EThere were several moments during these weeks of the soccer World Cup when this team from Argentina could have fallen apart. There was the first group game against Saudi Arabia when they gambled away (and lost) a 1-0 lead. There was the quarter-final against the Netherlands when they lost a 2-0 lead. And of course there was the final against France this Sunday, probably the most spectacular in World Cup history so far, when they lost a 2-0 lead again and even a 3-2 lead in extra time.
It would have been really human if she had given up a bit at the latest in those moments when striker Kylian Mbappé slammed the ball so mercilessly into her goal. But this team from Argentina didn’t give up in the slightest after that, they became world champions. Because she was always more than the sum of her parts.
It has been told several times how the team came about. In the summer of 2018, new coach Lionel Scaloni told his main player, Lionel Messi, that he would not call him up for the national team for the time being because he was sure that in summer 2018 they would have to function without him in order for them to be with him in winter 2022 can work for him.
Messi with black bush
Because that’s how a team really came into being, because Messi and his team-mates connected emotionally and playfully, you will now tell how they defied everything, even France, the defending champions, the team with the most talent. And from that point of view, you should still tell how they were able to develop a collective force that controlled the egotism of the game. How substitute Gonzalo Montiel converted the winning try on penalties while Messi cheered on. That’s a wonderful picture.
The Argentine team had to go through a strange moment late on Sunday evening. However, it was not men from France who were responsible for this, but a man from Qatar and a man from Switzerland: Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Gianni Infatino, the Emir of Qatar and the president of the international football association FIFA. They should give Messi the World Cup trophy on the podium in the stadium, where his team-mates were already waiting a few meters away. But then, suddenly, the Emir donned a black bischt, a traditional garment, to Messi – and made Messi instantly distinguishable from his fellow players in the crowd.
He didn’t change the internal connection of the team, but the external unity. You didn’t notice Messi and the others. But you just saw it. And because the pictures, that’s how it is in top-class sport, are always what will remain, he didn’t change a little thing. Of course, one could say that the black fabric represents the shadow that was cast over this World Cup. But that shouldn’t be all.
Because the Emir’s actions expressed the unscrupulousness with which those who otherwise reject instrumentalization use it themselves when it suits them. And so the moment will remain. Because the team, which in its seven World Cup games was always a team, both inside and out, unfortunately lost one part.
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