Monday, July 16, 2007

the same as always: Argentina 0 - 3 Brazil

Maybe I'll write more when the grieving stops. For now, I leave you with only this bit of personal reflection:

My club: FC Barcelona. My NT: Argentina. Both deeply neurotic and more prone to dramatic disappointment than uplifting triumph, and I end up pinging from one to the other, seeking solace from the pain inflicted by one in the temporary bursts of the sublime offered by the other, right up until the neuroticism strikes again.

So it was that one of my first thoughts after coming out of mourning for the way Barca lost the title was for the Albiceleste and their preparations for the Copa America, and one of my first thoughts while still mourning Argentina's defeat at the hands of Brazil - it's always that, isn't it - was 'so when does Barca's pre-season start again?'

To finish, I'll drag out the same quote I posted when La Liga was decided, one of my favourite things ever said about football:
In a wonderful documentary following Boca to Tokyo for the match against Bayern Munich in 2001, Argentinian novelist and devout Boca follower Juan Sasturain witnessed his team's defeat up close. As his parting shot in a film called Thank You For The Game; What We Talk About When We Talk About Football, Sasturain delivers one of the most hopeful sentiments I have heard. Not winning one trophy is not so bad, he says, because we always have next season, next time ... "it's infinite. This game is infinite".


Gonzalo said...

My commiserations.

Sasturain seems to also appy to what it's like to support the Spanish national side in the World Cup - except it's worse; the wait is not until next season, it's for another four years, and while the game may be infinite, our lifespans are not.

linda said...

Thanks, Gonzalo. I think it's worse for national teams in general - for club sides at least the hope of redemption is just a few months away.

For Spain, though, it must be especially bad, given the incredible talent and potential they have and the consistency with which they painfully underachieve.

At the very least, I'm optimistic enough to think that Argentina will win the World Cup again in my lifetime, but then I'm only 20.

Derek said...

I'm at a complete loss for words. My heart aches. I don't mean to be overly romantic, but I thought it was a great privilege to watch this Argentine team play--so adept at modulating their rhythm, so expert at divisively commandeering the match their way when it mattered most. They were superb in the matches leading up to today. But what happened? I have no words. My heart aches and now I have to come to terms with the fact that this squad will never lift a major trophy. I have confidence, as well, that I will see Argentina win the World Cup again... but when? How long will I have to wait? Anyone who cares about beautiful, creative, imaginative, progressive football should be aching right now.

linda said...

Derek: I agree completely. One of the things that stings the most is the fact that some of the older players will retire having not won anything with Argentina, despite playing brilliantly.

The other thing that really hurts - and no disrespect meant to Brazil - is that we lost to a team who did not play Brazil's famed beautiful game. Argentina stuck to our roots of attacking football and lost. And that can't be good.

Soccer Mania said...

Brazil stopped playing the beautiful way the day they won the world cup. They dont the equivalent of Riquelme or Zidane in their side ever since 1994. The midfielders do the holding job. People who believe that Brazil play the beautiful way are in some self-denial.

As far as the game, I think this should act as a lesson for Basile, in the run-up to 2010. Teams will play the hard-way (37 fouls committed by Brazil yesterday). He will have to come up with something. In the end, Argentina still have something to gain from the Copa and that is important.

linda said...

Yeah, I hope the hard lessons are digested, but at the same time I hope this doesn't lead to a revolution with everything changing, because I don't believe such a thing is necessary. Basile has certainly endeared himself to me so far.

Soccer Mania said...

pretty much sums up the Copa

Hell, Argentina are on-course to win another youth Cup playing the traditional style.

linda said...

Tim Vickery always talks sense, thankfully.

des said...

I'm just sorry for Ayala. I love the guy, that whole match was Greek Pathos at its worst.

linda said...

des: Oh, absolutely. I feel awful for Ayala, Zanetti and all the other veterans who all deserve more than they've gotten.

A lot of things about Argentina over the past 20 years has been playing out like a Greek tragedy, unfortunately.

wmkeri said...

Hi Linda! this is my 1st time reading ur blog.

since my childhood i'm always a fan of Argentina NT. Not just because the beautiful albiceleste but also the true beautiful football they've played!

After that copa final i feel really awful! i could barely sleep!

i'm sorry for Ayala and Roman. We can't blame them. Argentina has been tactically beaten by Brazil. In the future we should be able to make any changes that can surprise our opponent, not just using the same lineups over and over again. It was a great lesson for Basile this time. He should be thinking how to defend properly at the same time you're playing attacking football. Barca and Man Utd can do it! Why not Argentina! Argentina do not lack of talented players!

But I really don't understand why in football one can do as many defensive fouls as he can, as long as it's not dangerous! that's unfair! FIFA should make a new regulation about this to avoid negative approach like Brazil and Chelsea! I HATE NEGATIVE FOOTBALL! Other sports have it, but why not in football ?