But first things first: Germany continues to play a fun, effective, thrilling, indeed beautiful game. Berlin is buzzing with vuvuzelas, fast cars a-flutter with black-red-gold flags, and young Turkish men cheering the German team. Now I remember why I’m here and not in Ohio. All I can do is gloat. 4-0! Against Argentina!
That said, I’m still very partial to the Uruguayan soccer team. They’ve played wonderful ball and they have the handsomest players. (I know, I know – I’ve promised a post on that latter point! It’s still coming!) Uruguay is the sole survivor of the four South American teams who entered the quarterfinals. Yes, they won yesterday on penalties after an egregious “hand of God” incident, and yes, it’s awfully sad for Ghana and all of Africa. I wish that match had ended fairly. Still, selfishly, I’m glad we’ll see Diego Forlan play two more games.
Here’s Uruguay’s moment of shame and victory:
(Apologies if that clip disappears – it claims not to violate copyright. Translation: it’s probably in violation, and YouTube will axe it. Also, if you’re not seeing this clip on a reader, there are more to come, so you might as well come on over to the original post.)
Paraguay? They have an iron defense and embarrassed much-overrated Spain. In the end, though, they couldn’t take advantage of their few offensive opportunities. We cheered for them anyway.
Brazil? They deserved to lose against a scrappier Dutch team that wasn’t hobbled by overconfidence. So much for the favorite. It’s a pity because we won’t get to see any more Brazilian football for the rest of the World Cup. But then again, this team wasn’t playing Brazilian football.
Argentina? I would have put money on them beating my German team (and so would other expert analysts), but oh! We didn’t just dominate the game: except for a few scenes before the 2-0 fell, we made it look like the most natural thing in the world. Of course, a super-early goal doesn’t hurt. The view from Walhalla was so rosy, I thought the stranger at the next table was about to give me a hug. Did I mention the score was 4-0? That said, I have a soft spot for Lionel Messi. He’s an incredible player and he has “lion” right in his name. Rather than going home scoreless, I would have liked to see him sink a goal … in the 92nd minute. I still think Argentina were the best team in the tournament – that is, were, before Germany beat them today – and I’ll miss Argentina, unlike Brazil. They had great style and talent and they gave their all. Today’s match should have been the final.
Proof positive that this game was the bee’s knees? Even my little Tiger wasn’t bored. He stopped begging for me to play cards with him, and started cheering for a 5-0.
Along with the Argentine players, their coach, Diego Maradona, now has a one-way ticket home. That, too, is a pity. After France’s coach Raymond Domenech flunked out in the group stage while substituting astrology for strategy (!!?? WTF helped this guy’s team win second place in 2006?), Maradona set the benchmark for batshittery. He relied on his dreams to pick players; told his players they could have sex as long as their women did all the work; ran over cameramen;and trotted out his 31-year-old girlfriend to “prove” his heterosexuality. He also promised to run through Buenos Aires naked if his team won the cup. That, at least, we shall be spared. And yet, we at Kittywampus will miss him dearly.
Maradona was (of course) responsibile for the original “hand of God” moment in World Cup soccer, which you must watch now, especially if you’ve never seen it:
Right after the match, Maradona insisted that it wasn’t his hand that hit the ball into the goal. The Almighty himself had intervened. Later, perhaps fearing for his immortal soul, Maradona backpedaled a bit:
But hey, it’s Caturday, right? I don’t have any great feline soccer moments for you. Instead, in honor of the Spanish-speaking teams that have provided some awesome soccer (and let us not forget, the Brazilian speak Portuguese!), I offer up a purrito – even if it’s unlikely to be recognized south of the Texas border.