Luis Rodríguez during the South American Soccer Cup in Santa Fe, Argentina, in September 2019.Gustavo Garello / AP
Plato said that beauty requires utility.
Aristotle, on the other hand, believed that the beautiful did not have to be useful.
Both agreed that the great aesthetic criteria had to be moderation and proportion.
Aristotle was quite a bloody man depending on what things.
For him, a short man could never be beautiful.
Sometimes there is talk of aesthetics in football and no conclusion is reached. There are those who only perceive beauty in harmonious play. Others prefer, perhaps because we get involved with aesthetics and ethics, certain traits of suffering and inventiveness. Much less is said about the aesthetics of footballers. But it is a relevant factor. To use one example, Paco Gento was a better winger than George Best. The world myth, however, is Best. Because a guy with light eyes, long hair, seductive and witty cannot be compared to a sallow man from Guarnizo. And Paul Pogba will always look even better than he is because he looks the way he does.
The Copa América has not yet caused any victim of Stendhal syndrome.
No one has ever had hallucinations from an overdose of beauty.
There is Brazil, of course, and that is the only emotion: to continue watching games in case a prodigy occurs and the Brazilians do not win.
With a discreet or very discreet level (few human groups inspire so much compassion, in the best of senses, as the Venezuelan team), it is a tournament conducive to outrageousness.
Unfortunately, there is not.
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The bizarre is that ending of the sonnet that breaks with the discourse and the meter and gives its authentic meaning to the poem. The bizarre is brilliant extravagance, the triumph of the impossible. The outrage is the frontal challenge to Plato and Aristotle, to aesthetic criteria and, in football, to the game guidelines and the most basic common sense.
The great bizarre of Latin American football today is Luis Miguel Rodríguez, El Pulga.
Not necessarily because of his biography (extremely poor boy without shoes, groped at age 13 by Inter Milan and Real Madrid, abandoned in Romania by his representative, recycled into a bricklayer and later eternal star of secondary teams) or because of his appearance (short, ugly and stubborn), but rather because both the biography and the appearance are misleading.
One would expect from a guy like El Pulga, from Tucumán and rural, a pure product of the pasture, a game full of passion, bustle and mischief.
It offers the opposite: a cold brain, long periods of apparent apathy, an immense calculation capacity and an almost sarcastic genius.
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The flea is already very old.
He is 36 years old.
But he has just made his team champion of Argentina, the very modest Colón de Santa Fe.
I understand that Lionel Scaloni did not summon the Flea, whom only Maradona dared to line up, for once, in the national team.
It counts for the position of the Pulga, between the area and the playmaker, with names like Messi, Lautaro, Lo Celso or Agüero, all of them stars in glamorous clubs.
The Flea would have been bizarre amid so much beauty.
Without it, almost everything is predictable.
Moderate and proportionate.
Plato and Aristotle obviously had no idea about football.