THE World Cup. I did not know World Cup before I heard my father’s friends talking about it one Saturday afternoon at home. That was when I also learned that it is a major world contest of football teams.

I remember the Azkals and the news about them. Suddenly, I am interested in football.

I tried kicking one, copying the way the players on television kick and pass the ball. I enjoyed doing it. I also found it easy to play with since there is no court that I have to go to. I can kick around the ball in our yard, or in my playmate’s garage.

Since then, my playmate Nico and I have been enjoying afternoons after school kicking and making believe we were one of those players running the wide green field in the World Cup.

I also enjoyed learning about the game.

Unlike basketball, football has 11 players per team. That is a big number. But looking at a field, it seems empty. The field is just very huge!

I enjoy most watching the goalkeeper. But it looks scary to be one. I cannot imagine how it would feel if I missed blocking a goal. I saw how goalkeepers usually make fists and rub their faces when that happens. Imagine letting down your team. But, I still find the role of the goalkeeper fascinating.

I still cannot understand what the referees are watching out for, although I already read that only the goalie can touch the ball and no one else. I have seen how the referee blows the whistle and points at a player who has touched a ball. I’m still trying to learn.

But I am happy I heard about the World Cup because now I am really interested in one sport. (MarckYousef S. Malipata)