He came, he saw, he conquered! That’s the impression we got from Ronaldinho’s performance for Goa in the ongoing Premier Futsal competition. His debut against Kolkata may not have been something to write home about, but his 2nd game was undoubtedly out of this world, as he scored 5 goals in a 7-2 demolition of Bangalore.
The whole of Goa was led to believe that Ronaldinho would go on to light up the stage even further in the remaining group games, while some had already gone online to see if tickets to the finals were available.
Then our whole world came crashing to a halt, when we received news that Ronaldinho was going back to Brazil immediately to play an important role as brand ambassador for the Paralympics. He would not play any further part in the Premier Futsal competition. All we had left was great memories.
If you missed Ronaldinho’s fantastic 5 goal bonanza, where have you been? Anyway you can catch it here:
With Ronaldinho gone, it was understood that his former Brazil team mate, Cafu would take the no. 10 shirt. But before Cafu could arrive, Goa had still to play one match with no marquee player. In this game they scored late on to wrestle a point away from Kolkata as the game finished 2-2. This vital draw kept the dream alive!
The 46 year-old, Cafu finally arrived in Goa. Despite being a rock at right back in Brazil’s defence for so many years, not everyone was convinced he could fill the void left by Ronaldinho. His age was also a major factor, being ten years older than Ronaldinho.
However, like his good friend Ronaldinho, Cafu grew up playing Futsal, unlike some marquee players in the tournament. Just one look at Cafu’s CV showcases his passion, class and commitment for the beautiful game. He was known for his tactical intelligence and technical ability. While playing for Roma in Italy he was given the nickname ‘II Pendolino’, which translates as the ‘Express Train’ as he possessed tremendous speed and stamina.
- Cafu played in a record 3 consecutive World Cup finals for Brazil (1994, 1998, 2002)
- Cafu has two World Cup winners’ medals (1994, 2002)
- Cafu lifted the World Cup as Captain of Brazil in 2002
- Cafu is the most capped Brazillian player of all time (142 Internationals)
- Cafu has played in a record 21 World Cup matches
Cafu leads Goa into semi’s
As soon as he stepped on the court to make his long awaited debut for Goa 5’s any doubts were put to rest, as he looked in great shape despite lacking that extra yard of pace. Cafu provided the assist for the first goal as Goa romped to a 3-0 win over Bangalore, to book their place in the semi-finals after topping group B.
Mumbai will meet Kolkata in the first semi-final, while Goa will play Kochi in the second semi-final on Saturday. The winners of the semi-final matches will meet on Sunday in the much coveted final. Let’s hope Cafu can inspire Goa to win the semi finals and take us all the way to glory!
Premier Futsal Results: The road to the Semi’s
How they finished up:
Main Photo courtesy: www.oneindia.com