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World Cup 2010: Six Reasons Why I Love Argentina

 World Cup 2010: Six Reasons Why I Love Argentina

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. They like to keep possession. Watching them pass the ball around midfield is a joy.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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31 Responses to World Cup 2010: Six Reasons Why I Love Argentina

  1. Rod says:

    The players are magnificent and fun to watch. There’s just one thing wrong—-Maradona.

    • Josh says:

      Got to disagree with you. Maradona is a great one. Nothing wrong with having arguably the most passionate coach cheering his team from the sidelines. He loves his players and believes in them and in turn, they love and respect their coach.

  2. jose says:

    i agree with you gaff, they just need to know it’s called the falklands not the malvinas. im sorry i like to instigate. lol

    • Josh says:

      Jose, I do not know where you come from (country), and it is really irrelevant on this point; but the islands’ name is MALVINAS. A bit of history you will find interesting and instructive. Cheers man!

      It was discovered by the Dutch and the French built the first settlement, naming them Îles Malouines after St. Malo. Hence, the Spanish name Malvinas. A couple of years later the British built a fort on the islands without even knowing the French were there.

      Spain eventually signed a treaty with France and Britain limiting its holdings in the New World… that included the Malvinas. Spain took over the French colony (they later reimbursed them) then they simply kicked the British out.

      The Brits came back for while but ended up abandoning their colony. The British later signed another treaty renouncing all colonial ambitions in South America “and the islands adjacent” in exchange for an agreement on who was the boss of the west coast of North America.

      Then the Spanish abandoned the islands, too. Like I said, the place is desolate.

      About 15 years later the British invaded Buenos Aires twice in two years (1806 and 1807) and were defeated both times. Since Spain did not lift a finger to help their colony from the invaders, this gave them (Argentina), momentum to think about becoming an independent nation. In 1810 they formed an independent governing council, gaining full independence from Spain in 1816.

      With independence, they got the Malvinas from Spain as a package deal.

      The UK then signed a treaty recognizing Argentina’s independence.

      The newly minted Argentina sent a governor, built a prison, and started to farm and trade. A few years later, the settlers gave birth to some babies…the first people ever born on the islands.

      Now comes the yanquis. The Argentine governor of the islands had placed some pretty strict rules on the hunting of seals. Not long after, he caught a US merchant ship illegally hunting seals and seized it.

      The US consul in Buenos Aires protested that his government didn’t even recognize Argentina’s ownership of the Malvinas.

      The US sent a warship to get the ship back but the yanqui captain overstepped his orders and destroyed the entire Argentine settlement.

      The UK then took advantage of the confusion and seized what was left of the islands without firing a shot. They later deported all the Argentines. That was 1833.

      Argentina has never relinquished its claim to the islands.

      • Josh says:

        Not only do I love their game but also, I really love the country — which I have visited so many times. Friendly and passionate people, delicious food, beautiful women, lovely family atmosphere, and a very welcoming place for foreigners (of all nationalities). Great place no doubt.

      • nick says:

        Hey Josh true but its not what the uk wants,its what the people on the island want and if they consider themselves british and want to remain part of britain then we have a duty to protect those settlers,this is the same reason we never left northern ireland,so whos they are is irrelevant

        • CAB says:

          Hey Nick, Malvinas is in our maritimal plataform, so it’s in the argentinean territory. If the british residents in there want to be british, let them go to UK, and leave that island for us. They’re Fishing in OUR waters, these fish are OUR resources.

  3. Velan says:

    Saw the game World Cup 2010 Argentina vs S.Korea, 4-1. You are right , Argentina has great teamplay, somehow keep the ball within themselves.

  4. mayra says:

    maradona did a goal with his hand….but remember the goal that he did with his foot…the best goal of history….and sorry, but is malvinas, usurper.

  5. lame says:

    I disagree with point #6 on passion. I went to the Argentina-Dutch game in 2006 and they had no passion. They just beat 20 giant drums the whole game that drowned out everyone else’s chants… basically the argentinian equivalent of the vuvuzela. You should only have one small drum to keep pace for chants, not 20 mega bass drums.

    • Josh says:

      No passion? Have you ever been to a match IN ARGENTINA??? It is contagious, exhilarating, magic, crazy . . . I could go on. They are a passionate people, if not, they would not have invented TANGO. C’mon man! Argentina can go all the way here, no doubt.

