Monday, July 08, 2019

Three finals in a day

The Champions League final was the first match that I watched on TV since the World Cup Final. I was happy for friends who are Liverpool fans, but otherwise it did not do anything for me, besides an immense sadness that I have no interests any longer.
For the last month, nevertheless, I had started watching some football news as three interesting national team tournaments have been going on: the Copa America, the Gold Cup, and most interesting, the World Cup for teams made up of female players.
I carefully started watching the Copa America quarterfinals, when Argentina played Venezuela (two countries I have lived in), and Colombia played Chile (the country of my Mother and the country of y birth).
Argentina, and not least Messi, have been one of my great disappointments over the last years, and watching them against Venezuela made me support the "Vinotinto", who undoubtedly are a better team, but still lost to the lucky Argentines. And although I supported Colombia, I was not unhappy to see Chile progress. I watched both semifinals: Argentina lost as expected against a superior Brazil (although they did not play bad), while Peru played the best I have ever seen them play in defeating Chile 3-0. After a disgrace of a third place match between Argentina and Chile, Peru were no match for Brazil, who played well to win 3-1 today.
I like this Brazil side by Tite. They play quick modern football, using the qualities of their spectacular players, instead of the defensive destruction of Dunga or the overambitious arrogance of Scolari. With a good Brazil it might even be worth to watch football again....

It has been difficult to watch matches from the World Cup in France because of the time difference, but I have followed with interest as the tournament has had as much interest as it deserves. As I sat to watch the final this morning I must admit that I was supporting the Dutch, but also that it was always clear that the US ladies were by far the better team, winning 2-0, and they are deserved repeat winners in what in many ways has been a historical tournament.
But congratulations to the USA ladies; in particular I like Megan Rapinoe (as so many people do): she is a great player (better than so many, even men), but also a fantastic personality. She is the rare person who loves the sport, and knows that all the nationalism around it is just that: nationalistic crap. A well-deserved Golden Boot.

I started to watch the Gold Cup when the country I am currently in, El Salvador, started doing well: they defeated Jamaica and tied Curacao, and were set to go through with a tie against their arch-rivals of Honduras, who had already been eliminated. But El Salvador completely lost their nerves against Honduras, who trashed them 4-0, and then they both were eliminated to the delight of Jamaica and Curacao. I did not watch any matches until today's final between the two CONCACAF archrivals of USA and Mexico. It was a good and intense match which Mexico won 1-0 on a spectacular Jonathan Dos Santos goal. While Mexico were overall the better team, USA had some huge wasted chances to score, and one has to wonder, surely, how these guys get more in salary than the amazing USA soccer ladies....
Open discrimination lives on in football....

I enjoyed watching the matches today, but I still feel that football mostly appeals to the worst in people and that football is an all to open expression of everything that is bad in the world (which is an awful lot).

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