Shhh, don’t tell anyone. But I’m in love with Argentina. Not the country but the incredible way that the Argentina national team is playing soccer. After today’s performance, they are by far the greatest football playing team in the tournament.
Against Nigeria in the opening game, they showed glimmers of hope but today against South Korea, Diego Maradona’s side looked like the finished product except for a few vulnerabilities in defense.
Some of the reasons why I love Argentina are:
- They love to dribble. Other teams try to dribble, but Argentina is one of the few teams in this World Cup who can do it consistently and effectively.
- They play as a team. The interplay between each of their team members is wonderful to watch. It seems like a novel tactic, but playing as a team can work wonders.
- They like to keep possession. Watching them pass the ball around midfield is a joy.
- A team of superstars. Just go down the list and you’ll quickly see game-changing players such as Tevez, Messi, Higuain, Samuel, Milito, Aguero, Di Maria, Mascherano, and the list goes on and on.
- Diego Maradona. The man has magnetism. Each game there’s something he does that makes you continue watching him to see what he does next. While not always graceful, the man is a legend.
- Passion. The one thing you can’t fault Argentina for is their passion. The passion of the spectators in the crowd. The way that the players perform for their country. And, most importantly of all, the feeling you get from them that there’s nothing matters more than Argentina winning. Soccer is the blood that runs through their veins.
Writing about Argentina on an English soccer blog almost feels like a sin, especially after the Hand Of God goal from the 1986 World Cup, but they deserve the credit for the way to play. Notice that I haven’t even mentioned their sensational performance against South Korea today as a reason why I love them. But the victory today is a blip on their long trajectory to hopefully winning the 2010 World Cup. Sure, they’ve got a long way to go yet, but the pieces are fitting together nicely — and much better than I anticipated before the tournament when they looked like a shambles.