Sunday, November 25, 2018

The Copa Libertadores final of hate

The Copa Libertadores Final in Buenos Aires between arch-rivals River Plate and Boca Juniors had to be postponed today because of River Plates' fans vicious attack against the Boca Juniors bus, which not only left Boca players with minor injuries, but worse, very scared.
Nobody deserves to be in such a situation.
The whole thing was a disgrace not only to Argentina, but also to the rest of South America.
The match has been lauded as one of the most awaited matches of the century as the rivalry is perhaps the most intense in world football. I am sorry to say this, but Boca-River is not a question of friendly competition (not a single fan of either team understands this concept), even for people who outside football would be friends, family or lovers.
Following the cancellation the club presidents were quick accusing 10-15 "impresentables" who were to blame for the whole incident. Besides the fact that you can see much more than 15 guys on the TV pictures, this is not really true!
I do not feel sorry for a single of the 65000 fans inside the stadium who were unable to see the match. They were as guilty as the millions of River and Boca fans who are in fact intellectual authors of the crime; the vast majority of fans may not throw the stones, but were surely applauding.
The problem is football itself which creates these divisions!
Argentina is not the only place this happens, but today's events are just an extreme example. And football managers have no interest in solving it! They are the ones benefiting from this! They will say that football is "peace and friendly competition" but will at the same time be pouring gasoline on the fire of fierce rivalry, because it benefits them, and also takes the view away from society's wider problems.
"Blame society. We have nothing to do with it".
Football is hate. Prove me wrong.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Selective truth

Football is just a mirror of the real world. And as in the real world it doesn't matter what the truth is, but who you support. I recently overheard a conversation between two football fans about Mr. Cristiano Ronaldo, and an apparent ongoing investigation about him and a lady. I don't know what it is about, and will and can not comment on this; the investigation should go its course and justice happen. But this was not the case for these football fans, who had already decided on Ronaldo's guilt because they clearly disliked him (I strongly gather they were Barcelona fans). I am sure that there are also plenty of Ronaldo fans who think otherwise: he must be innocent because he is the great Cristiano Ronaldo!
Cristiano Ronaldo is indeed a great footballer, and for the last years has been the greatest in the world. But that does not make him more or less guilty of anything outside the football pitch than any other person.
But of course, football fans do not think like that.
Truth is a choice.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Thanks Wayne Rooney

I just saw that Wayne Rooney has played his last match for the England national team. I am not a fan of England, and not a fan of basically any club Mr. Rooney ever played for. Nevertheless, I am a fan of Mr. Rooney, and I just realized how many years I have been following this great man's career: since his debut in the Champions League against Fenerbahce, when I said I hoped he would be a great player, to when he lost his temper (and I had malaria), to some of his most incredible performances (against AC Milan, Manchester City, West Ham, etc.). He is perhaps not the best there ever was, but he is a great player who played with passion and who loved the game, and that is always worthy of respect, no matter what team you play for.
I know that is old-fashioned and that people who hate the teams he played for will always hate him; because football is hate. But as to me, I admire a solid and talented professional, and want to thank him for the years I followed him.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Sunday afternoon in Brussels

I am in Brussels, and not knowing what to do on a Sunday afternoon I decided to waste a bit of money and a couple of hours by going to watch Anderlecht-Cercle Brugge.
In a beautiful afternoon the match was not as boring as one would have expected. A good crowd and an attacking Anderlecht side created a good atmosphere. And early in the second half the locals were up 3-0 after three goals of the young Belgian Landry Dimata. The team also had a well-playing Honduran in Andy Najar and the young Pieter Gerkens, who made it 4-0.
Far outplaying their counterparts and with half an hour left the Anderlecht defense decided to rest, and gave away two lame goals to the opposing side. Despite some attacks, Anderlecht held on to 4-2, but one has to be worried about such concentration lapses if one is to face bigger sides, as Anderlecht indeed will, this coming week when they face Fenerbahce in the Europa League.

In the end it was a match that quickly will be forgotten. And if I had been anywhere more interesting than Brussels, I would have found something else to do.

Penalti para Anderlecht

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Less beer

I have not watched a football match since the World Cup final, and I have hardly read any news on football or any results. One of the unintended consequences of this has been that I am drinking less beer, as I would always love a pint while watching a match. So this is positive!
It is of course not because of football I enjoyed a beer, but beer was just the companion to a great match. Beer is a great companion though.