Jan 18, 2014

The Dream

Five minutes left for the final whistle. Trailing by a goal in the Champions League Final in Munich, Torres is brought on for Kalou. The commentator promptly reminds us for the 645th time that for all the minutes Drogba and Torres have played together in the pitch for Chelsea, neither of them have scored. Torres manages to win a corner though, Mata approaches the corner flag to take it. As the ball curls in, Drogba gets free from his marker and heads the ball. Neuer gets to the ball, but it still goes in...

... and then the goddamn alarm goes off!

It was not a dream; it was a memory- it had truly happened on the night of 19th May 2012- I was alive to watch it unfold. It was their home, their city, but the cup was ours. For as long as I can remember, I have supported Chelsea. I have had other passions- but nothing takes over the feeling of watching a Chelsea match. 

I have always wondered whether I would always remain just a big football fan, or if I could associate with it professionally at some level. If you look at the birthdays of famous footballers surrounding mine, it shows a really nice pattern!

20th June: Frank Lampard
21st June: Michael Platini
23rd June: Zinedine Zidane
24th June: Lionel Messi

25th June: ME

26th June: Paolo Maldini
27th June: Raul Gonzalez
28th June: Fabian Barthez

That made me wonder if I would ever make it to professional football, forget being even a fraction of one of the finest in the list above. Back then, I would console myself by saying that Didier Drogba was a late boomer and signed his first professional contract at the age of 21 (apparently, he struggled controlling his food habits!). The day I turned 21, I realized this would not happen as there is no such story to cheer me up. Thankfully, I found something else on the internet.

I found out that there existed one little thing in this world that would enable me to be professionally connected to Football, even after getting a masters degree from a technical institute. The one little thing that would make my dream come true of doing something I really love for a living.

Enter the MBA (Football Industries) at the University of Liverpool.

I am not a big fan of doing an MBA after toiling for years in an engineering college. I have always asked my friends who are dying for an MBA one simple question- do you want to be the manager of State Bank of India for as long as thirty five years? You can say that in a way, I absolutely despise the idea.

Why long for this one then?

For starters, it is a one-of-a-kind course in the whole wide world- the one and only focusing on the business and management of football ('Soccer' for you Americans!) It can either be pursued as a full time for a year or a part time for two years.

The best part of this course, in addition to the affiliation by the English FA, is the exposure. You get to interact with high profile guys in the football industry including former Chelsea CEO Peter Kenyon and former Liverpool CEO Rick Parry! Graduates are promptly recruited by top football clubs (yes, the Big Four included) and other governing bodies. What more could I ask for?

Naturally, I had a lot of questions about the course the first time I encountered it and if you are interested, you probably have some too. Feel free to shoot your questions to Julie Byrne.

The only hiccup that I notice is the three year work experience requirement. Although I have internships and freelance assignments, there is no definitive rule as to what constitutes the work experience, or what is transferable. Let's just say I am at the mercy of the Director of Studies.

I am certainly not a Liverpool fan, but studying in Liverpool is certainly a small price to pay considering there could be a lifetime of football ahead!

Oh yes, and I absolutely love the bloody British accent.

This post is a part of the #KnowledgeIsGreat contest.

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