We failed. Mexico lost to our red-white-and-green brethren in our opening match of the Confederations Cup. It was what it was. Crap. But, at the same time, this might be a good thing. After an amazing 2012, TRI has disappointed this year. We have not dropped a game of worth this year, but that doesn’t mean the team or the fans have been satisfied. Endless draws (and 0-0, to boot) are exhausting.
This may have been the exact amount of “Mira cabrones” that this team needs. Now, dust off the dirt. Put some bleach on those grass stains. And rise again.
Here’s the Rock sharing the wisdom.
You failed yesterday’s team challenge.
In that failure is when steel is forged.
No one gets better when it’s just winning, winning, winning, winning.
You guys know that.
You gotta fail. You gotta get knocked down on your ass like you did yesterday.
NOW, YOU RISE.
VIDEO: From the new reality show The Hero. Not really sure what that show is about, but can’t knock these wise words.
Wow! I should dream big more often, voice my desires to the cosmos.
Spain is officially the best team there is and
ever will be. (In my mind’s eye, there’s an ascending Mexico so I l have to leave some wiggle room.)
On Sunday, Spain won its third consecutive national championship — Euro Cup ’12. It was a decisive 4-0 show over Italy. No “boring” Spanish play on display. La Furia Roja came out attacking and went to halftime up 2-0. The third goal came late in the second half from substitute extraordinaire Fernando Torres.
And there’s more! Minutes later he manuevers a brilliant pass for his Chelsea teammate Mata.
So if you’re counting, that’s three goals and an assist for Torres for the tournament.
In the end, what catapulted Torres to the top of the leaderboard was what handicapped him too: He had been benched for much of the tournament. Playing far fewer minutes than the other top-scorers.
That Spain won wasn’t a big surprise, but that freaking Fernando Torres took the Euro Cup 2012 Golden Boot award was. I couldn’t dream that. I just wanted him to get a chance to play in the final.
All who thought that would happen, please raise your hand. Bend at the elbow. Pat yourself on the back. And go buy a lottery ticket.
The cosmos are on your side.
PHOTOS: Spain celebrates in Kiev, and screenshot of UEFA Golden Boot website.
- Fernando Torres: Golden Boot Wakes Up Those Sleeping on El Nino (bleacherreport.com)
- Torres wins Golden Boot at Euro 2012 with 3 goals (sportsillustrated.cnn.com)
- Spain 4-0 Italy: Olé Trinity as Torres wins Golden Boot (mirror.co.uk)
- Spine-tingling Spain make history (full-timewhistle.com)
I love this photo not just because the team is celebrating after an exhausting and physically depleting 120 minutes of play and PKs, but because Fernando Torres leaped into the mosh. Look how high he got!! The first thing I see here is a man screaming, “Don’t forget about meeeee! I’m better!”
El Niño has had a roller coaster tournament. He’s sat out. Started. Subbed in. Scored twice.
I want me a Spain win on Sunday with a side of Torres playing. I hear you, Nando — loud and clear.
Necessary Background: Two back-to-back Euro games have been decided by penalties and while it’s an incredibly ridiculous way to pick a winner, I’m going to stow away that storyline for another day. The team I wanted advanced.
Spain beat Portugal after a scoreless (at times listless) 120 minutes. La Furia Roja will defend its European title Sunday. It’ll be a complete rematch or Euro ’08 if Germany advances past Italy. To be decided tomorrow.
PHOTO straight from RFEF.
HATER CAVEAT: Yes, soccer can be a low-scoring game. And yes, even a goal-less 90 minutes can be edge-of-your-seat exciting. If you can’t accept that truth, then I’m sticking Jacob Marley’s ghost on you. You must repent your misguided ways before it’s too late. AHHHH Save yourself.
Today’s Euro Cup match-ups were simultaneous games between Spain and Croatia, and Italy and Ireland. Ireland was already eliminated, but the top 2 teams to move on to quarterfinals were undetermined.
And the scenarios were ridiculous. Spain could advance and win the group if they beat Croatia, or if they tied 0-0 and Ireland beats Italy or draws; or if Italy beats Ireland and Spain beats Croatia, or if the rain falls a little less gently on the plain, or if the cow that jumped over the moon twists its ankle when it lands…
The point is… Euro Cup tiebreaker rules be crazy.
So there I am biting my nails and gasping at Iker’s infrequent but necessary ninja moves. And damning time for moving so slowly. On and ONNNNNNN it drags for 88 minutes. And then Sweet Baby Jesus!
Jesus Navas, the Spanish sub with a penchant for well tucked-in shirts, gets a wide-open pass from Iniesta. Jesus put the exclamation mark on the group. Spain would advance and be group leader.
Jesus is my homeboy here because he scored the goal. But he’s a baby because he was half a foot from a wide open net (evidence above) and still decided to kick the shit out of it. Child’s play…
AND because he sucks his thumb to celebrate.
PHOTOS from today’s matches can be found here, including the thumbsuckah.
- Casillas Takes Plaudits for Saving Spain Again (nytimes.com)
- Spain’s late goal against Croatia seals spot in quarters (nypost.com)
- Late Navas goal sends Spain through with Italy (edition.cnn.com)
- Euro 2012 – Who Stands Where After Matchday 2 Group C And Group D (thesportsmirror.com)
Today, I rummaged through my email and found a FIFA newsletter that decided to spotlight a classic player of the 1990s—Roberto Baggio.
This brought me waaaay back. I’m pretty sure he was my first athlete crush. I loved him despite his ponytail. I thought he and Dino were brothers who looked nothing alike… adopted, I assumed. I got hella jealous when I learned that my then-icon Madonna was also trying to make a move. Granted, I was like 12 when all this was going on.
I was also 12 and a few miles away from the Pasadena Rose Bowl when the World Cup finals went down between Brazil and Italy. My memory is chrystal clear on this. A hot summer day. A family seated around a television set. A game that went scoreless after 90 minutes and extra time. A volley of penalty kicks to decide the winner.
Brazil takes the lead 3-2. But victory is far from assured.
Up walks Baggio, No. 10, with his divine ponytail. He places the ball on the floor. Takes a few steps back. Makes his approach.
The ball goes soaring. Up and over.
There Baggio stands with hands on knees. Head hanging. Ponytail ponying.
And Brazil celebrates it’s fourth World Cup win.
I died. I know I cried. My Mexican family cheered and reveled (of course, they were rooting for Brazil). That moment, that exact moment is when I became a less-than-exuberant supporter of Latin American teams.