Monday, July 16, 2007

Rest in peace

Que En Paz Descanse translated means Rest In Peace, which is how Argentine sports daily Ole tabbed Argentina's 3-0 Copa America final loss to Brazil.

Next to a stunned Roberto Abbondanzieri reads:

"The national team that played the best in Copa America died in the final; a cruel 3-0 against Brazil B. A generation's dream of a title instead ended in nightmare. What a shame. Still, Basile has a base for the future."


Anonymous said...

I am surprised nobody has commented on this monumental choke job by Argentina.

You know, Mexico and the US catch a lot of flack for their respective reasons and rightfully so some times, but Argentina just showed us how a true world class superpower is supposed to choke.

I would like to congratulate Brazil for winning with a dominating performance and growing into a great team void of prima donas. I think they are unfairly criticized for not playing beautifully. That is a load, they played beautifully yesterday, and deserved it.

What's funny is international football: Mexico cannot beat the US or Argentina. Mexico can beat Brazil. Argentina can beat Mexico and the US but Argentina cannot beat Brazil in a tourney ever since Maradona retired.

What it al means, I don't know but just like people like to say Mexico and the US are not what they think they are, Argentina has not won an international senior level tournament since 1993!

That's a big losing streak for a so called world super power.

L.B. said...

Perhaps Argentina took everything too lightly. Or maybe Basile's style isn't really suited to come from behind. He constantly reminded people during the tournament that they play their best soccer the longer the game goes. By the time Argentina knew what hit them, they were down 2-0. The players hadn't faced adversity this tournament yet so they didn't know how to overcome it, and Brazil wasn't about to let them come from behind like that.

Argentina choked but Brazil deserves a lot of credit for taking to Argentina. Brazil has that knowledge and faith in themselves that they'll succeed and they come to play in knockout games like they most always do.

I think people (myself included) get caught up with the name element of Argentina, with talented players at their disposal like Messi, Tevez, Riquelme, Mascherano, etc. I mean a guy like Rodrigo Palacio can't get any playing time and this guy's a very talented striker. But in the end, not having won anything in '93 is really alarming. Lots of talent but where are the trophies?

But British bookmakers are already instilling Brazil as 4/1 favorites and Argentina at 5/1.

L.B. said...

Uh, 4/1 and 5/1 favorites to win the World Cup in 2010.

Italy is at 7/1, Germany at 8/1 and England at 9/1.

They'll give 16/1 odds of Brazil beating Argentina in the final and 20/1 of Argentina beating Brazil in the final.

Anonymous said...

I think Brazil is really the Football World's Sole Super Power. The only team that with A,B, or C players, whether they're favorites or not, pretty or not, they'll win most International Tournaments.

Argentina is about half a tier down. (Still, I hope they don't panioc and try to change their style. I don't think they will.)

Also, a team with so much talent at every position and such a beautiful way of playing can't really be looked down on as a choker (in football, that is ... and outside of the US ... ). I sense more disapproval for Brazil having won "ugly". They didn't, they just didn't play their usual give-and-take style. They beatdown Argentina with power, speed, and finesse.

L.B. said...

I can see your point about them being the only real power. I've always felt that they were in a class by themselves.

- Brazil

- Germany, Italy, Argentina, France

- England, Netherlands, etc.

Brazil just has such a winning mentality that they start off every game a step ahead of their opponent, especially in knockout games.

Even with a coach who entered the tournament under pressure, with some relative unknown players filling in for the stars who bypassed the tournament and a tough loss in the opening match, Brazil still not only won but looked good doing so.

RobbyRevsFan said...

Yikes, I didn't think Brazil looked good winning, at all. They fouled like madmen (very clever fouling, but still). Its ironic that in the past, anytime Brazil lost, they would pull out the old excuse: At least we play the beatiful game. Now they're the ones using tactical fouling to disrupt Argentina's attractive midfield passing game.

Also, speaking of Palacio, I thought Argentina really missed having a target forward in the final.

Finally, I saw a bunch of fans at the Copa carrying umbrellas which read:
"La Violenca
No Paje (or Page?)"

Any idea what that means?

Anonymous said...

I disagree robbysrevsfan.

I think this Brazil fouling thing is a red herring pundits are bringing up and is a big GOL TV Ray Hudson smokeskreen and sounds like sour grapes.

Argentina fouls as much as any team in the world, always has, and always will, and they are strategic momentum stopping fouls in a team's own half.

Veron, Mascherano, Cambiasso, Tevez, Messi, they all foul and foul often, they use a full field pressing system by design. By my count Mascherano should have received a yellow to red card almost every game and his conduct went largely unpunished. Veron should not have even been playing after his criminal challenge on Guardado the game before that against Mexico. What do they both do against Brazil, surprise, Verons goes in full speed studs up straight into Alex in his own half and Mascherano chops down Robinho a couple time, both see yellow.

If Argentina choose to play like that they are going to encounter losses to teams with dynamic counterattackers and just as physical midfields and backlines not afraid of fighting them tooth and nail. Of course you have to have the talent like Brazil to get passed their initial press.

In my opinion Brazil plays to win tournaments and can adapt their style to whoever they play against, and any given tournament change their style. Meanwhile Argentina plays the same way every time out. Which one is more effective?

By the way, I am not trying open a subjective can of worms as to styles and preferred styles, simply put this is about winning, analyzing winning and analyzing losing.


RobbyRevsFan said...


I pretty much agree with everything you said about Argentina fouling a lot. I think Argentina fouled less in this tournament than any time in recent memory. Certainly Veron and Mascherano could have been carded.

However, I think Brazil fouled much more in this tournament than they had previously.

The box score I saw for the final showed 37 fouls for Brazil and only 21 for Argentina. That's a significant difference.

I also thought Brazil did a brilliant job of fouling, in that they mostly fouled more than 35 yards from their own net, and didn't rack up too many yellow cards.

Nevertheless, the style was something you expect from Italy, not Brazil.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, after reconsidering, I guess we both agree on the same thing.

Brazil/Dunga has stepped it up on the defensive intensity, no doubt, and now incorporated this pressing, strategic fouls, aggressive marking. Again, we can debate the merits of this given their history but it does seem that is how you have to play now a days to win a tourney.

If Brazil would have played with that much defensive heart in 2006 in Germany vs. France they would have gone further, that much I know. I guess defenive intensity is the hallmark of modern football.

As for the foul discrepancy, it surprises me. I felt despite the refs calls, it was evenly called, the discrepancy surprises me.