If you keep faith in the Beautiful Game, the FIFA World Cup would arrive every four years as manna from heaven, a cornucopia that is soul food as well as sensual indulgence. While Indian football fans have not thrown up a team their countrymen could root for, they have absorbed, nay inhered, world football through the decades. The nature of fandom has changed too—from those who fought over broadsheets to read about ‘what happened last night’ to those who can now plug a pair of earphones into their smartphones and transport themselves into a live game. Football has been changing too, with the technology revolution laying its hand on the techniques of football, as on everything else. Yet, in its essence, it’s still what a lay observer will say it is: 22 individuals on a lush field running after a leather orb.