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Liverpool-an example to be emulated by India

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I love the Liverpool Football Club and I am a die-hard fan since 7 years. It’s an English Premier League football club based in Liverpool, England. The club has won eighteen league titles, seven F.A cup titles and eight league cups. Liverpool has won more European titles than any other English club, having won five European Cups, three UEFA Cups and 2 UEFA Super Cups. The club was founded in 1892. The club has played in Anfield since its formation. Liverpool has a great history in football; the most successful period of Liverpool was the 70’s and the 80’s. The club were involved in two tragedies, the first was at Heysel Stadium disaster in 1985 and in 1989 Hillsbourgh disaster. Liverpool has long-standing rivalries with neighbors such as Everton and with Manchester United. The clubs anthem is “You Will Never Walk Alone”. John Houlding was the founder of Liverpool Football Club.

Anfield was built in 1884 on land adjacent to Stanley Park. It was originally used by Everton before the club moved Goodison Park after a dispute over rent with Anfield owner John Houlding. Left with ground empty, Houlding founded Liverpool in 1892 and club has played in Anfield since then. The Anfield ground at the time had a capacity of about 20,000 but only 100 spectators attended the first match at Anfield. Anfield could accommodate 60,000 supporters at his peak, and had a capacity of 55,000 until 1990’s. Liverpool is one of the best supported clubs in the world, with one of the highest home attendance in Europe. The current manager of Liverpool Football Club is Brendon Rodgers.

The best experience I had was when I was watching the match between Manchester United and Liverpool on 28th January, 2012. It was an FA Cup 4th Round. I was tensed as the game was very competitive and evenly poised. My nails bore the brunt of my restless teeth and I almost fell from the edge of my seat. Liverpool scored a late winner and they won the match 2-1. I whistled and screamed till my family members brought me back to my senses. I was in a trance for some time full of joy as the match was just an adrenaline rush with moments of despair and ecstatic joy. Anytime when Liverpool bashes up Manchester United I find a meaning in my life. I attain nirvana. Everyone meditates to get peace and for me such a victory is pure meditation. Liverpool and Manchester United are arch rivals and both these clubs have a long history of soccer wars.

Everyone has a favorite player in a team and mine is Steven Gerrard. He is the heart of the Liverpool team and one of the best midfielders in the world. He is being playing for Liverpool for over 14 years and holds the team well. He is captaining the site for 9 years now. I personally like the way he dribbles weaving magic in the field and the opposition players are just mesmerized.  He is very dangerous when it comes to taking free kicks or passing the ball and he has been very loyal to the club.

Football in India can be easily groomed. Corporate houses and the government of the country should contribute to the success. Unlike cricket, football is sadly ignored in our country where no proper facilities like play grounds or funds are available. I-League is targeting some of the foreign players to play for various I-league clubs. This will increase the standards of football in India. There is a vast difference between the game in India and in England but football should not be neglected in India, and should be given due importance. Smart marketing and media support will change the face of the game. The popularity will enhance the health of our young as it is a short 90 minute burst unlike cricket that takes at least a day.

Open spaces are scarce as the builder sharks in the country grab and do not spare even a square foot. Popularizing football will need an iron will and long term planning. In an era where sport bodies in our country are dens of cheap politicking and murky power games this feels like a daunting task. India is rocking and moving and scores of young people are making it happen.

I am an incurable optimist and believe that we can make it. Football will one day become our national game and slowly India’s pride. We will produce hundreds of Baichang Bhutias and Sunil Chetris.

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