The secret of my Shöt...

our whole life is like a play...
the secret of my shöt...
-by gasper crasto...03/07/2003

"A player's popularity is temporary; applauded today, forgotten tomorrow."
-T. Shanmugam, Olympian and former coach of Salgaocars - Goa.

It was the finals of our village inter-ward football tournament.

I was one  of the spectators witnessing the battle royal played between my ward, which had huffed and puffed their way to the final, against the formidable three-times champion ward having Mykel, our village superstar in the team.

The referee blew the whistle and the match began.

My ward being the underdogs were pushed on the back foot right from the kick-off.

The opponents dominated the game, their think-tank Mykel being at the helm, but thank God, somehow we managed to keep the ball away from entering our net. Our goalkeeper too was at his best. 

Scoreboard at halftime: 0-0.

Second half, the opponents just pounced on us virtually camping in our territory; a goal against us looked imminent any moment.

Then a 'blessing-in-disguise' disaster struck our team. One of our players got injured and had to be taken off the field. To rub salt to injury, the substitute players had some row with our captain and refused to play.

With no alternative left, our team officials desperately looked out for someone from the ward to replace the injured player (the rules on fielding of players were no so strict; anyone from their respective wards could play).

Time was running out. The ref was blowing his lungs out to get on with the game. Just then, the poor captain spotted me. He ordered me to get on the field immediately. I was virtually dragged.

Never before had I kicked a ball with booted feet before; in fact a total ignorant to the game. I stepped into a pair of hurriedly arranged football shoes, which were much bigger than my actual shoe size.

I entered the field touching the ground and making a customary sign of the cross.

I was so excited, I ran non-stop to the continuous screams of our supporters directed at me, 'run, run..' However, after a while I realized I was simply running like a fool.

For nearly 10 minutes the ball eluded me. I was hoping the ball would come and hit me atleast, but it never came. Then, I thought the best thing would be to run to the ball. I waited my chance.

There was a scuffle of players in the opponent's area just after the centre circle and I saw the ball rolling idly towards me. Without wasting a second I dashed forward and kicked the ball as hard as I could towards the opponent's goal -- falling down flat in the process.

I was sure the ball would not even pass between the flag poles leave alone the goal posts. But to everyone's surprise, the ball zoomed off into the far corner of the opponent's net.

Next second, I realized we had scored a goal off my shot. Our team went into euphoria. I was hugged and kissed and lifted.

“What a shot,” someone remarked while another one asked, “What a curling shot, is it a banana kick?”

I had no idea when the match ended, cause rest of the game I was just too stunned by the goal. I was puzzled how the ball could swing so much and crash inside the goal. I had actually expected the ball to hit the nearby coconut trees at the most.

We won the final by that lone goal. Everyone showered praises and congratulated me. I was placed on cloud nine.

Some of the old folks remarked they had not seen a better goal scored since the Portuguese times. Till today, some say it was more exceptional than the overrated Roberto Carlos' free-kick against France in the 1997 Tornoi de France... :)

Everyone wanted to know the secret behind my shot but I just smiled, as I myself was still baffled.

I was sorry for Mykel the superstar who had lined up to compliment me on the great accomplishment. He too wanted to know the secret.

Just then, the guy who had lent me his boots came to collect them.

As I bent down to untie the laces, everybody around saw the secret mystery behind my curving shot -- I had the right shoe worn on the left foot, and left shoe on the right!..

voice: 00965 9502 686

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