After watching the opening ceremony and the goal fest between Russia and Saudia Arabia, the World Cup fever has hit me too, writes WADE PRETORIUS.
I really wasn’t keen for this World Cup – be it the that there’s no Bafana Bafana in action or that Russia are the hosts which presents moral problems and also the issue of how they ‘won’ the right to host the event.
But the minute I saw the lineups of the first match, I quickly turned back into my football-mad self.
The opening ceremony was brilliant. Brilliant cheesy. I mean why else was Robbie Williams the star of the show?
Opening ceremonies are not my thing but Robbie belting out tunes from the 90s in that ‘questionable’ maroon ‘suit’ was exactly the tonic I needed to get into the swing of things. Add the sight of the original Ronaldo and some Russian ‘flair’ and it was on.
Russia vs Saudi Arabia to open things. Wow, has there ever been a more underwhelming opening match? Well, it proved to be underwhelming on paper as Russia banged home five goals without conceding giving the local crowd and their president in attendance ‘all the feels’.
The match had everything – including a goal early on which always helps – bar a dodgy VAR review as Russia went against their nature and thrilled from start to finish – you had to watch until the end to watch Yuri Gazinskiy score a lovely goal with the outside of his boot before Aleksandr Golovin scored from a free kick in the fifth minute of time added on.
The match has set the tone for what promises to be a great World Cup if they opening encounter, played before a packed crowd on a sublime surface is anything to go by.
What a difference 90 or so minutes makes to me sentiments. The world deserves this kind of football joy, and we haven’t even seen the best of Messi, Ronaldo, Brazil and Germany.
Here’s to a wonderful month of the beautiful game.
Photo: Fifa Website