Chronicles of a Defeat Foretold?


2010 Soccer world cup is on. This is the most watched sport event in the whole world.  The championship has been awarded every four years since the first tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not contested due to WWII . The current format of the championship involves 32 national teams playing for over a month in a host country, this year been South Africa.

During all the World cup tournaments held so far; only seven nations have won the FIFA World Cup Trophy.  Brazil (the only team to have played in every tournament), with a record of five, followed closely by Italy (current champion, but already eliminated in this 2010 edition) with four titles. Germany with three titles, Uruguay and Argentina with two, England and France (already ashamedly eliminated in this 2010 edition) one each.

*** Special note ** In this 2010 edition, France was drawn into Group A along with Uruguay, South Africa (host country) and Mexico.  Mexico played the second game against France, defeating those 2-0. Sparking a huge soap dram within the French team, a player was expelled from the team and the whole world saw how the French fought each other forgetting the reason why they were in the tournament. I have a special taste in this victory over France because a French coworker was making fun of me and the Mexican team for over a month prior to this match; remanding me about France already holding a Champion title and a sub-Champion title, and questioning if Mexico even had a soccer team. My only answer to him was “Remember Cinco de Mayo.”  Touché!!

This story is deceptively simple. Brazil has participated in 19 tournaments, Germany 16, Italy 16, Argentina 14 and Mexico 13. YES, my fellow Mexicans have played in 13 of the 19 World Cup tournaments but never been able to win it, in fact, Mexico’s best progression was reaching the quarter finals in 1970 and 1986, years the tournament was held in Aztec soil.

In the Germany 2006 tournament Mexico advanced to second round playing against Argentina. Mexico score first in the 5th minute with a goal by Rafael Marquez (who happens to play for the best soccer team in the world: Barcelona). Four minutes latter Argentina score. After ninety minutes played, both teams were still tight, forcing game into overtime.  In the very last minute of the overtime, and when all fans (in the stadium, in Mexico, in Argentina, and in the whole world) were already expecting to see the penalties shutout, Maxi Rodriguez score a volley that gave victory to Argentina.

South Africa 2010 edition brings all these memories because Mexico has advanced to second round, and because Mexico has to face its nightmare again. That’s right, Mexico vs Argentina June 27th at 13:00 CDT. Could Mexico defeat Argentina? YES, we can (we?), by far, this is the BEST team Mexico has ever sent to a world cup. Eight of the eleven players in the field play in Europe, within the most competitive soccer teams in the world, Javier Aguirre (coach) comes from competing in Spain “La Liga” and Europe in  the Euro cup with Atletico de Madrid. Argentina in the other hand has ten of the eleven players in the field playing in the same Europe leagues, among them, the best player in the world: Lionel Messi, but also their defense is extremely slow. So, what’s the advantage for Mexico? SPEED, DYNAMISM, and the HEART to defeat their nightmare! Romantic? Yes, Realistic? No so much. Why? Coach Aguirre has been stubborn in letting striker Guille Franco (an Argentinean nationalized Mexican) in the field.

Franco has been carrying an injure for the last 2 years, and the only thing he’s been doing in all games is to dive every time he feels touched and yield at the referee for not buying his drama. In fact, I read in twitter that Mexican President Felipe Calderon sent him flowers, because thanks to him, Calderon is no longer the most hated Mexican!! (yeah, is just a joke). I personally think we should UN-Nationalized Guille Franco, get a big load of “Jalapeno papers” and shove them in his “you know” to see if we forced him “FEEL” the true colors of the Mexican Flag!

Born and raised in Mexico, makes me really want, wish, desire, my national team to defeat Argentina. But reality is different. Mexicans are now used to false dreams when it comes to the national team playing important games. I want to be wrong, I want the “guys” to advance all the way to the final game and bring hope and happiness to a country dying in need for these. A country so beaten by corruption, drug lords, financial crisis, unemployment, and a passive society, whose all dreams are now, beat in a soccer match. I don’t want to hear, see or read  “they play like never before, but loose like always do”  as we heard, see and read every time the national team is defeated.   VIVA MEXICO CABRONES!!

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