116street Soccer

Footballing from a lesser authority...

Location: New York, New York

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Wednesday Night Paradise

Michael Bradley was pantomiming "2-1" to a group of Uruguayan sore losers, and I was texting a friend to drunkenly inform him that, yes indeed, Leo Messi is the best player in the world. It was soccer paradise, celebrating a hard fought win by the U.S. Under-20 while anticipating the thorough annihilation of Mexico at the hands of Argentina. Only a few moments later, Messi backed up my inebriated text message by lofting a spectacular floater just over the outstretched hand of douchebag supreme Oswaldo Sanchez, causing a number of Mexican patrons to sarcastically begin chanting "U-S-A!". Last night was made for us, fellow futbol fanaticos.
A couple of years ago, I was watching a Champions League match between Barcelona and some random European power they stepped all over en route to the European Cup, when Ronaldinho snaked his way between three random world class defenders (remember when he used to do that?), in order to make an otherwise pedestrian back pass. Derek Rae commented that "we are all privileged to watch this young man in his prime," or something to that effect. In other words, true genius doesn't always come before a goal, it is not always a spectacular volley. Sometimes a great first touch or a magic turn is all it takes to recognize the purest form of genius on the field. That is how I felt watching Messi last night.
At the time I sent my drunken text to my appreciative (I'm sure) friend, Messi hadn't yet scored his lovely chip, or sent a spectacular through ball through magic space (well, he might have done that), but he left all of us agape with his ability to change direction, weave through tight places and maintain possession where it appeared that none existed. The fact is that every time he received the ball, we all expected something spectacular to happen, and then, when it finally did, it was even better than we had hoped. That, my friends, is the mark of true genius, the kind that makes you say to yourself "you know, playing with Riquelme and Cambiasso and Mascherano and Veron is really holding Messi back right now."
I know, I know, I'm gushing right now (by tomorrow I'll probably be telling my friends that Robinho will outplay Messi in the final; isn't that how we soccer fans can be sometimes?), but I have one more thing to say about yesterday's rainy night of soccer Valhalla. Can we please stop talking about Mexico as if they are good? What a predictable, unimaginative squad they are. They overdribble, can't pass and don't finish, and in that half a sentence I just gave you the entire scouting report on their side (all future opponents of Mexico reading this, you can thank me later). They looked like eleven Justin Mapps out there, and they are lucky Argentina called off the dogs in the 70th minute, or else it could have been 5-nil (maybe even six). No wonder Landon Donovan beats them all the time, they are the epitome of wackness. How did they get this far in the Copa? The USA could beat them anyday (ha!).


Blogger estoverao said...

No doubt, the Messi goal was ill and he has been fun to watch but we both know whats going to happen when ROBINHO hits the pitch against the Argentinians!! SHOWTIME ANYONE!!!

7:27 PM  
Blogger JMP said...

Extremely appreciative... muchas gracias for the shoutout!

4:33 PM  

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