Assam: If Germany lifts this year’s World Cup on July 11, a die-hard fan in this remote town will break an eight-year-old promise he made to his friends and also dig out a ‘treasure’ buried in his garden.
Putul Bora, who owns a grocery store here, stopped drinking after Germany lost in the 2002 edition with a vow that he will touch alcohol only when his favourite team is crowned world champions again.
His liking for the German team developed suddenly.
“It was during the 1986 World Cup final (in Mexico City) that I decided to support the team against whom the first goal is scored. Argentina opened the scoring (Jose Luis Brown) in the 23rd minute and since then I began to root for Germany,” Bora told PTI.
He says he watched at his uncle’s place in nearby Bokajan town the exciting match in which Germany scored twice to draw level before Jorge Burruchaga found the target and won the cup for Argentina.
Though my team lost, players like Andreas Brehme, Lothar Matthaus, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Rudi Voeller impressed me a lot, he says.
For the 1990 tournament, Bora made a lot of preparations. He bought a colour television and when Germany triumphed in the final, his excitement knew no bounds.
Before the next edition of the football extravaganza, he bought a bottle of passport scotch to celebrate a possible German victory again.
“But unfortunately, Germany were knocked out in the quarter finals by Bulgaria. It left be shocked. I immediately decided to bury the scotch bottle in my garden,” he says.
That bottle, which Bora terms as a ‘treasure,’ still lies buried.
Going by Germany’s performance this year, Bora feels he might be able to dig out his much loved bottle.
“Baring a loss, Germany’s performance has been clinical. Now if they overcome Argentina tomorrow (in the quarter finals), no one can stop Germany from becoming world champions again,” he predicts.
It is not that Bora’s liking for the team is confined to booze only. He has put up German flags in his house, posters of team members and also a few banners near his shop.
He says star player Michael Ballack?s absence worried him initially but seeing the young players gelling quite well, he has high hopes from the team.
Bora himself played football for his school team. ”I have played for my school. Though I could not make it to the district level is a different matter. I still love to join young men whenever I see them playing, he says.