The Overhead Kick brings you five short World Cup related stories, which will warm your heart and put a smile on your face. Enjoy!
The Homeless Panini Sticker Collector
Our first stop takes us to a little tropical in the Indian Ocean called Mauritius. The island is often considered as paradise on earth but as with every country, it has its social problems. One of them is homelessness. This story is about Krishna Harnandan, a 30 year old man, who sleeps under the stars every night. His only solace is in his collection of World Cup Panini stickers.
Related: Could the World Cup be rigged?
Ever since he started collecting stickers for his Panini album, he frequently meets up with other collectors for exchanges. Through these social gatherings, people have started being aware of his plight and more and more Mauritians go to see him to chat and help. One such person is Sunil Bheeroo, a lawyer who has his own firm in the capital, Port Louis. His daughter read Krishna’s story all the way from Luxembourg and asked her dad to help. Sunil obliged and invited Krishna to his office and delivered to him two Panini albums and all the stickers needed to complete them. The lawyer is now trying to find Krishna a place to live.
We hope Krishna finds a housing solution soon and congratulate Sunil Beeroo for his benevolence!
The Legend known as Gaucho da Copa
If you have watched World Cup 2014 in Brazil, you surely have noticed an elderly Brazilian fan, with a mustache, carrying a replica of the cup during the host’s games. That man is Clovis Fernandes. As Brazil lost 7-1 to Germany, he won everybody’s hearts with his tears and by passing his trophy replica to a young German fan for them to take it to the final, saying “Take it to the final! As you can see, it is not easy, but you deserve it, congratulations!” He earned eternal fame and the nickname ‘Gaucho da Copa’.
Sadly, Clovis passed away in 2015. After having reportedly attended 7 World Cup finals to cheer for Brazil, the Gaucho da Copa was no more. Who would carry on his legacy at Russia 2018? His sons, of course. Frank and Gostavo Fernandes flew to Russia to attend Brazil’s games and brought a World Cup replica just like father, along with their dad’s famous hat. Cheers to the Fernandes family!
Some Tequila, Señor Embajador?
Next stop, Mexico City. How do you get a South Korean ambassador to party with a bunch of Mexicans? A World Cup win over 2014 champions Germany of course.
Related: Great day for South Korean football
On the last game day of Group F, South Korea took on mighty Germany while Mexico faced Sweden. The Mexicans had 6 points from 2 games but were still not qualified. By the 74th minute, Sweden were 3-0 up. Only South Korea could save Mexico now and they delivered as the Koreans scored two goals in additional time to send Germany home and qualify Mexico in the process.
In the Korean consulate, all hell broke loose as Mexicans and Koreans celebrated together. In the celebrations, the South Korean ambassador reportedly even indulged with some tequila with the Mexican fans.
There’s no distinction between Mexicans and Koreans today. We’re celebrating together. – Consul General Byoung-jin Han
The Mexicans, a Korean on their shoulder, were heard shouting “Brother, you are now a Mexican!” in yet another example of how this game brings people together.
Croatia have endured a tough road to the final, having had to navigate the group of death and then playing three consecutive knockout games which went to extra time, two of them penalty shootout wins. The Croats have demonstrated amazing professionalism in representing their country.
Back home, Croatian firefighters showed the exact same professionalism. While watching the last penalty their countrymen Ivan Rakitic was taking in the game against Russia, a call for help came in. Without any hesitance, all the firefighters abandoned the game, quickly put on their uniform and went to the rescue, leaving three of their colleagues to celebrate the Croatia victory.
All Hail Lord Ngolo Kante
We end this feature with a funny video. A Tamil fan of Les Bleus prays to the God Kante ahead of a France game.
The ending, where he pulls a French flag out of a coconut, parodying the North American fortune cookie tradition, really got us. And that smile! 🙂
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