I hate you.
I can't believe what a fool I was to have trusted Diego Maradona. There's no question regarding the brilliance of Maradona the player. But the coach? I had suspicions from the start. In fact, I thought he was a terrible choice. I wasn't alone. Numerous Argentinians, and admirers of the team from around the world, voiced similar outrage over his role as head of the national squad. How could this crazy artist of the pitch, this holy fool of the beautiful game, command a team into the most prestigious of all football arenas... the World Cup? Well, obviously he can't. We know this now after Argentina's severe beat-down by Germany. We know this now, because some of us still can't get the images of the assault out of our heads. I know this now because I trusted this man to lead the charge when I knew deep down, even at the beginning of the tournament, that Argentina's road to glory was folly.
Thankfully, this incident doesn't hurt like the 2006 loss to Germany in the quarterfinals did. Not sure why. Maybe it was because Argentina didn't even score in this one. If we had put up a real fight, if Messi had actually connected with the net, it would perhaps be a different story. But punches still bruise and I feel achy all over.
Over the last few weeks, Maradona had convinced me that maybe this team really did have it in them to go all the way. Like I said, I initially wrote them off. Argentina, because of the way they approach the game, are dear to my heart. But so is Spain and I've been praying for a realistic Spanish run for the cup since 2008 when pretty much the same squad won the European Championship, a treasured moment in my football-watching life. Beautiful football won the day, style and short tidy passing conquered Blitzkrieg strength and power, and there was free money and booze for everyone! Ah, yes, it was wonderful.
Argentina couldn't figure out how to diffuse the German onslaught. I hope Spain can remember how they did it to them in the Euro final. It's not impossible, as Serbia reminded us all when they clipped Germany's passing game. But Serbia was all about defense... and Spain don't truck with that anti-football bullshit. So... we'll see in a few days.
In the meantime... I'm going to keep my hate on for Maradona. Pendejo!