On an evening when India, ranked a lowly 106th in world football, was represented at the nerve-jangling Argentina-France faceoff by Deepika Padukone, who unveiled the glittering gold trophy that went to the men in blue and white after the two contenders went down to the wires, for the avid stargazer, there was enough to write home from Qatar’s Lusail Stadium.
Even as Paris Saint-Germain teammates Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe were locked in a nerve-wracking war of wills, with President Emmanuel Macron cheering France from his VVIP box and consoling a disconsolate Mbappe after the defeat, Deepika’s husband, Ranveer Singh, after being briefly seen with her, bromanced former Team India manager Ravi Shastri.
In a video tweeted by Shastri, Ranveer, sporting the shades worn by his “Cirkus” character, exclaims: “We are about to witness history, Ravs.” Shastri responds by pointing at Ranveer and declaring: “Whenever something big is happening, catch this guy missing out.” They end their bro moment singing, “I don’t know what to say, I don’t know what to say.” And then, Ranveer plants a bro kiss on Shastri’s right cheek.
Truly, what an unforgettable final it turned out to be, topped up by Mbappe’s hat-trick and then the heartbreak after the penalty shots!
Deepika’s “Pathaan” co-star, Shah Rukh Khan, unfazed by the controversy triggered by their “Besharam Rang” number, was, meanwhile, dancing with English football legend Wayne Rooney in the studio of FIFA World Cup broadcaster, Sports 18.
Before the electrifying action started, the two superstars of cricket-crazy Kerala — Mohanlal and Mammootty — tweeted their presence at the stadium that the entire world watched in nervous anticipation. Mammootty declared: “Witnessing the biggest sporting spectacle! What an atmosphere … What a moment!!”
His son and pan-India star Dulquer Salman seems to have missed the action, so he carried a poster with Messi and Mbappe staring out of it, with the comment: “Tonight’s gonna be insane! Argentina against France. Messi against Mbappe. May the best team win.”
Preity Zinta was also watching the match from home. She tweeted at the end of it: “OMG! What a game! What a stunning final. #Messi I wanted this soooo much for you. Well played Argentina. Hard Luck France!”
Nayanthara, Tamil cinema’s ‘Lady Superstar’, made her love for Messi equally abundant. “WHAT A FINAL! Then Diego Maradona And Now Lionel Messi,” she tweeted. Her husband, producer-director Vignesh Shivan, was ecstatic: Adrenaline messsssssssssiiiiiiiiiied!!!! What a game!!!!!! The G.O.A.T takes it home as prayed for!!!!”
Randeep Hooda, another unabashed Messi fan, tweeted: “MESSI-ahh!!!! A lifetime of dreaming and performing at the highest level!! Finally rewarded!! A fairy tale ending to an illustrious career. Well played #Mbappe, you shined like a star. WHAT A FINAL.”
Before the opening whistle of the edge-of-the-seat thriller, Mohanlal expressed the emotion that must have overpowered all those present at the stadium taken over by more than 50,000 Argentine fans.
The superstar just couldn’t couch his excitement: “At Lusail Stadium, joining the world to witness the clash of the titans and partake of the world’s favourite madness! Awaiting a phenomenal and entertaining game from the bests, just like you all!”