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The Argentine triumph in Qatar 2022 saves the honor of Latin American soccer

2022-12-25T13:51:13.793Z


This World Cup would have been the least Latin American if it weren't for the Albiceleste title Lionel Messi and the Argentine team celebrate the triumph in the World Cup. Martin Meissner (AP) The World Cup returned to its first home. Just as Uruguay raised the inaugural trophy in 1930, the one that the FIFA president who invented the World Cups, Jules Rimet, had taken to Montevideo hidden in a shoebox during his boat trip, Lionel Messi landed this Tuesday in Buenos Aires holding the object


Lionel Messi and the Argentine team celebrate the triumph in the World Cup. Martin Meissner (AP)

The World Cup returned to its first home.

Just as Uruguay raised the inaugural trophy in 1930, the one that the FIFA president who invented the World Cups, Jules Rimet, had taken to Montevideo hidden in a shoebox during his boat trip, Lionel Messi landed this Tuesday in Buenos Aires holding the object of desire that Europe had monopolized in the last 20 years, a northern hegemony contrary to a more shared history, of alternation.

The 10 albiceleste typed F5, updated the origins of the World Cups and Argentina returned to South America a pride that threatened to remain in the rust of the last century.

The tachycardic final of Qatar 2022 also implied a claim to the subcontinent that never stopped providing the world with the best footballers, in chronological order Pelé, Diego Maradona and Messi, but that in the last two decades had ceded power at the national team level, in the image and similarity of dominance of European clubs.

La Albiceleste reached its third title, the first in the last 36 years, after having beaten European teams, the Netherlands, Croatia and France in its last three games, the same route it had taken in Mexico 86, when from the quarterfinals left England, Belgium and West Germany behind.

Poland, in the first phase, also surrendered to Messi and his boys.

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Messi is crowned in the final of the finals

When Brazil became champion in Japan-Korea 2002, South America led the World Cup table by continent, with nine Cups won against eight of the Europeans.

The contribution was divided between the five Brazilian titles of 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 plus the first of the new century, the two Argentines of 1978 and 1986 and the two Uruguayans of 1930 and 1950. But then Europe, with the economic authority of the new soccer order and its national leagues open to a huge number of community members and foreigners -the final consequence of the Bosman Law, passed at the end of 1995-, also began to dominate the World Cups of the 21st century.

The last four editions prior to Qatar were for Italy in 2006, Spain in 2010, Germany in 2014 and France in 2018. With the exception of Messi's Argentina in 2014, three of those finals were even played between European countries, which also concentrated to the first four in the World Cup in Russia.

Of the 16 semifinalists between 2006 and 2018, 13 had been on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean: only Uruguay infiltrated in 2010, Brazil in 2014 -but in the fateful game in which they conceded seven goals from the Germans- and the aforementioned adventure from Argentina eight years ago.

“It's a South American triumph!

Leave Argentina, it was crazy.

It is a South American victory, not only for Argentina.

It was necessary for the Cup to come here”, celebrated the Argentine coach Ricardo Gareca, the coach who led Peru to a World Cup, in Russia 2018, after 36 years.

“They claimed South American football, the most important characteristic of this team was playing like a South American team plays.

Each one respects their roots, a way of playing”, added, with self-esteem, the

Tiger

.

One of the first questions that they asked the Albiceleste coach, Lionel Scaloni, on the Sunday after the final, were the statements that the Frenchman Kylian Mbappé had made in March about a supposed supremacy of European football.

"I don't want controversy, South American football is top-level, it has players everywhere," the coach defended his continent, although figures from other countries, such as the Chilean Arturo Vidal, took advantage of the Argentine triumph to charge directly against the French.

“I learned from those of us who invented soccer: South America.

Don't look for them, you'll get the cuckoo, ”the Chilean pointed out with continental pride, even though his country has not classified Qatar.

“In South America, soccer is not as advanced as in Europe.

And that is why, when you look at the last World Cups, the Europeans always win", Mbappe had said, a phrase that at the time caused discomfort among Argentines.

“Bolivia in La Paz, Ecuador with 30 degrees, Colombia that you can't even breathe... They always play on perfect, wet pitches, and they don't know what South America is.

When an Englishman goes to train with England, he is on the premises in half an hour.

Let them come here to see how easy it is”, replied goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez.

Even Messi disagreed with his teammate: "Many times we talked about it with the boys from Spain, when we returned from a Qualifiers and we told them 'you know how difficult it would be for you to qualify for the World Cup if you had to go play there: Colombia, the height, heat, Venezuela'”.

the only joy

The World Cup in the hands of Messi, however, can also be interpreted as the only joy for a Latin America that left Qatar 2022 with the feeling of having taken a step backwards.

Disappointments multiplied, led by the failure of Mexico, eliminated for the first time in the initial phase since 1978. But neither did Costa Rica, Ecuador and Uruguay advance to the round, in all three cases behind Europeans or Asians and Africans.

The combo can include the blow that Peru received against Australia, in the playoffs prior to Qatar, as another sign of a stagnation or regression of a part of Latin America in relation to other geographies in the world, not just Europe.

Seen from the south, the United States above Mexico was not a nice World Cup photo either.

The Brazil of Neymar, Vinicius and Casemiro, among other individual stars, reached the quarterfinals, an instance in which it became clear again that, in the 21st century, they always hit the same wall.

Their last win in the second round against a European team was 20 years ago, when they won against Germany.

Since then, he has lost the five games he played in that instance and against the same type of rivals.

The most global World Cup of all would have been the least Latin American if it weren't for the title of Argentina and Messi, turned into recyclers of South American glory.

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Source: elparis

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