Now that Hannibal Lecter (aka Luis Suarez) has been sent home and the tearful Brazilian lads will be playing for 3rd place in the God-forsaken city of Brasilia, we can get down to the serious business of determining who will be World Champion on Sunday: Germany or Argentina? (Editor’s Note: Actually, Suarez is being transferred from Liverpool to Barcelona as he has found Mediterranean cuisine more to his liking.)
The World Cup Final for 2014 will be played in the fabled stadium of Maracana – recently modernized at huge taxpayer expense – where Brazil suffered a historic defeat in the 1950 World Cup Final at the hands of Uruguay. Thanks to the Germans, the Brazilian national team can now play a meaningless game against Holland in front of all of the politicos who have enriched themselves building these soon-to-be-forgotten stadiums and their equally corrupt accomplices: the mercenaries of FIFA.
Other than seeing the artistry of Lionel Messi one more time, I have no great interest in this game other than the faint hope that it will a memorable one. Come on guys, let’s score a few goals and give each other a little space to work magic with the ball. Surprise me!
On behalf of Brazilian football fans, I can’t think of anything more revolting than an Argentine victory on Brazilian soil. If this were to occur, I suspect that Maracana will need to be demolished since no reputable Brazilian could live with the shame of having the Argentine dogs mark their territory in historic Maracana. As such, I am hopeful that Germany will raise their level of play and show Argentina and the muddled lads from Brazil that the “jogo bonito” is still very much alive elsewhere.
Frankly, I think this has been a great World Cup celebrated in a Brazilian style that brings merit to this great country. Unfortunately, Brazilian soccer was having a “down year” as its players seemed more interested in promoting silly electronic products than playing great football. I suspect that this will change soon. In any event, football finally captured the imagination and interest of millions of Americans and I hope that this interest is not short-lived.
In a lovely Opinion in The New York Times by David Brooks quoting extensively from Simon Critchley, he argues that soccer is far closer to “living” than baseball in ways we never imagined:
Finally, Critchley notes that soccer is like a 90-minute anxiety dream — one of those frustrating dreams when you’re trying to get somewhere but something is always in the way. This is yet another way soccer is like life.
Indeed, who am I to argue? “Sheila, will you please unlock the door?”