As the football fever takes over the whole of India, one can hear the chants , the hooting, the resounding cheer from fans as the team they support scores a goal. But that is only one side of the colourful spectrum of football. Ever wondered how is it to live the life of a footballer? To be in their shoes and hear the hoots, the chants and the pulsating vibe of the stadium clubbed with the rising pressure of winning the match? Musafir brings to you the other side of the spectrum, on a platter. Read on to know more about the other side.
Meet Cavin Lobo, who loves his Goan roots to the ‘T’(and does not skip a beat to talk about it!). Here him talk with passion for the place as he delves deeper into the world that requires him to stay away from his hometown for far too long. With a lovely hometown like Goa, we’re not complaining!
Meet Ishfaq Ahmed, a footballer from the scenic state of Kashmir who talks about his travel bucket list. Read on as he takes you through the experiences of him playing in places all over Asia, and about his love for Kashmir. For the ones who thrive on adrenaline rush, you can identify with Ishfaq.
Q: Hey! Beginning with the basics. Tell us, where are you from?
Cavin (C): I’m from Goa.
Ishfaq (I): I’m from Srinagar, Kashmir.
Q: Great, as footballers we bet that you’ve been travelling a lot. So, which are the places you’ve been to?
C: Goa, North east, Calcutta, I think that’s about it.
I: Thanks to Allah, I have been to most of Asia and Europe even.
Q: Speaking of travel, tell us the top 5 destinations on your travel bucket list? Why?
C: Umm.. Barcelona, Spain. To watch Barcelona play, as it is my favourite club. Dubai, for the shopping maybe! And Capetown.
I: Being from Kashmir, I love mountains. So I’ll go with Shillong, and the north east states. Also a camp fire with friends or fly fishing in New Zealand. Like in some campsites, you live in little huts with your family or friends, Egypt, see the real Kashmir (as I never got a chance to, as I was always playing football!)and Afghanistan.
Q: What kind of traveller are you? Backpacker, leisure traveller, etc?
C: Party Animal! If I get the opportunity to travel, I would choose partying in Capetown. If not, there’s always a party in Goa! (Winks)
I: (Without skipping a beat) Trekking is my hobby, as I’m a total backpacker.
Q: Which football field would you consider the best?
I: Syria. Everything that is taking place in that place now is unfortunate. They were really passionate about football. I mean, fans used to wait for two hours before the match, and the energy there is unmatched. (Smiles)
Q: Who do you consider as the best football player?
C: (Confidently) Messi and Andrés Iniesta, from Barcelona.
I: When football first started in India, everyone used to look upto Bhaichung Bhutia. I was no different!
Q: What is the best experience in all the places of India that you have been to?
C: It has been an overwhelming experience, especially in Goa. Playing in front of my family was an emotional experience for me. (Smiles)
Q: What is your favourite cuisine?
C: Fish curry. (Grins) Goan fish curry! (Laughs)
I: Anything in Barbecue. I also am a fan of sushi.
Q: Is there a routine that you follow before every match? Like a superstition that you probably believe in?
C: Not a superstition, but I make it a point to call my parents.
I: Like Cavin, I do call my mom before every match. No matter where I am, before every match, I call my mom. That’s the one ritual I follow.