Generally speaking, I tend to forget about the World Cup pretty much immediately once it’s over. Then it comes as a big surprise to me four years later when the compelling narrative of this classic tournament seems to start up again out of nowhere. (I’m planning to keep this blog going, so watch out for it.) Granted, I keep my eye on the Olympic tournament as well, but that’s really just part of the whole festival. In the World Cup month, it’s all about the futbol.
I got into it a little deeper this time: learned more about the game, actually came to a full understanding of the mysteries of the group system, and developed an oddly passionate attachment to stoppage time as it is traditionally administered. FIFA football does not need a time clock, especially one that stops and starts. This is the beautiful game, people. You can play it on any clock or watch. That’s what makes it beautiful.
I have also picked up a new dog in international competitions, to join my poor unlucky Selecao Brasileira and the ever reliable Oranje: El Tri, the national team of Mexico. Ochoa and his teammates in the lightning bolt kits won me over with their passion and their game and gritty play. They say it only takes one great performance at the right time to make a fan, and I think I will be a Mexico supporter now. Why not?
Frankly the finals weekend was a bit of a letdown, but anything would be after the dramatic and historical Brazil-Germany game and the defensive battle between Argentina and the Netherlands. The defeat of a dispirited Brazil by a tired looking Netherlands was a bit of a nothing, particularly for those who support both teams, and Germany-Argentina for the championship was full of failed scoring chances on both sides that made for a much less interesting scoreless tie than several others I saw during the tournament. (What a very peculiar thing to say.)
No matter what a world full of Brazil supporters were doing, I could not bring myself to root for Germany. I think you actually have to be Brazilian to hate Argentina that much. (I personally do not have any strong opinions about Argentina, as least as regards sporting life.) I do think the game would have been much prettier to watch if Germany would have been in their very handsome crimson and black “lucky” kit, which they were wearing when they defeated Brazil, and Argentina had been wearing their elegant and iconic blue and white stripes. Ah well.
The blog bids a final farewell to the World Cup, with more fashion notes and British snark, tomorrow.