Tag: Argentina

World Cup Magic: 1978 – Ticker-Tape & Tartan Travesty

Although I watched the 1974 World Cup finals as an eight-year-old recently converted to football, 1978 is the earliest tournament I properly remember. And I was the only one among the football fans at our rugby-playing school who tipped hosts Argentina to win. For the second World Cup finals in succession, the Anglophile British media had to pretend to support Scotland. While Scotland indulged in English-style hype that they could actually win the competition – despite warnings from a dismal Home International Championships immediately before manager Ally MacLeod’s side travelled to Argentina. Although Scotland beat European champions Czechoslovakia to qualify, European victory in South America was still a fanciful notion. However, International football analysis was still taught at the Corporal Jones school of foreigners not liking “it up them.” So the idea persisted that gap-toothed striker Joe Jordan could terrify opposition defences by little more than smiling at them. International football TV coverage in 1978 was blighted by poor sound and pictures. But many of my generation thought the fuzzy images and commentaries added to the atmosphere, making “foreign” crowds sound louder and more volatile. And Argentina 1978 added… ticker-tape. If we’d seen ticker-tape at all it was from footage of triumphal parades through American city streets by military or sporting heroes, showers of the stuff emerging from the skyscrapers which flanked them.  Yes, it was American. And a...

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200%’s World Cup Magic, Part One: Argentina vs Cameroon – 1990

In the first of a new occasional series, Ed Carter looks fondly back at his first World Cup finals match. It was Friday 8th June 1990. I was ten years old and I’d never seen a World Cup Finals match before. I came to football relatively late, or at least it felt that way at the time. No-one in my family had any particular interest in the game or strong affliations to anyone in it. And beyond my mother’s understandable worship of The Championships, Wimbledon and inexplicable passion for ice dancing at the Winter Olympics, neither of my parents ever watched, talked or thought about any sport at all. My only knowledge of soccer came from watching my schoolmates playing it at breaktime in my peripheral vision. But it was about autumn 1988 and what happened is that I suspect my dad was going through one of his occasional crises of masculinity. These normally run along the lines of worrying that having no interest in or knowledge of the national game surely marks him down as a nancy boy amongst his peer group. So along with my little brother, a football-mad member of Dad’s church choir and his friend (a particularly foul-mouthed traffic warden), we decamped to the Goldstone Ground in Hove. What we saw created a lifelong interest in football in two of us. My dad remained unmoved,...

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Argentina Flounder Before German Unity

Out of the chaos of the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Cup has come some degree of consensus. If today’s newspapers have one theme running through them, that theme is that Germany are currently the best football team in the world and that, to a point, it would be a travesty if they didn’t win the competition. All of this is somewhat odd, since it is effectively an admission that they got their predictions wrong before the start of the tournament (there weren’t many in the mainstream press that didn’t predict Brazil or Spain), but this groundswell of opinion has been building for the last few days. This follows the ongoing story of this World Cup, which is that very few of the teams involved are fulfilling people’s expectations of them. Spain, the media darlings for the last couple of years, have been the dull, pragmatic team, edging 1-0 wins against inferior opposition. The Netherlands have been practical and pragmatic, yet they have shown moments of brilliant fluidity – coach Bert Van Marwijk’s comments that total football is dead don’t appear to have been fully taken in by Arjen Robben and Robin Van Persie, for example – whilst Germany have set the tournament alight with stunning performances against England and Argentina and have suddenly and quite unexpectedly become the media darlings of the tournament. One of the teams that...

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World Cup 2010: Argentina 0-4 Germany

Some games need no introduction, and they fall into two camps. One camp is the poor games that are best left forgotten (which can only be known after the event). The other games are games like this one, where everything that can have been said in advance, has already been said (and, considering England’s history on and off the pitch with both nations, everything that doesn’t need to be said has probably been said by the tabloids). Games where all the previous encounters in the competition have either been classics (1958, 1986 and 2006) or notorious (such as 1966 and 1990). The game starts with a bang. Miroslav Klose puts in what could be described as a reducer on Javier Mascherano. It’s from behind, nowhere near the ball, and worse than either of the bookings he rightfully received against Serbia, but Ravshan Irmatov (the Uzbek referee now officiating his fourth game of the tournament) keeps his cards in his pockets. Seeing the lenience, Nicolas Otamendi lets Lukas Podolski know that he is there, but this second foul is more costly. Bastian Schweinsteiger floats in a beautiful free kick from the German left hand side, Thomas Muller nips in ahead of Otamendi and heads past Sergio Romero. We’re in the second minute, it’s already full of incident, and the deadlock is already broken. 1-0. Muller threads a through ball for...

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