Lionel Messi is universally admired wherever in the world football is watched – except in his native Argentina. It would be a gross oversimplification to say that Messi is unloved in Argentina. But he is certainly subject to more denigration and skepticism in his homeland than anywhere else in the world. Read on to find out about the main criticisms leveled against him and how much truths lies behind them.
Considering that barely a ball has been kicked in Argentina in the last couple of weeks, it’s been a tumultuous time for the Argentinian football. Firstly the sacking of the manager of the national team after the lackluster showing at the Copa America in the homeland, the Tevez and Aguero saga at Manchester City and – oh yes – the biggest shake up of the Argentinian league game for, well, ever, to a system so revolutionary that no team will ever have to be relegated again.
Argentinian primera división (top division) football is full of historical rivalries that are both notorious and colourful. This footballing folklore more often than not manifests itself in cheeky banter between opposing sets of fans. At times it famously descends into wanton violence. Teams define themselves by who they despise. Chants that can be heard in stadia every weekend are full of such insulting language about opponents that uttering such things publicly in most countries would get you arrested.
Two games into the 2011 Copa América, and things aren’t looking good for the host country. An astonishing one-one draw with Bolivia (Bolivia!) was followed by a nil-nil result against Colombia (Colombia!). Eek.
Buenos Aires. Meaty Mecca for overdosing on chargrilled cow. The capital of mate, of the mullet, and of dancing to the most melancholy music in the world. The only city in the world where staring at strangers, joining a picket line, feasting at midnight, multiple dog walking, drumming up drama, weekly therapy, and cheat nights…
‘Porteño’ is more than just a geographical indicator, it’s a way of being. Porteños have their own slang, their own fashion, their own complex psyche and their own attitude. So if you want to ‘do’ porteño, you’ll need more than a Spanish dictionary and a smile.
Buenos Aires, the city of tantalising tango, 400g steaks, all-hour partying and captivating history may seem, at first glance to be an adult’s-only destination. But there’s plenty to keep the kids occupied as well. Here are some ideas, from museums and parks to cafés and the zoo…
We’ve waxed lyrical about Lionel Messi on the Real Argentina before. In fact we were so gushing about him, now looking back at the series of World Cup posts, we noticed that we even included an exclamation mark. An exclamation mark! Ye gods! Is it any coincidence that Messi’s surname forms most of the word Messiah?
It wasn’t supposed to end like this. Argentina weren’t supposed to crash out in the quarter finals. Maradona was going to run around the Obelisco in downtown Buenos Aires…naked. It was supposed to be glorious. Well, maybe not the last bit.
On Saturday evening, the usual hectic, thrashing, fun-loving Buenos Aires was silent. Even the taxis appeared to be going slow. ‘It was like a cemetery,’ a friend said. Argentina were out of the World Cup too early, and they were beaten too easily by what was thought to be a young, inexperienced German side…