

india Updated: May 27, 2006 16:55 IST

I hate to blow my own trumpet, but I must start by saying that I've just returned after a good performance in the World Cup.

Not many people would be aware that though I spend hours at the shooting ranges, I do follow other sport quite closely.

I am pretty excited about the football World Cup. In shooting, we have several World Cups every year, each a stiff test for man and weapon in trying conditions.

But the football World Cup is unique and people go to the extent of comparing it with the Olympics, a stage very close to my heart as I won silver in Athens in 2004.

World Cup football is a single sport event, which stirs the souls of millions all over the globe. When the World Cup is on, I will be in Germany for my own competition. I may not get to go to the venues but will try and follow it on the television.

Football is a fast sport and undoubtedly one where the pace of movement is eye-catching. Good moves, fast chases, brilliant saves and goals - it makes for great viewing. The beauty of soccer is that one can feel part of it even being inside the drawing room in front of the TV.

If you were to ask me which team I am going to support, the order will be: Brazil, Italy and Germany. The attitude of the Brazilians amazes me the most.

They are great performers and their game reflects the entire character of their nation. The Italians also play with passion and I hope people would give them a fair chance.

Talking about great players and teams, how can I not share my views on the all-time heroes? I haven't seen Pele play, but my personal choice would be Maradona.

On the field, Maradona was a class act. But perhaps because of his flamboyant lifestyle, if I were to look for a role model, it has to be Zidane.

The Frenchman is a true icon. You see his face and it says everything. As a parent if I were to tell my children to look for a role model, it would be Zidane.

One word of advice. World Cup soccer is high-octane stuff. So, after the late night viewing, I would be happy if the youth in India take some time off and try to kick a football around.

Believe me, it's a beautiful sport…

(As told to S Kannan)

First Published: May 27, 2006 02:23 IST