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'Brazil vs Italy in the final'

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June 30, 2006 17:13 IST

N Srinath, the Under-12 World Chess Champion, on the Football Fiesta

I was very small when the last football World Cup happened, so I didn't follow it in detail. But now I am watching every match. I am not crazy about either cricket or football, but I follow all the games very closely.

I see some similarities in tactics, planning, etc between chess and football. But in football, there is a lot of outside support (from team mates).

I see that everybody in India is very excited about the football World Cup, and the very fact that it has overshadowed the India-West Indies Test series shows how popular it is now.

I think it will take at least two-and-a-half decades for India to send a team to the football World Cup. We don't have good coaches and good infrastructure. Unlike cricket, it does not get good patronage. But I, like every Indian, would like to see India in the World Cup.

I would like to watch the matches with my friends but it is not possible because of the timing. I watch the matches with my father and brother. I don't shout when a goal is scored; I watch the matches quietly.

I watch all the first matches of the evening and the first half of the second matches everyday. My favourite group stage match was Germany versus Costa Rica. I felt it was a very lively game, a thriller with a lot of goals!

I also liked the Australia- Japan match. I thought Australia would score goals because they were on the attack. I think Japan played too defensive in that game. Similarly, I felt the USA also had a lot of chances against the Czech Republic but when it came to finishing, the Czechs were better.

I support Brazil and Italy. Brazil is considered by all as the strongest team, but I am very impressed with the defence of Italy.

My favourite player is Ronaldinho. I couldn't watch the first Brazil match because it happened very late. I had to go to school next day morning. But I saw Ronaldinho in the Champions League finals at Barcelona. I feel he is the best football player in the world currently.

Beckham I feel is a bit out of form now. His performance is nothing much to talk about. When Ronaldinho is performing so well, how can I like anybody else?

My brother does not support Brazil but my father supports them. My brother thinks Germany and England are the best.

I would like to see Brazil and Italy in the finals.

N Srinath spoke to Shobha Warrior.

N Srinath's photograph: Sreeram Selvaraj

Brazil team photograph: Vanderlei Almeida/AFP/Getty Images

World Under-12 champion N Srinath

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