Friday, June 18, 2010

diego forlan v el mundo

"That thin, angular face with its burning eyes could never have belonged to the great race of compromisers..." -- a historian describing Savonarola, but he might as well be describing Diego Forlan(1)

My grey-haired mother, no football fan, has been converted to the Church of Forlan. Diego won her heart in his South African campaign with his quiet mastery, ruling, spiderlike, his web from that moveable place at its center, the center that travels with him wherever he goes. (It seemed funny to me that the announcers were frustrated with his insistence on taking all the free kicks when he ought really have been in goal to finish them. One day he will find himself a Tesla who will build for him a teleportation device so that he can do both.)

My mother is now prepared to follow Uruguay resolutely to the ends of the earth, or the ends of the World Cup, anyway. After watching those dogged Mexicans disassemble France today (France are what my brother's Portuguese parishioners call "heavy-shirts": big-leaguers, champions of old. They tell him that Mexico always does better against heavy-shirts than light-shirts like South Africa), she's rabid to watch her Diego disassemble them... which, of course, he might. I tried to warn her that a draw might benefit both teams and she should not be too disappointed if her new hero takes the duller strategy and locks down his goal. With any luck, though, we might see that warrior glint in the eye once more before his group stage is done.

(1) De La Bedoyere, Michael. the Meddlesome Friar and the Wayward Pope, Hanover House, NY 1958

1 comment:

lynda said...

You know I have long been a Forlan fan--"the man with the perfect skin"! Happy to see him have such a good match (though sorry it was at the expense of Bafana Bafana).