WC has just ended with the first ever victory for Spain, Thaqif's favourite team...simply because his favourite football player, Fernando Torres plays for the Liverpool team and he's a die hard fan of Liverpool FC (& Kelantan - The Red Warriors FC).
Before the WC started, he has been following the local, English and the European Leagues and seems to know the teams, the players, the managers, the schedule of matches, the scores and sometimes the cards issued during a game!!. He will join his friends for a round of football after sekolah agama almost everyday. His position has always been the goalie, for obvious reason! He just loved football although he is not in the best shape to excel in the sport right now... pretty amazing for a 9 year old boy.....and that is what interest can do.
Most of the time, he loves to wear his Liverpool jersey, of course not the original one (Pengkalan Kubur version). But when Ibu told him that Stanchart is going to sponsor the Liverpool's jersey for the new season, he was excited and kept asking Ibu to order! Eventually, Abah, Faiz, Thaqif and Pak Lang were the fortunate ones to get the new jerseys before it was officially launched on 1 July 2010. When he returned home from school one day in May, he saw a parcel from LFC and immediately called Ibu to ask if he could open it. Yes!!! He finally got his latest Liverpool long sleeve jersey complete with the premier league patch and his name and number 9 printed on the back. Faiz chose number 8 while Abah and Pak Lang selected number 27 and 9 respectively. On several occasions, Faiz was stopped by Liverpool fans asking him where he bought the jersey...(people are always interested in new stuff!).
When the WC was approaching, Thaqif got excited and was really gearing into it....bought books, magazines, watched documentaries, asked the dad, the uncles & grandfathers and dreamt of football.....he developed his knowledge on football along the way. He chosed Spain, like his Pak Lang, dad chosed England, Ibu chose Germany, uncle AP was for the US....Paul the Octopus was not yet in the picture then! Thaqif collected stickers of players pictures for his sticker book, persuaded Ibu to buy him the WC ball, Jabulani, collected Mc Donald's WC glasses and finally when Spain got through to the final, the Spain jersey!
Spain started badly on 16.6.2010 when they lost to Switzerland, he was pretty down but still hoping hard. Then it was a 2-0 win over Honduras on 21.6.2010...and the spirit went up again. After 2 games, Chile was looking good and Spain had to compete with the Swiss while Honduras had very slim chance. On 25.6.2010, Spain had to win over Chile and the Swiss had to do the same over Honduras. Spain won 2-0 while the Swiss drew 1 - 1 with Honduras and both teams went home early while Spain topped the table in Group H and moved on to the round of 16 against Portugal on 29.6.2010....superb game which Spain won 1 - 0 courtesy of David Villa.
Moved on to the quarterfinal against Paraguay on 3.7.2010, another superb game which Spain won 1-0 courtesy of David Villa. The semifinal against the Germans on 7.7.2010 was a classic game... a total demolition of the Germans sophistication by the Spanish armada and David Villa, the Germans was simply missing Mueller....or believing too much in Paul!
Last Saturday, we let him watched the match between Germany and Uruguay with his cousins, Naif and Atif at Bangi....and they had a wonderful time sharing the vuvuzela infested WC moments with his equally football crazy cousins & Pak Su at 2:30 am. He didn't get to see the WC final live as Monday was a school day....but he was satisfied enough to know that Spain won the FIFA World Cup for the first time in history. A team that he supported, a team that he believed in....must have been an awesome experience for a 9 year old guy.
Anyway, did the Spanish come to Melaka? The Portugese and the Dutch certainly did....