Football remains global game

JOHANNESBURG - One thing which has made football such a fantastic sport followed by billions across the globe is its unpredictable nature. 

A lot of extraordinary things have happened in the world of football, something hardly seen in other sporting codes.

It is for this reason that football has left an imprint among all other codes and since time immemorial to date, its dominance seems safe from being dislodged.

Only last year, people were raving about Messi, Neymar and Suarez as the best thing that ever happened to football, winning almost all silverware on offer.

Stories were being written that this combination was from another planet, that it will devastate everything before them and that past, present and future combinations will bow before this triumvirate.

Boom, according to one prominent football critics here in Mzansi, fast forward to this month and Luis Enrique’s Barca are starring all sorts of problems; from close to relinquishing their league title to being knocked out in the quarter-finals of the European Champions Cup.

Yes, it is happening to the team that only last year many football fans thought was stronger than the tsunami.

Their loss to Real Madrid, Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid showed no human being is immortal on this earth and that Barcelona is just another football club on this universe.

They might still win the league title and the Spanish Cup but recent events proved they are not as terrifying as most thought last season.

With proper organisation, preparation and determination any team can beat the other on a given day.

Which brings to mind events happening in the English Premiership this season; who ever thought Leicester City, of all clubs would be leading the log standings in England with a few games to go before the end of the season?

It is a fairy-tale which defies logic on paper but this is football for you.

When Claudio Ranieri’s side set the early pace, critics dismissed it as a flash in the pan but when they maintained the pace, the same pundits insisted they will have blip here and there, one way or the other. But football is never predictable like that.

What is unfolding in England before in our lifetime is something that we will be talked  about for ages to come. A team that almost dropped into the second tier winning the title!

Two decades ago when Liverpool was dominating Europe, a small side called Wimbledon shocked the Reds during an FA Cup final.

But Liverpool were to take revenge on that when they stunned AC Milan during the Champions League final in Athens; boy, they relatively repeated on Thursday when they shocked Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League encounter at Anfield against all odds. Those who went to sleep at halftime could not believe the final outcome a 4-3 victory that night.

Back in Zimbabwe in the 80s, I remember CAPS United with all the big names were then known as the undisputed Cup Kings.

No one would bet against the likes of Shacky Tauro, Friday Phiri, Joel Shambo, Stanley Ndunduma and Stix Mtizwa being stopped by little-known Eagles from Bulawayo.

But whatever he ate that day, one Boy Ndlovu turned Size Torindo upside down not once, not twice, not thrice but the entire afternoon as the Bulawayo minnows ran away 3-1 winners to win the Zifa Cup.

That was one of the greatest shocks in Zimbabwe’s football history.

But that’s football for you!

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