Wednesday 22 February 2017

I'm watching the World Cup to learn more about life

Published 22/06/2014 | 02:30

Mario Balotelli of Italy holds the ball and gestures towards Giancarlo Gonzalez and Michael Umana of Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Costa Rica
Mario Balotelli of Italy holds the ball and gestures towards Giancarlo Gonzalez and Michael Umana of Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Costa Rica
Illustration by Jim Cogan

WATCHING the World Cup late into the night, woken by the dawn chorus a few hours after my head hits the pillow – last week's binge has left my brain in benign but mushy mode. So apologies in advance for any mellow aura around my column.

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Let me start by admitting I don't watch the World Cup just for the football. Because football bores me, despite the DNA of a father who was a player, a referee and later a fanatical fan of soccer, as the game was then generally called.

My father played Cork club soccer at centre-forward, with a Rooney-like ability to literally rise to the occasion and clinch a goal from a corner. Behind the bouncing net, I did my best to look loyal. But I never found football as riveting as rugby and never as hypnotic as hurling.

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