As I said in my earlier blogs I’m not really getting to see as much of this World Cup as I would like. I’m still stuck up a Spanish mountain most of the week taking part in English immersion summer camps for Spanish kids. However, I was back down in Caravaca for both semis and was as shocked as anyone to see an underrated Germany destroy an overrated Brazil. There is a Spanish (or Catalan) twist to this too, quoted in the Marca, Spain’s bestselling sports journal, German legend, Lothar Mattaeus, has said that he believes Bayern Munich coach ,Pep Guardiola, has influenced the style of the German national team, just as he did the Spanish team when he was coach of Barça. There could be something in that maybe?
Anyway onto the game that I’ve been asked to cover, I’ve believed all the long that the winner of the tournament would come from South America and I’m not changing my mind now, though I would have liked to see Chile or Columbia reach the final. Argentina haven’t uprooted any trees on their way to the final and from what I’ve seen of them they haven’t played up to the huge potential that they have within their squad. Personally I’m glad that they have reached the final because Argentina is a real footballing nation with a fantastic travelling support. It was reported in the Guardian that up to 80,000 Argentina fans travelled to Porto Alegre, for their gameduring the group stages against Nigeria and they have been at all of the other venues in huge numbers too. http://www.theguardian.com/football/video/2014/jun/25/world-cup-2014-80000-argentina-fans-porto-alegre-nigeria-video
BBC video report – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-28240423
Argentinian fans have a great range of songs as well and my mates at Ciudad de Murcia often search Argentinian internet fan sites and the like looking for ideas. I’ve actually sat in on one of these sessions as the Ciudad lads studied some songs by Newell Old Boys, about being black and red which are the same colours as Ciudad.
Here in Caravaca there is a small Argentinian community that mainly work in the restaurants around here and I made my way to the El Penultimo Bar which is probably the best bar in town to watch football. I guessed that the Argentinian lads would be there only to be told later, by my oldest son who works with some of them, that they had watched it in another bar at the other end of town. I thought the whole game was boring and in no way lived up to the excellent kits that both teams were wearing. In my opinion both teams showed each other too much respect and were afraid to make any decisive moves. At one point the Dutch were playing 6-3-1, which shows you their ambition. I left the bar at half time and watched the rest of the game at home, where I struggled not to nod off at some points. The inevitable penalty shootout came and a Tim Krul-less Holland bit the dust , prompting mad scenes all over Argentina and no doubt in the bar where the local Caravaca Argentinian community were watching the game.
So onto Sunday and the final ,which is a repeat of 1986 and 1990, when I’ll be back in Caravaca and making my way to the right venue this time, to watch the game amongst the small contingent of La Albiceleste who are thousands of miles from their homeland. It has the makings of a good night!
PS: Correct me if I’m wrong, but as both teams have won the trophy twice, since 1970, does that mean there will be a new trophy design in 2018?
Adios until next time, Tony Higgins
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