Tuesday, June 29, 2010

World Cup Obsession: Quarterfinal Fantasy -- Germany-Argentina

I was just talking to fellow soccer babe Opera Diva, and she said that her young man had lost interest because his favorite team had been eliminated in the Round of 16.  Well, so have plenty of my favorite national teams, but it doesn't seem to matter.  If anything, I'm getting more rabid by the match. The World Cup is hurtling into quarterfinals, and things are getting good.  I want some good soccer.  No, I want some brilliant soccer.  I want some epic battles out on the pitch!  I want LEGENDARY performances!  I want titanic confrontations that would have been immortalized in song if this were an earlier time in history when we still had bards and troubadours.  

At this point, the superior quality of the best teams is becoming obvious ... and nothing gladdens the heart of a soccer fan quite like seeing brilliant teams battle other brilliant teams.  I mean, it's savage bloodthirsty fun to see lopsided massacres (like the 4-1 England-Germany blowout), but that's not the Beautiful Game as it should be played for true glory.  You want a worthy opponent.  You want to meet him, rejoice in his excellence, and then rejoice in your own when you finally come out on top.

This brings me to a quarterfinal confrontation that I can't wait to see: Germany versus Argentina.  Grudge match, baby!

Wait, you say, MM -- didn't you root for Argentina against Mexico?  Yes, I did.  Because I wanted Argentina to win so it could face the Germans.  And lose to Deutschland. Then Maradona can go back home and star in an outrageously over-the-top reality TV show featuring him being a media hog and general drama queen -- because that's basically what he's been doing the whole time in South Africa.  And his doppelganger Lionel Messi can go back to being Maradona Junior.  (Yes, yes, I know Diego Maradona is a soccer god.  But I think I'm getting tired of the Diego Maradona Show, if that makes any sense.)

But I think it's fair to say that Messi is the big threat, the biggest difference between the 2010 Argentine side and the 2006.  Messi is fabulous, arguably the "best player in the world."  But, remember, soccer is a team sport.

Now look at the following video. Oh, soccer gods, heed this prayer and please, OH PLEASE, let this happen again.  And by "this," I mean a German victory.  And not by a shootout.  I want the Germans to crush the Argentines, utterly and completely, after a hard-fought team battle royale out on the grass.  Anyway, here's a sweet reminder of what happened when the German and Argentine sides met at the last World Cup.  Oh, and you will recall that there were no vuvuzelas then.  If you -- poor deluded soul -- have gotten used to this trumpet of doom, you can click on the little soccer ball icon on the YouTube video.  I mean it.  You may have to go to the YouTube site proper to do it.  I don't see the little icon in my embedded version.  But go here.

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