Wednesday, 11 June 2014 | MYT 10:45 PM
Die-hard fan Sid ready to Samba in Brazil
Die-hard fan S. Siddhartha will be in Sao Paulo to watch the match between Brazil and Croatia. - SAMUEL ONG / The Star
PETALING JAYA: Samba-crazy S. Siddhartha hopes the FIFA World Cup Finals would one day be named after football legend Pele.
The die-hard Brazil fan said it would be a tribute to Pele, who made the No. 10 a magical number in football.
“It was just an ordinary number until Pele turned it into a prized possession in football,” said Siddhartha.
The sales manager from Subang, a devoted fan since 10, is in Brazil to witness the World Cup Finals opening game between Brazil and Croatia at the Arena de Sao Paulo on Friday morning (4am).
Siddhartha, fondly known as Sid by his friends, said that like the Thomas Cup for badminton, the greatest football tournament should be named as the ‘Pele World Cup’.
“There is no one else like Pele ... winner of three World Cups ... truly the Sportsman of the Century,” he said, before tipping Brazil (who else?) to win the World Cup for a record sixth time.
However, he also picked Argentina, Spain, Germany and Italy as the other main contenders for the title.
“I miss the superstars of 1970 (Pele) and 1982 (Zico, Socrates) World Cup Finals. Brazil may not have invented football but they have perfected the game. No one does it better than Brazil.
“They are in a class of their own. The game is an art and only those with the artistic skills can play it to perfection,” he said.
Believe it or not, Sid and his friend even placed an obituary for the late Socrates in The Star in 2011.
He said it was done on behalf of all Brazil football fans. The message read: “When Pele called football ‘The Beautiful Game’, he had you in his mind. You still evoke the memories of 1982 World Cup with your breath-taking skills and goals that enthralled millions of football fans worldwide.”
Sid loves Brazil so much that he even had the interior walls of his home painted in Brazilian colours – yellow and green.
He has all kinds of Brazilian football memorabilia – magazines, video tapes, flags, key chains, jerseys, caps and pennants – anything that is green and gold.
There’s more – clocks, balls, watches, mugs, T-shirts, ballpens, scarves, footwear, towels and he even has a replica of the World Cup trophy in remembrance of the five-time World Cup champions.
“It is quite a collection and I have filled my home with all these treasured items. Even my mum (Sarojah) is a big fan of Brazil,” said Sid, who has been to three previous World Cups – 2002 (South Korea-Japan), 2006 (Germany) and 2010 (South Africa).