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My Two Cents

My Two Cents

December 8, 2013
The man who managed to silence Maracana

Vish Murthy is a long-time soccer fan who lives in Princeton, N.J.

By Vish Murthy
Special to

On Friday we witnessed the World Cup draw, a most important event captured the world over.

Few, amongst the various generations witnessing the same, would have understood why an 85-year-old man, hobbled with a cane and barely able to stand should have been invited to this glittering pageantry of drama, destiny, glamorous models, handsome soccer heroes and the greatest assembly of sponsoring corporate executives.

That 85-year-old, even older than Pele (one of the most recognized faces on this planet) has but a unique distinction:

He is among the only three people in history who have dared to silence the memorable Maracana with but a single gesture.

He has been football's lone great. The other two names belong to that of a Pope and to the legendary singer Frank Sinatra.

It was a great sporting gesture on behalf of the World Cup Draw Committee to have invited this renaissance man back to Brazil.

Following the draw, ESPN commentator Taylor Twellman, himself U.S. soccer standout remarked, "This World Cup will have some of the best story lines ever written."

But our hero's story line is one of the best.

His name is Alcides Ghiggia and while his name gets sung in praise all over Uruguay, the Brazilians would prefer not to be reminded about him. He prevented Brazil from winning the 1950 World Cup in their own land, in front of their own huge worshipers, the last time he was in Brazil.

Will his presence in the draw, in some strange way, have the possibility of recasting an old dark shadow?

Our current state of emotions and desires for Brazil and for a very successful World Cup 2014 say "No, Please, No!"

Now, please look him up through any browser...


"The opinions reflected in the My Two Cents columns do not express the views of the editors or management of BigAppleSoccer. com"
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