The Mexican César Montes heads a ball against, during the Argentina-Mexico match, this Saturday. Rodrigo Jiménez (EFE)
What are the criteria established to choose between various evils?
How to know which is the "least worst" of all?
It's something like the sinister road game between friends going to the beach: "Which would you rather?"
A question that is always accompanied by imaginative ways to complicate the final decision.
Smash your hand on a drawer or stub your toe on the bed in the morning?
When it comes to setting that kind of criteria for painful memories—of any nature—the laughs quickly die down.
The trunk of memories that brings together stories between Mexico and Argentina in World Cups has painful and varied versions for the Tricolor, distressing and hopeful for Argentina (until Germany appeared and everything collapsed).
The first, that of 1930, sounds more like a story than a statistic because the distance in years pales when one observes the huge differences between what football is today: in a World Cup of artifice and the waste of a tournament. to which some took weeks to arrive by boat.
The most recent, 2006 and 2010, serve to underline the steep drop in this narrative arc.
In the round of 16 of Germany 2006, an intelligent, disciplined and courageous Mexican team knew how to complicate Argentina to the point that anyone who remembers that duel with moderate coldness acknowledges that the albiceleste suffered and at times feared elimination at the hands of those led by La Volpe.
An individuality appeared, one of those that seem to occur so much in Argentina, and the territory of hopes once again became a territory of cruel realities for Mexico.
In 2010 the story faded a bit more.
There was a goal in an advanced position (for those who continue to crucify the existence of VAR, remember that there were times when defeats and pain were purged stronger than thinking of an old love to the sound of "what if...") and mistakes punctual of the Mexican national team that culminated in a new dismissal in the round of 16.
Again before the Argentina of Messi and a then alive Maradona.
In the first World Cup without the presence of the idol and his shadow over Lionel, Mexico had before it the great opportunity to, once again, redeem itself in front of itself, do the task that was pending for the first set and, incidentally, become in the villain of the story.
In the game that the whole world was watching to find out if Messi would leave in the first round or not in his last World Cup, Mexico played a first half according to the script that their coach proposed and that suited their interests: serious, seasoned, with presence and strength.
However, he was unable to sustain such a rhythm in the second episode and above all he lacked plan B, the ability to respond to the departure of his captain and outstanding actor of the first 45: Andrés Guardado.
The changes on the board also favored Argentina, which with a brilliant Enzo Fernández knew how to liquidate the work that began, once again, an individuality.
Perhaps the most outstanding and brilliant of the decade, the century, history or perhaps it is enough to be at the exact moment and in that Messi has shown himself to be an architect, teacher and inventor time and time again.
In Mexico's record against Argentina, this is perhaps the worst of evils, the one that leads to the feeling that a team died for nothing.
In a World Cup in which Mexico is once again the protagonist for many reasons beyond its sporting performance, the response on the pitch is inversely proportional to the scandal off it.
Dying of nothing is equivalent to not having gone.
The book of experiences and anecdotes about Mexico is expanding, but in such a successful environment it is perhaps the least important thing.
The road trip seems to be coming to an end with the question in the air: What do you prefer?
Die of nothing or burn from flying so close to the sun?
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