Kerala

Stand-out names but big boots to fill

Donadoni, Zamorano and Baggio in their neighbourhood football pitch at Nettoor, near Kochir. Thulasi Kakkat

Donadoni, Zamorano and Baggio in their neighbourhood football pitch at Nettoor, near Kochir. Thulasi Kakkat   | Photo Credit: Thulasi Kakkat

Kochi’s Donadoni, Baggio, and Zamorano have to live up to their names

They were preordained to be footballers. In fact, they were already ‘legends’ even before they ever kicked a ball.

When you go by the names Donadoni, Baggio, and Zamorano, named after Italian legends Roberto Donadoni and Roberto Baggio and Chile’s Iván Luis Zamorano Zamora, you have a legacy to live up to. Though easier said than done, all the three lads from Nettoor have taken baby steps to that seemingly long journey.

Donadoni, 20, set the ball rolling when he started kicking the ball at the age of 11 inspiring his brother Baggio, now a Plus One student at CCPLM Anglo Indian High School at Perumanur, to tie the boots. Their cousin Zamorano, standard VIII student at Sacred Heart Higher Secondary School, soon followed suit. The threesome go by the nicknames Dona, Baggi, and Zamora and were always easy to trace in school, thanks to their stand-out names. Donadoni started off as a defender before switching over to midfield, like the legend he is named after, and ended up as a striker for the Ernakulam district team, the colours of which he has donned five years by now. Baggio is a striker for his school team and Zamorano prefers right wing while playing in the neighbourhood.

“No one gets my name the first time and often I have to repeat it. Then everyone wants to know the story behind my name,” says Donadoni. It was Joshy, Zamorano’s father and an ardent football fan, who chose the names for his nephews.

“I settled for Donadoni and Baggio since they were not just great footballers but equally handsome as well. Though my brother was initially apprehensive about giving Christian names to his Hindu children, he eventually accepted,” recollects Joshy.

None of the three have watched the players they were named after during their playing careers. But they have now learnt enough about their alter egos, thanks to YouTube and World Cup documentaries.

Though he continues to play for local clubs, Dona, a commerce graduate, has now gone soft on his playing career after taking up a job to supplement his family’s income. But he still nourishes football dreams, so do the other two.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 5:48:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/stand-out-names-but-big-boots-to-fill/article19898340.ece

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