Messi missed

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After missing the target, Messi grabbed the hem of his white-and-blue shirt, stretched it out in frustration, then embraced his face with the palms of his hands. While the other players took their penalty kicks, Messi paced around the field refusing to witness an eventual third finals loss for the Selección.

In a matter of minutes, after Chile’s Francisco Silva hammered in the match winner, Messi went on his knees, stooped on the grass, and curled like a newborn.

Indeed, there is always the fetal position.

When critics question people who feel bad for Messi, they fail to see the guy as human. After dragging Argentina to three final matches, his countrymen still hate him for reasons he has no control over. He wasn’t born in the slums, he’s middle class, and he trained in Spain—all of which, by the way, do not make him any less Argentinian.

“Messi doesn’t play the finals to win, he plays the finals to be forgiven,” says former Argentinian football player Jorge Valdano.

And now Messi has announced his retirement from the national team. It could be temporary, an impulsive decision borne out of bursting, pulsing emotions. It could be a protest against an ineffective institution. He could always pull a Zidane and come back for another World Cup final.

Selfishness begs me to hope that his decision is indeed temporary. That one day, hopefully in Russia, I could still witness him carry an international trophy. One day, I hope he gets the forgiveness he longs for.

And when that happens, I hope the people of Argentina would joyously rally behind him, exclaiming what Jon Snow said to Lord Galbart of House Glover:

jon snow

So it goes.

Higuain’s penalty dug a crater in the moon. | Photo from Scoopnest

Let’s all observe a moment of silence for Argentina. Two consecutive second-place finish in two big tournaments — damn, son.

They were a millimeter away from winning this year’s Copa America, even closer than what they reached against Germany in Brazil. And as with the World Cup’s penultimate match last year, Higuain missed a could-have-been winning goal and Di Maria’s hamstring thought El Fideo was a Gunner. The penalty shootout unfortunately didn’t swing in their favor, eventually granting Chile their first Copa title.

So yeah, congrats Chile. Hmp.

Football break

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There are no football games in all the major European leagues this weekend. I think they call it an international break? There have been international games in the past few days, which means that the players have joined their national teams to battle it out with other national teams. The most notable and only game that I watched was the Germany – Argentina friendly in Germany’s home court. It’s a friendly so it doesn’t really count, but it still made me happy that Argentina won, 4-2.

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Vamos!

It took me so long to process the whole shebang. My knees felt wobbly, and my heart started palpitating. Vamos Argentina! What a pleasant, pleasant surprise!

I was not able to watch the full match, unfortunately. I had to run some errands after work, so I left at 4pm when the extra time was just about to start.

I knew I wouldn’t be able to know who wins until I get home so my mind was definitely zoning out while on the road. I even got honked at while switching lanes (sorry!).

The whole time, I was reminding myself to expect the worst. Robben may have sneaked in a screamer during extra time, or RVP may have repeated his Flying Dutchman stunt against Spain. I imagined myself looking at gifs of Messi and Higuain hugging and crying, or of a devastated Di Maria consoling a sobbing Mascherano.

I thought I would have to write a blog post filled with despair—but boy how happy I was to be proven wrong!

Right when I got home, I opened my laptop and googled the results: still a 0-0 just like when I left, but Argentina won 4-2 during the penalty shootout. Tim Krul was not subbed in, and Sergio Romero became a hero overnight. I sat on the floor, closed my eyes and smiled—so this is what it feels like to be slapped with good news, I thought. Nice.

I searched for game analyses, for updates on what happened during the extra time. I kept replaying the last minutes of the game, just to get even a minute sense of ecstasy the actual Argentinians must be having right now.

It was a good game. It was a good day.

Quarterfinals, beybeh!

Aba’y halos sumabog ang pantog ko sa laban ng Argentina at Switzerland! Ang saya-saya! Worth it ang pagpigil sa ihi na kaninang-kanina pa gustong bumulwak sa puson ko! Messi and Di Maria connection for the win! Maraming maraming salamat sa mga diyos at diyosa, anito’t anita na kumampi sa pwersa ng Santo Papa (that’s some convoluted religious allusions right there haha)! Paabutin po natin ito hanggang sa finals!

At, siyempre, sana po matalo ang Estados Unidos mamaya. Sugod Belgium, sugooooood!

After 10 long years, my paper’s done!

It’s more like 10 days and not 10 years actually, but…yeeeeeeeey! Now I can do other stuff without feeling guilty for putting off school work. Yeeeeey!

And Argentina topped Group F today! Yeeeeeey!

My boys will be facing Switzerland in the next round. Pffff, easy peasy Japanese-y. Although their backline has a Buckingham Palace-sized room for improvement, Di Maria and Messi—especially Messi—have been doing great for the team. Hope they make it to the semis (because I’m damn sure they’re gonna make it past the Round of 16). Don’t disappoint me, please? Mwah mwah.

Speaking of disappointment, I sincerely hope Team Imperialist disappoints tomorrow. Nothing against the people of America; I just really want to see the US lose. Come on, universe. They’re the world’s most powerful nation, let them lose this time! Let Ghana in so they can slap their corrupt officials with a win. Not that it will eradicate corruption or poverty whatsoever. I just want to see more Africans—and no US—in the next round.

And oh, by the way, there’s also this widely-talked-about biting incident by Luis “handball” Suarez during the Uruguay-Italy match:

It’s a huge deal, apparently. One, because this is not the first time Suarez bit a player on pitch. And two, because you’re not supposed to bite people on pitch or anywhere else, unless you’re defending yourself from assault or you’re doing kinky stuff.

FIFA has already started an official investigation on the incident. If proven guilty of going full Edward Cullen against Giorgio Chiellini, Suarez may face a possible two year ban from international matches. What I don’t get is, why the hell would he bite an opponent? He could have easily pushed Chiellini to the ground, or headbutt him a la Pepe. Other players tackle, they push and shove, some kick and punch. But bite? Hmm. Odaxelagnia, maybe? Eeeghh.

What else, what else? Oooooh. My World Cup cutie of the day: Antoine Griezmann. He plays for France (who’s moving on to the next round as well) and for Real Sociedad in La Liga. Use Google for other info.

Dude’s worthy of a two syllable dayuuuuum, eh? Ang gwaaaapoooo!

I’m still annoyed at people celebrating Iran’s defensive play against Argentina yesterday. Them Argentina-hating underdog-loving bitches!

And I hope Portugal thrashes the shit out of the US today (I will never ever view the US as an underdog in any situation whatsoever). CR7 has to step up his game. Play like you deserve your multimillion net worth please!