In feverish anticipation of the World Cup, we are going to take a moment and recall, relive, recycle, some of our favorite World Cup moments. These patterns constitute the fabric of the international game, these recurrences form the waves of the World Cup ocean.
My personal favorite event is the inevitable question for Argentina upon their elimination: “Why didn’t they play…x player?” In 2006, despite a stellar run, amazing play, and taking the host nation to penalty kicks, inevitably, the media had one question of Manuel Pellegrini: why didn’t he play Leo Messi? Granted, he did sub on Julio Cruz against Germany, a somewhat odd decision given Messi’s speed advantage.
In 2002, the results were even more disastrous. Marcelo Bielsa ill-advisedly constructed his teams’ offense around a sideways passing holding midfielder (Veron) and, well, Argentina failed to advance from the group phase. Emphasis on fail. And the obvious question…Why didn’t Bielsa start Pablito Aimar against England?
Right now, the prime candidate for “Argentina’s Star Sub Snub” is probably Kun Aguero. The young Argentine has played great for Atletico de Madrid, not seen significant national team minutes, and also recently separated from Diego Maradonna’s daughter. But not before having a kid.
The sad part is – I honestly believe Maradonna has tried to call up Kun Aguero. But here’s the catch: if your angry ex-father in law called you shortly after you left his daughter with a baby on board, would you answer? I get the feeling that every single one of Diego’s phone numbers flashes on Kun’s iphone as “No Contestar” (Do not answer).
And there is the whole Riquelme situation. A little bird tipped me off as to how exactly Maradonna reveals to players when they have been cut, and, to be honest, it’s a bit of a pansy gesture and slightly embarrassing. Here is how Roman got cut…
Could you work in such horrendous conditions? Is the big-eared rat or rabbit or whatever really necessary? Is that rabbit-rat really much better of an assistant coach than Oscar Ruggeri? Perhaps the AFA and Diego could have compromised on Oscar the Grouch.
Still, notwithstanding those fine gentlemen, I want an underdog to win this year’s A.S.S. (what a coincidence!) award. I am pulling for dark horse candidates Javier Saviola or Lisandro Lopez. Assuming they make the roster.
Thanks to missing-in-action-writer dash doctoral-candidate Santi Ramos for pointing out this South American intricacy.