Monday, June 26, 2006

Today's soccer rants

I rest my case.
Is everyone blind? Am I going insane? Today's penalty against Australia was over a non-existent fault, designed to ease the Italian team's qualification into the next round (such as yesterday's free kick for England where Beckham bent it like genius). That was what the Univision guys were saying (plus adding that the Spanish referee was paying the Italians back for having robbed them against Korea last time around). I saw the mistaken call with my own eyes. What is the point of all this soccer mishegoss if the results are going to be rigged like that?

I seem to be the only person that is forgiving the Mexican team its dignified loss against Argentina. Mexicans are angry and frustrated. The catchphrase in Mexico right now is: "they played like they never had before and they lost like they always do". I'm just relieved the team didn't humiliate us altogether, because people don't forget that they played dismally and they happened to move ahead almost by sheer dumb luck. That is why I expected the worst. Mr. Ex-Enchilada sent me a very good article today written by Juan Villoro explaining very cogently all that's wrong with the Mexican team and their coach and sports in Mexico and the country in general. Still, the Mexico-Argentina match was a great match, well played by my countrymen, sloppily played by the Argentines, who are a much superior team. The first Argentinian goal seemed to have been aided by the head of one of the Mexican defenders. The second Argentinian goal was a thing of sheer poetry by Maxi Rodriguez, that no human power on Earth could stop.
By the way, the Italian referee of that game was voted by the female audience of the bar where I saw the match the handsomest man in the entire World Cup. Gorgeous.

It is now Argentina v Germany and I'm so rooting for the Tango Squad. I bet the referee will aid the Germans and I hope the Tango Squad surprises them and beats the hell out of them. They are an amazing team and they play beautiful soccer, with flair, not like boring machines, like the Panzers.

David Beckham seems to be a very nice guy, despite the fact that he married a Spice Girl. Not only did he provide a most spectacular, laws-of-physics-defying goal, (puking his guts thereafter on the field), but I saw him go to the Ecuatorian goalie after the match and embrace him with genuine respect and affection. A handshake would have sufficed; I was moved by his gesture.
A very different situation from that of the horrifying Holland-Portugal game. a) That Russian referee is a disaster and should not be allowed to handle games anymore, ever. It was not the first time he screwed up. b) The game was a disgrace of anger and filth. c) The Portuguese were dirty, disgusting and utterly unsportsmanlike so I'm hoping with all my might that the English crush them to bits. To pequenhos bitinhos de bacalao.

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