As football seasons come to a close and various records are broken across major football leagues worldwide, we thought it fitting to reflect on a rather remarkable record achieved right here on FIFA.com.
Since FIFA.com launched the comments feature in 2007, over 150,000 individual comments across four languages have been published on the site. What's more, in any given week, an average of 40 football-loving countries are represented as Club members comment on interviews, news articles, and feature stories. With such staggering interest by users all over the world, FIFA.com is proud to acknowledge Sri Lankan user Shukry as the first ever person to reach 500 published comments on FIFA.com.
When he isn't commenting prolifically on a variety of FIFA.com articles, the staunch Real Madrid supporter rarely misses a Los Merengues match. In international duty, Shukry dutifully backs his home country Sri Lanka when possible, but favours the style and panache of the beautiful Brazilians in major tournaments.
Comments are not the only FIFA.com feature that Shukry spends endless hours on. The new FIFA.com Emirates Matchcast is another favourite of his, which he describes as "instant, official and reliable." In his opinion: "Many football fans around the world find it difficult to keep track of the preliminaries as they unfold, the matchcast provides way to keep track instantly of the matches of the team of their choice."
In an interview with FIFA.com, Shukry, who has been visiting the site for over a decade, reflected on his success, an achievement for which he will receive something rather special from the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, and answered questions ranging from the features of FIFA.com to his dinner 'dream-team'.
FIFA.com: What football match do you most look forward to in the season?
Shukry: There are loads of matches that I watch during a season and some turns out to be really interesting matches. However, I really look forward to two matches: the UEFA Champions League final and the Real Madrid-Barcelona El Clasico.
Before the birth of the comments feature, what did you spend most of your time doing on FIFA.com?
I started using the site in 1998, I have seen FIFA.com change through the years. Before the birth of the comment feature I spent most of my time exploring the histories of the national associations, reading about the past World Cups, and reading about great players and classic matches.
What do you think has inspired you to write over 500 comments?
I simply can't believe that I have written 500 comments. I never kept a count on how many comments I made. This is really surprising for me. I usually make a comment when I think that I should make one. However, my passion for football has played an important role in writing comments.
Why do you think that you enjoy the comment feature so much?
The comment feature not only allows us to tell the world what we feel about a topic, it also allows us to see what the people around the world feel about the same topic. It opens our minds to view the issue from different angles. The comment feature also gives diverse ideas from all the geographical regions in the world. I also believe it promotes mutual respect among football fans.
If you could have dinner with any three football players (or coaches) living or dead, who would they be?
There are great players whom I really admire. Given the chance to have dinner with three football players/coaches I would opt to have dinner with Pele, Roberto Carlos and Alfredo di Stefano.
Are there any other FIFA.com Club members whose comments you enjoy the most?
There are no names to mention in particular. I usually read a few comments on all the articles that I read on FIFA.com. One thing that I really admire about the comments is that every member has a unique style of commenting, and way of looking at each article.
FIFA.com would like to thanks Shukry and all FIFA.com Club members for sharing their opinions with us and we look forward to bringing you even more exciting community features in the future.