Deja-Vu: Argentina vs. Chile

Messi & Co. leave another final- empty handed. For me the most heartbreaking scene was watching Messi miss the penalty and suffer for the remainder of the shootout. I don’t think anyone else wants it as bad as he does. The constant criticism and negativity for not winning a national title is probably overwhelming. He looked thoughtful, uncertain, and deja-vu kicked in as he prepared for this penalty. He did everything he could during the game but this cannot be a one-man-band. Mascherano did a great job, however the clear goals that Higuain missed are unforgivable. Argentina had great shots in the first half. We all know these opportunities only come once and if missed can be the biggest regret. Rojo being red carded affected Argentina, Di Maria not playing at his best, and now Messi having to create every single chance into a goal had the team in a bind.

With one man down, Chile was able to stay afloat better than expected. During the second half, Chile really came out to pressure and finalize the game. However, they were not lucky at scoring during regular time either. Bravo, Barcelona’s goalkeeper, proved to be the man of the match. He had numerous saves and when it came down to penalties he did his job. Chile is proving to be a powerhouse in CONMEBOL. This is a team that will continue to get far. Vidal did not play well, missing his penalty as well, but Sanchez continued to shine. Honestly, this will go down as the best generation of players for Chile.

Can we even put a name to the man in the middle, also known as ‘referee’ Heber Roberto Lopes. Yes, we knew this was going to be a rough game. Chile typically leads this type of plays. The referee made the game feel choppy, no flow, constantly being stopped. That affected the way the teams continued playing, yellow cards and red being tossed around. This type of referee is not worthy of such a final. Both Chile and Argentina had complained about him because of his track record. When a referee is talked about you know it is not for good calls.

Nerve-wracking. If i had to pick one word to summarize the 120+ minutes of this game, that’s the best way to describe it. Very even, tough, challenging game that’s why it led to the dramatic end. If I had to say if the better team won, I would say the team that made the penalties won.

Update: Messi just announced his retirement from the national team.

 

Now or Never: Argentina vs. USA

Argentina v Panama: Group D - Copa America Centenario

A skip and hop away from the final! I never doubted Argentina would make it this far, as a matter of fact, I expect to see them in the final game.

The big surprise—yes, USA having a real possibility of being in the final as well. We all know anything can happen in futbol (handgoals). It is truly amazing, if you recall how the USA was not winning games. How many times did we question Jurgen Klinnsman? Now, I have been a fan of Klinnsman since he was in the German team, however, as a coach I wasn’t seeing him succeed. The US team will have 3 key men out of the game this time around, but Argentina has traveled the most during this tournament and has less time between quarter final and semi-final to rest. That is one big advantage that the US team can capitalize on.

On the other hand, Argentina, Argentina—one word, Messi. I am sure I’m not the only one who gets emotional when Messi scores. To see him triumph makes me happy. His effortless ability to score, dodge opponents, and nutmeg (even goalkeepers) is truly out of this world. When you take a look at the players starting and subbing for Argentina, you can literally have 2 great separate teams. It is an amazing team, whose net worth with all the players (example: Messi, Kun, Mascherano,Di Maria) is about $553,243,152. They are the most expensive team in this Copa America.

While I do love the US team, I have to admit that my heart goes to Argentina. I really want them to take it all! It’s a team that has touched victory at arm’s length, only to be pulled back. Tomorrow is the day to repeat their appearance at another final. Sold-out game, a chance for Messi to break the all time top scorer OR the US to make history in futbol. I expect a great game, hope I don’t bite all my nails.

Copa America Centenario: Why the US?

Copa_América_Centenario.svg

I’ve read a lot of mixed reviews about the US hosting the special edition of Copa America 2016. This unusual fusion of CONBEMOL and CONCACAF has led to a lot of speculation and well let’s be honest, was this necessary?

If we go back a few months, with so much corruption, scandal and fraud, one can really speculate on who was really behind this idea. CONBEMOL has presented itself as a victim to all this and seeks to recover funds that it lost. Regardless, officials continued with the tournament and here we are…..

USA was the top choice, the infrastructure, stadiums, people, and most important- money- were already here. While some might argue that the US is not a country where futbol is number 1, events like this only continue to foster the growth. Since World Cup 1994, we have seen the increase of enthusiasm and fan involvement. Let us not go further than World Cup 2010 final, where an estimated 24.3 million viewers were tuning in. Now we hear the “USA, USA, USA” chants across stadiums.

While this Copa Centenario definitely broke the mold, as a futbol fan I am delighted to have world-class players like Messi and Mascherano here!

Now let’s just enjoy the games and see who takes this trophy home.

 

A Relationship

Italia-90-image

I give the sport- futbol, soccer, or football- my full attention and in return I get a range of emotions. These emotions not always being of happiness, at times they fill me with disappointment or anger.

I was only 9-10 years old when I watched my first World Cup on tv. Italy 1990 replaced the time meant for Summer cartoons and activities. I got hooked. I loved the rhythm, intensity and the emotions the game created. I remember cutting newspapers and collecting the player cards. Who can forget Caniggia or Toto Schillaci! I remember feeling terribly sad when Argentina lost. Why though, I’m not Argentinian? This is the beauty of this sport. It’s a feeling that overcomes whatever nationality you are from.

26 years later and I’m still in love with this relationship.

Share My Passion

This is the post excerpt.

Let’s define my passion: futbol, soccer, football or calcio. Call it the name you prefer.We all know what we are talking about.

Now close your eyes and envision a bright, green field. See the half-way line, the penalty box, both goal boxes? This is the spot where millions of people worldwide wait to see their favorite player or team win against all odds. This can also be the beginning of great dreams and aspirations.

Here I’ll be posting my reactions and thoughts about games. I won’t be copying and pasting long informative narratives because that’ll bore all of us.

You share my same passion? Then welcome—let’s talk about it.

post