Every four years, Bangladeshis wake up one morning to find themselves having to make a choice. This is the time when all the seasonal football fans come out of their shells and start bringing out their banana yellow and striped white-blue jerseys and start asking random people "Bhai, Brazil naki Argentina?! ".
On behalf of an entire country and its many neutral/other-team supporters, stop. We're begging. Just last week, I saw a giant banner of Bangladeshis photoshopped into a team photo wearing Brazil jerseys posing next to Neymar. And guess what, that's par for the course, just like hanging gigantic flags of your favourite team and painting entire sides of buildings in the team's colours. To survive these rabid fans, it's important to know how to deal with them. Follow this guide if you want to live.
DEALING WITH BRAZIL FANS
Brazil fans are a little extra smug than their Argentina brethren. It's probably the extra number of World Cup wins. But you know what? It's also easier to take a few blows at them too.
For starters, fresh in every football fan, hardcore and filthy casual alike, comes the infamous 7-1 thrashing at the hands of the Germans, that too on Brazilian soil. In the last 4 years, it's been meme'd to hell and back. It's hard not to, considering a great Brazil team backed by home support went on to get utterly crushed in a timespan so short you might've actually missed it in the bathroom. Germany had to actually backpedal it then, lest they risk angering Brazilians any further and get assaulted by angry mobs.
But hey, 7-1 jokes alone are good enough to keep away anyone who supports Brazil away. They'll raise good points about the fact they had a great team, but none of that matters when your so-called 'great team' ended up finishing 4th in their own hosted World Cup.
DEALING WITH ARGENTINA FANS
Honestly, a lot easier than the last one. There are two types of Argentina fans: your parents' generation who've only seen Argentina when Maradona was teaching the world a lesson in the wrong sport, and the current one who've only seen Messi carry ten other people like a paramedic carrying a car crash victim to a hospital.
Significantly less smug because chances are a lot of their younger fans haven't seen a trophy in their lifetime, just some bottling that'd make water bottle manufacturers a little ashamed. The 2014 World Cup was a great sigh of relief for all of the haters of these two teams, between 7-1 and Higuain missing a sitter you have the nice amount of banter needed to shoo away fans on both sides of this argument.
If it wasn't enough, the icing on the cake was having them lose in the Copa America Centenario in the final too not long after. Just remind them that they'll never see a trophy, especially if anything happens to Messi. If that's not enough, ask them to remember the qualifying rounds, where they nearly missed making it to the World Cup because of bad performances, only saved by the grace of Messi. Admittedly, it's a bit hard to shame Argentina fans when their cornerstone is Messi, even the most grudging fan would admit deep down inside Messi is a football legend. But even he can't save 10 other people every single round, can he?
The thing about both sets of fans is they're vocal and annoying, but despite being the human equivalent of a vuvuzela you can always run away from them and hope their team doesn't do well. And if they do end up going somewhere beyond the last eight, I hope you're prepared for...
DEALING WITH BOTH FANS
(IF THEY DO WELL)
Pretend you never read this article and run away. God help you if they do well or even win.
Just move out of Bangladesh and go somewhere that doesn't care about the World Cup, like Italy. And then hope that in four years everything goes back to normal so you can make fun of them again. If not, well, might as well jump on the bandwagon, eh?
Nuhan B. Abid is someone who actually thinks puns and sarcasm are top class forms of humour. Tell him that 'sar-chasm' is TOTALLY the best thing ever at firstname.lastname@example.org