…Reporting live from the Stadium…
Few days back, I made it to the first ever International football match of my life, in a stadium. China was taking on Paraguay in an International friendly at Nanjing Olympic Center. A visual treat even though the match neither created the kind of excitement an Argentina-Brazil match would create, nor were there the players like Lionel Messi & Kaka to create an Awe-moment.
…About the Stadium…
(The pics are both that of NOC – Nanjing Olympic Center)
It was the greenest of the turfs shining under a well-lit flood light, a sight in itself which beholds your breath. Now how about being surrounded by a sea, or rather an ocean of seats, red & blue in color, some 65,000 of them. The giant screen at the far ends of the pitch, up above the goal posts kept on flashing advertisements & right at the center of the pitch, 8 people stood with a big banner, above their heads, that of the main sponsor’s, the KIA Motors. The KIA motors had also arranged something like a motor exhibition outside the stadium where the newest models of cars were lined up.
I might not be able to stop the outflow of words if I start explaining the stadium & the facilities outside. There was a huge, a really huge swimming pool, there were signboards to the tennis courts, the warm up fields & huge underground parking lot, even though we never made it to any of them!
It’s not every day that an international football match got hold in any stadium in this part of the world & that ensured a decent audience of over 10,000 inside the stadium, many with & without flags, many in & out of their team jerseys, many with & without lays packets & the most popular of all, many eating & not eating barbeques.
So all in all, it was a night to remember, at least until I have a better experience of an international match, be it football, cricket or the upcoming F1 races in Delhi.
…Before you leave, hold on!…
….Hey, did I mention that I was in the stadium? Oh, no. Never! I am not crazy enough to spent $25 just to watch a crazy match between the retarded Chinese & unknown Paraguayans. We just visited the stadium to know how it feels to be in a stadium & we watched all the proceedings from out of it, there were more than enough space for you to stand and there was just enough openings between the stands were you could take a peek at the proceedings. Yes, I would have been happy enough to spend this $25 had there been a Messi or Cristiano or at least a Rooney ;)
Our positioning was such that we could clearly see the center of the pitch and not the wings & we almost cursed the Paraguay players for cruising into the Chinese defenders only through the wings. Our curse payed off too, with Paraguay breaking the deadlock as early as in the 8th minute.
Three pair of tiring legs and a goal - which was nothing compared to exceptional, we decided to leave or rather gift our balcony stands to those Chinese who were positioned behind us, eagerly following all the see-able moves of their national football team, National Heroes- may be!
The much talked about screen in our “minds” came into being again, and this time rewinding our memories to those awesome goals by the greats of the game. A long walk to the bus station, a silent nap in an empty bus and we were back in our hostel rooms in less than 40 minutes!