July 13, 2014

Argentina vs. Germany

Although born in the US my blood runs sky blue and white as well as red, white, and blue. I have read Argentine history and studied the culture. I've been to Argentina 7 times in my lifetime, the most recent (as you should know) was in late May for my honeymoon. 

I love being in Argentina, being around Argentineans, and speaking in castellano. And, I love futbol. 

It will be hard for you to find someone from Argentina who doesn't. 

When it comes to the World Cup it's rare that I don't watch a game - even ones that don't involve Argentina or the US.  From reading blogs and Twitter since the World Cup begun I've noticed that not many (read: any) bloggers that I follow are big fans. Many have indicated not knowing anything about it. So I figured, with the final match being played today, I'd give the low down on what these have been about (or at least what I know).

The World Cup/El Mundial

The world up is made up of various rounds, each of which eliminates half the teams until in the end there are only two left. 

/ / Round One  - The Group Stage
  • The group stage starts with 32 countries/teams who have played over the previous 3 years in order to qualify for the World Cup. The host country automatically makes it into the Cup. 
  • Each group has 4 teams which play each other to determine which 2 teams advance to the Round of 16. 
  • In this first round games are allowed to finish in ties. This is the only round that allows this. 
  • A win gives a team 3 points, a tie gives them 1, and a loss gives them 0. Whichever 2 teams have the most points after all the games are played advance to the next round. (I won't get into the more intricate details, but if you ask I will!)
The United States barely made it out of the first round, but thanks to Germany beating Portugal by 4 goals, the US was able to move on to the next round. The US also took this opportunity to beat Ghana who had eliminated the US in the 2 previous World Cups.

The US scoring against Ghana (we're in the red)

Argentina won all 3 games - this is Messi (the best player in the world, and arguably of all time) scoring an amazing goal - or GOLAZO!

/ / Round Two - Round of 16
  • During this round every game has to end in a win, ties are not allowed. This means that if after 2 halves of 45 minutes have been played the score is 0-0 (I read somewhere that in English this is called nil-nil, in Spanish it's just zero a zero) the teams have to play 2 more halves of 15 minutes each. If after those 30 minutes the score is still tied then the teams kick 5 penalty shots - one kick at a time for each team. 
  • The loser is eliminated from the World Cup and the winner advances to the Quarter Finals. 
The US, unfortunately, lost during this round against Belgium. Had the US won they would have played Argentina in the next round. 

/ / Round Three - Quarter Finals
  • We are now down to 8 teams and 4 games. This round is played the same way as the previous one. 
  • Since the US lost to Belgium, Argentina ended up playing the team that disqualified the US. Argentina quickly got rid of Belgium, though, beating them 1-0. This qualified them to move on to the Semi-Finals. 

/ / Round Four - Semi-Finals
  • With only 4 teams left things start to get a bit more exciting. This round is the same as the previous two. 
  • However this round saw a lot of cheers and tears. Germany advanced to play Brazil during this round and then proceeded to annihilate them with a final score of 7 to 1. Brazil was the HEAVY favored to win (especially since the Cup took place there). Germany scored 5 goals in less than 30 minutes. Many people were sad about it.

I would be too, because it was a sad game to watch especially having to see something like the following 7 times:

  • The next day Argentina played the Netherlands. While not as exciting as the game above, it did go into penalty kicks which Argentina won by 4-2 (all the kicks weren't done since there was no way that Argentina could lose after this initial score).
Messi scoring the first penalty kick.

That's the Argentine goal - el Chiquito Romero - blocking a 2nd kick from the opposite team.

Then Argentina kicked the ball that would send them to the finals for the first time in 24 years

I'm including the following gifs because I love watching Argentina celebrate.

The fans get very passionate too...

At my house it looked more like this:

That's my dad, niece, and mom with me in the front center right after we won the game. I took 2 hours off work so that I could watch the entire game.

/ /  Round Five - Finals 

  • There are actually two games to be played here. The losers of the semi-final games play each other to determine third place an then the 2 winning teams play to crown the champion. The third place game goes first. 
  • Today's game features Argentina vs. Germany. While I do have German blood in me, I have to root for Argentina. 
A lot of people are looking at Germany like a powerhouse that will dominate the game and send Argentina home in tears. Maybe that will be the case, but I think Argentina deserves more credit. A lot of the reason that Argentina's team gets put down is that they have Messi on their team - who is the best player in the world (some may argue that Ronaldo is, I would say that he is not).  Because Messi's name is the best known on the team people tend to not pay attention to the other amazing players that finish the line up. 

Argentina is NOT a one man team. They have a roster full of amazing players - including Romero who caught those kicks during the last game. Di Maria and Aguero are amazing. Higuain, Maxi, Mascherano, Rojo and Palacio to name a few others off the top of my head. They have a deep team. 

But I know why everyone is looking at Germany. They beat Brazil 7 to 1. However, let's keep in mind that Brazil was missing their 2 top players. The team looked lost from the second the game started. It's not so much that Germany was amazing, it was more so that Brazil sucked really badly. 

Besides, We have the Pope on our side! 

Prediction, maybe?

Let the best team... (pssst! That's Argentina!) win!!


  1. What an awesome job to let you take off 2 hours in order to watch the game. that was nice of them. Wish all jobs were like that. I'm not really into so you may think i suck as a blogger. sorry :(


  2. I know the world cup is over and all but your description was awesome. I already miss watching it. I grew up on soccer so the world cup is always something I look forward to. Oh and Ronaldo is NOT the best player. No way no how.