December 13th, 2022; quite a few of us have abandoned our “battle stations” at the dealership to spend a few minutes in front of the TV, watching the final moments of Croatia vs Argentina. We are a bunch of immigrants from all corners of the world, cheering, commenting, and sometimes cursing; after all, that is what the World Cup is all about, isn’t it?
My coworkers are having a hard time understanding why I am not rooting for Argentina, and I try to explain Brazil and Argentina are bitter rivals in just about everything, specially soccer.
“If Croatia sent Brazil home, they should send Argentina as well”. -I shouted. They just smiled and shook their heads; rivalry, just like any other form of passion, is not easy to explain.
But as I watch the game, I see that Argentina is a better team, and they don’t deserve to go home. And they didn’t.
Watching the following games it was clear that our rivals have what it takes to be world champions. They are better than the other teams and much better than Brazil.
This is probably the last word cup for Lionel Messi, elected the best footballer in the world. Would be nice to have the title “world champion” in his resume. He certainly deserves it.
Sunday, December 18th, 2022, my wife and I are watching the word cup final match, passionately rooting for Argentina. It is a tense but beautiful game. Everyone agrees that the match was the most thrilling final in soccer history.
Argentina won its third world cup,and it was well deserved. Messi deserved it, but more importantly, the Argentinian people deserved it. The country is going through one of the most severe financial crises in its history. Years of mismanagement and corruption had brought the country to the brink of bankruptcy.
It is the same old story all over Central and South America, corruption is like a disease that slowly kills a country. Look at Venezuela, it was supposed to be the wealthiest nation in South America, but now it is just a decaying corpse of a country.
Mismanagement and corruption bring poverty and criminality. We, Latinos, don’t have much to be proud of, but sports, sometimes, bring a little relief to our shame.
We just can’t help but be happy for Argentina and I bet, all the Latin America is shamelessly borrowing a little bit of that pride. Right now we are not rivals, we are hermanos.
Me da gusto por ti, Argentina!