Now that the United States has been knocked out of the World Cup, I suppose the vast majority of Americans will lose interest in the tournament and focus their attention back on the other sports which are always on TV. Before moving on I’ll just offer this—the World Cup occurs once every four years and you get to see nations pour their hearts and souls into each match. Maybe you could go without seeing the 80th consecutive baseball game and try to appreciate how important soccer is across the world.
After the United States lost to a team from Ghana which straight out played better, England’s disappointment led the way for the grand finale on the weekend. Argentina vs. Mexico. Many people here had doubts because Mexico’s team was nothing to brush off, yet once the game started it seemed like Argentina was in full control. I wound up watching at home alone after failing to find someone to watch with, which was a big let down. Being here during this time, I want to take advantage and see how the games affect people, so locked up in my apartment drinking mate by myself wouldn’t show anything. I needed them to win so I could selfishly try to find a friend to watch with next week.
Both teams came out strong, but Argentina quickly showed why it is always up there as one of the greatest teams. Two quick goals sent Mexico reeling, and where silence one filled the streets of Buenos Aires, as a goal was scored the city erupted into tension-producing craze. At halftime I stood outside on my balcony for a minute and heard absolutely nothing, save for a lone bus in the distance. Even in the middle of the night I’ve never heard this city so quiet. It was eerie, like someone was telling you to get back in the house and fix your eyes on the TV.
I was very nervous during the game, sweating from the armpits and rolling a piece of paper in my hands nonstop to avoid destroying my fingernails. By the end of the game the piece of paper was limp and frail, but Argentina was victorious. Hundreds if not thousands of people flooded the streets and headed to the Obelisk in the center to celebrate, as if they’d just won the whole thing. I didn’t bother going down there, yet on the news they were showing scenes from the center and from across the country. Walking outside, I saw people leaning out of cars waving the flag and honking. After such a tense game, you need to let loose in some way.
So it was a bittersweet weekend in that the U.S. lost but Argentina won, even though I always had more faith in the latter (sorry U.S.) Now we all await Saturday, July 3rd, when Argentina will face the next challenge: Germany.