  6. brn442 says:

    I couldn’t stand them after the “hand of god” incident that changed in the early 90′s with the rise of Caniggia and Batistuta, I just loved the dark glamour that seemed to surround their players: Paternity suits, endless partying, dubious passports, long hair, tax liens, lots of cocaine and yes – playing some of the most attractive Football on the planet the last 15 odd years.

    Maradonna has been an absolute gem to watch in South Africa. His Pele bashing press conference today was a peach, he is the true “Special One.”

  7. Ben says:

    I agree about the fact that Argentina are a fun team to watch, they played with passion, forget Maradonna guys, we all know he is a jerk, let’s focus on the team instead.

    • Josh says:

      I do not understand why some people think Maradona is a jerk. That really bothers me. The man is recognised as the best player that the sport has ever produced. He is passionate about his team, his country and the sport itself. Too bad there exist the ignorant few who mistake his passion for arrogance. Maradona — a talent !

  8. many people have a go at Maradonna, but I think people need to remember, when he took charge they’d only won 1 in 6 of their qualifying games or something, so it’s been a struggle but he’s got there.

    Obviously in England there is a lot of history because of hand of god/falklands war/beckham sent off and the two countries really do hate eachother, it’s a unique sort of rival, I’d say it’s more heated than England V Germany (because we’re not a proper rival to the Germans)

    But Maradonna is so funny, I don’t care if you are English and hate Argentina, you can’t deny he’s a larger than life character and great for this world cup. That qualifying game against Peru was one of the most entertaining games i’ve ever watched and some of these stories are hilarious.

    After the game today and English journalist asked him “does your strong afffection for your players come from your playing days?” And Maradonna looked like a rabbit in headlights and replied “no – I like women – i’m dating a beautiful 21 year old, she’s blonde and a model – I dont’ like men”

    He’s great

  9. and you missed Gutierrez off your list of stars :P

    He’s doing the Toon proud!

  10. patrick says:

    I remembered today why I HATE them today when Gabriel Heinze not only won a free kick for a dive, but moments latter he was called for a clear hand ball and moaned like child who just had his lolly taken.

    Same old Arggies, always cheating.

    and the thing is with the talent they have, there is just no need…

    • Josh says:

      Patrick, and where are you from??? Just asking. I did not see what you claim to have seen. Look man, they are great and all the bashing in the world cannot take that away from them. Cheating? All teams do a bit of that. Brazil for example? England? Germany? Italy? I am just naming a few of the other known giants. It is part of the game and that is why it is so entertaining.

  11. Seminole Gunner says:

    Argentina is my pick to win the tournament, so I’m just hoping Maradona can toe the line between magnetism and insanity for another few weeks and not sabotage this amazing team.

  12. King Kong says:

    He is either a fool or a genius. This Maradona is doing a Mourinho. The media and news are all on him and they forgot about the team. This relieves pressure from the likes of Higuian, Messi, Kun etc. They can just focus on their play and win for their country. When he took Tevez off at 2-1, Kun came on to make it 4-1…I think this guy’s probably lucky or perhaps he’s just a genius.

  13. ish says:

    both nigeria and sth korea both afforded argentina not only too much space and time on the ball but backed away from a midfield battle.

    Against teams with better midfields like spain and brazil argentina will be slaughtered. Argentina is in a squad of pretty easy teams so they will always look better then they are. Simply put no player in argentina really had to defend or win too many 50-50 balls other then maschareno. The flanks were rarely troubled and neither team were dangerous on the break.

    argentina is the world verson of arsenal, good in moments but ultimately flatter to decieve.

    • Josh says:

      Why is it then that Argentina’s players are always so sought-after by the best leagues in the world? Get real man.

      • ish says:

        umm im saying that they have no decent central midfielders in their teams, they left out not only gago, banega and cambiasso so they dont have too many tempo controlling midfielders outside of veron.

        argentina have great players and quality in most places(other the fullback) but their squad is so attack and defense orientated with very few tempo and combative midfielders that against teams that are not gonna let argentina have the midfield they might struggle.

  14. nds roms says:

    I agree with you , so do i, i love them very much!!hoooo……^_^^_^

  15. Johannes says:

    You’re right on the money. What a talented bunch they are. And there aren’t many people in the game as entertaining and fascinating as Diego Maradona. It would be a lot less fun without him.

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