“It was a day when the sun set twice,” said Shaiju Damodaran, the now famous Malayalam sports commentator, on a day that many football fans across the world would like to forget.
Enough has been said and written about the love and passion of the people of Kerala towards football and their affinity towards the two South American footballing giants – Brazil and Argentina – and of course their adoration for the two legends of the game, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
India may not be playing in the FIFA world cup but the silence and mourning in many households in Kerala on Saturday and in the early hours of Sunday was equivalent to an Indian defeat at the group stages in a cricket world cup.
What followed the exit of Messi’s Argentina and Ronaldo’s Portugal after their 4-3 defeat to France and 2-1 defeat to Uruguay respectively, was a series of heartbroken quotes, emotional social media status messages, WhatsApp voice recordings sharing the pain and disappointment… in short, a mass emotional outburst on social media.
One of the most noted personalities in Kerala to have come out on social media to share his emotions after the Argentina match was Communist Party of India leader (CPI) and the current Electricity Minister of Kerala, MM Mani.
“Argentina as a team stands way beyond the win-lose result on the field,” said Mani in his Facebook post on Saturday right after the Argentina-France match.
“It is a team that has vigorously fought back after a defeat,” he added.
Also taking to Facebook after the match was Student’s Federation of India (SFI), Kerala state president, Jaick C Thomas who put out a very philosophical post.
“The name of love, that which cannot be broken by any defeat, is Argentina,” read Jaick’s post.
Then there were some people who weren’t necessarily Argentina or Portugal fans, but were still disappointed.
“It was disappointing to see Messi and Ronaldo walk away without a world cup. They have achieved almost everything in this game except for a world cup,” said Arjun, a football fan from Kochi. Arjun is one of those guys who is not a fan of any particular team but wanted to catch Messi and Ronaldo face off against each other in a world cup match.
“At first I was really sad that Argentina lost and all my friends who are Ronaldo fans started teasing me,” said Fabio, a Malayali student in Bengaluru. “Later that night, I was kind of relieved that even Portugal lost, which meant that both Messi and Ronaldo can walk out of the world cup together,” he said laughing.
The picture below is a reference to Malayalam actor Mohanlal’s popular movie, Devasuram. The text translates to, “There is no need of Shekharan to be in the battle, if Neelakantan is not there.” Here, Neelakantan is the hero played by Mohanlal and Shekharan is the villain. A reference made to the fact that if Messi is not there in the world cup, Ronaldo shouldn’t as well.
Credits: Facebook/Messi Fans Kerala.
Safeer, a member of Manjappada, the official fans club of the Kerala Blasters FC said that all the Manjappada WhatsApp groups were buzzing through the night.
“Thankfully, we have a rule in the group that there shouldn’t be any messages or trolls that make fun of other teams, in which case the admin will remove the contact from the group; but after Argentina lost, the group was being spammed by Argentina fans sharing their sadness over the loss,” said Safeer.
“All this sadness will be gone in a few days as we are gearing up to see our team, Kerala Blasters, play against La Liga team Girona FC and Australian team Melbourne City FC in Kochi in July,” said a happy Safeer.