Imagine playing Metallica in your left earphone and Miles Davis in the right one; simultaneously. 90 minutes of that, and you’d gift yourself a headache for a few days. So why do our mouths water at the prospect of Klopp’s Liverpool taking on Pep’s City? Heavy Metal and Jazz? Why don’t our heads ache? Why instead, do our hearts flutter with excitement? It’s no secret that every football fan finds football to be breathtakingly beautiful. But why? Across history, the greatest charmers of women have had one common secret to conquer the heart of a beautiful woman : Shock her emotional landscape. Go study Casanova. That was his entire game. It’s probably unethical as those con-artists used the technique to capture a woman’s heart and after a while, leave. Why am I telling you this? To your unsuspecting self, in this football article? Because you, my friend, are the ‘beautiful woman’. Football, not a sport, but a charmer named Casanova.
Imagine the clock ticking 00:01 in a Klopp vs Pep face-off. Aguero passes the ball backwards to De Bruyne at kick-off. They interchange quite beautifully, playing ‘Jazz’, as they attempt to launch an attack. Gundogan attempts to thread a through ball to the overlapping Sterling, but Firmino makes an interception. The Jazz stops. Liverpool take a few seconds to orient themselves and get in positions. Then, the ‘Heavy Metal’ starts. This happens for the next 90 minutes or so. Jazz; disruption; Heavy-Metal; disruption; Jazz; Goal; xyz; xyz; xyz; Final-whistle. 20 different teams in a league. All with different genres of music. Genres which themselves vary in a free-flowing way; leading to a sweet victory one day, a hammering the other. A single football match consists of two different symphonies, changing randomly within themselves, to create a single symphony. A single football fan on the other hand, is a completely different person at the end of a thriller.
Defending in football is akin to the transition between the two symphonies. The more elegant the disruption, the more elegant the game. Recently, as Athletico Madrid brushed aside Arsenal in the Europa league semi-finals, Simeone called defending an ‘art-form’, and rightly so. The reason why defensive football does not catch everyone’s eye, is because it’s supposedly disruptive. People want to be entertained and hear music. Disruptors sweep up few individual awards and even fewer Ballon d’ors. Defending is an art-form because it starts with destruction(This destruction in itself is a form of creation. Go watch a Maldini-sliding-tackle reel in YouTube) and then goes on to bury the seeds of creation. In other words, football is not just music. It’s an embrace of two songs, fighting, loving, like two mating snakes. Add to that the managers, the fans, the chants, the glory, the despair and ArsenalTV. Bill Shankly was spot on when he tried putting the importance of football in words.
Why do we call something beautiful? Beauty is something which is both unique and pleasing to our senses(The deeper the senses, the more ‘beauty’ we acknowledge). Football proves this, every single time. It keeps on seducing us, 90 minutes at a time. Toying with our emotional landscape, us ‘beautiful women’ have got no chance. We are love-struck for life.
Of course, perspective is everything. I’m not accusing football of any ‘unethical crime’ against us. That’s because I love football; and love thrives on forgiveness, even if the accusation is a wildly constructed one. Luckily for us ‘beautiful women’, unlike Casanova, Football isn’t going anywhere