ARGENTINA! It was Argentina after all!
Argentina was supposed to play in the last world cup final and beat the best team, up to that point, in the world - Spain. The world cup would have ended completely different if not for... an Argentinian. And not any Argentinian. In fact, the greatest Argentinian player of all time: Diego Armando Maradona. Maradona was picked to coach the national team having no real coaching experience. Essentially, off the field problems led Argentinian Soccer Association to believe that coaching the national team could help Diego. He did too much for the country so they could not leave him. In a way it did help him but in the process it hurt that incredibly talented team. It hurt bad.
In the last year friendly, only a friendly but still a very prestigious match, post-world cup Argentina destroyed Spain 4-1. It also beat Portugal 2-1 and Brazil 1-0. All elite teams. And today, oh today, in a breathtaking performance against USA, as mediocre as Americans are, it was all about the magical Argentina.
What a performance!!! Simply A M A Z I N G!!!!!
The first half was UN-believable! I have not seen such a brilliant football in a long, long, looong time. Spain has been great for the past several years but it has been playing, especially last June, a sort of calculated football (they borrowed it from Germans, of course). Well, it worked: 2008 Euro title, 2010 world cup trophy. Spain was playing fabulous for decades but was never successful on the big stage. Until it became cold-hearted. However, in the pre-world cup predictions I still believed that it was only Argentina that could defeat the reigning European Champions. If only it had a coach. As brilliant as Spain was Argentina was and still is today more talented and it all starts and ends with the best player in the world - Leo Messi - the heart of breathtaking Argentina. The good news is that Messi is still only 23.
Three years is a long time but the 2014 world cup in Brazil might really belong to them. Brazil will have to swallow another bitter pill. The last time they hosted world's best teams, in 1950, Brazil lost the final to Uruguay. The famous Maracana drowned in tears and 9-year-old Pele, watching in disbelief, promised his dad to win the world cup for him one day. He fulfilled his promise three times. This time I can already bet that Brazil, should it reach the final, will have to face another South American rival. Face it and lose. Because Argentina will not be stopped this time.
We were all robbed of what could have been the most memorable world cup final ever: Spain-Argentina, one for the ages! Unfortunately we are only left with "what if..." What an irony that it was the greatest Argentinian who did it to all of us.