?Hope Argentina finally turn corner?
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?Hope Argentina finally turn corner?

"I would love to watch as many games as possible," squash champion Ritwik Bhattacharya tells Uthra Ganesan.

india Updated: May 23, 2006 01:08 IST
Ritwik Bhattacharya
Ritwik Bhattacharya

Having just come off a hectic schedule playing tournaments all over the world, I haven't been able to really keep track of the other game I really love-- football.I have always been a keen follower of the game, and while training in England I often catch a Premier League match or two.

Football is the world game, and the World Cup is the pinnacle of the sport, and I would love to watch as many games as possible. For me, there are many reasons that make it imperative to like the game. I am a Bengali, and train in England, and together there's no way I could escape the football fever.

But it all started with one man, Diego Maradona. I remember the 1986 World Cup, which can well be christened ‘Maradona's World Cup’. He's just the best, a phenomenal guy. I mean, there he was, weaving through the opposition like there wasn't any, creating magic on the field, a one-- man army. He didn't really have any great support from either side, did he? Which only makes him greater.

In the present Argentine team, I think Lionel Messi is a very good player. However, my loyalties to Argentina apart, I think Brazil's Ronaldinho is the best at the moment. He's got everything-- style, flair, skills, talent, control. He is the total package. To this list of South American flair I would also like to add an European name --Frank Lampard.

He is a very good player who creates and scores a lot of goals.

I would love to see Argentina winning in Germany. It’s been a long time since they last won. Besides Argentina, I think Spain have always shown promise but disappointed, and they are long due a good performance. Holland also, especially after missing the last finals in 2002. Honestly, I can’t really remember the last time there was such an open World Cup, when any team could come up tops. Though I would love to see an Argentina-France final-- which would showcase the best of both South American and European football, if I am asked to put a finger on the realistic favourites, I would have to say Brazil or France.

Favourite player: Maradona

Favourite team: Argentina

— As told to Uthra Ganesan

First Published: May 23, 2006 01:08 IST