Say The Baby
Best game of the tournament, not just because I was there. 'Kay, maybe so. That's right: the boy Stijls sold five alien babies -- cash! -- on the black market for his ticket. Suffered through a 5.40am train ride to Gelsenkirchen with already drunk (!) Germans who boarded the train in Bremen, ran the gauntlet of Serbian fans and their semi-Fascist dual-arm thrust salute down the pedestrian concourse, and waited 45 minutes for the Arena auf Schalke to open 3 hours early to pee furiously in order to see Young Lionel Messi, all of 18 yrs. old (Get your Spanish game up). Don't say "precocious" or I'll smack you. It was well worth it all.
Messi, who only played the last 15 minutes, was easily the most exciting player to step on the field. He started running at the Serbs the minute he touched the ball, assisting the 4th goal and scoring the 6th. Mr. Sad Face Juan Roman Riquelme was the best player on the field, but no one will ever associate him with excitement. And I'm sure he'd prefer it that way. Impossible to leave the stadium without this running through your head.
PLEASE: If you love football, or just listen to "mixtapes" all day, you would do well to watch this goal on repeat. Listen to the Latin announcers count off each pass -- 25 in all -- that led to the goal, the 24th being a backheel (!) from Hernan Crespo to Ernesto Cambiasso who scored. It's everything you'd want to teach a child about the game, and -- no joke -- I still get chills after Cambiasso slides to the corner. Even the Serbian fans who'd been in great spirits before this goal, only the second of six, had to give it up. Their team got wifed, big time. The Argentinians had the ball for so long that it was impossible for anybody in the stadium not to notice that the Serbs hadn't a sniff of the ball for almost 2 minutes. And to score after that? It's goals like this that allow everybody to be a pretentious schmuck about football, and hey, that's great.
So suddenly everybody's on the Argentine boat. "New favorites" and all. But B&C's not buying into it just yet. Before we go too far and anoint these guys the football equivalent of the Arrested Development writing team, can we ask the question, "Argentina: Too good?" You know the saying, "Too many cooks make the kitchen smell of cabbage." Just saying. Don't come crying to me when these artistes get bounced for overscoring glorious goals.
UPDATE: Mateja Kezman, still terrible.
Say The Baby