Tag Archives: argentina

Recommended movie: Supercl√°sico

Caught the Danish 2012 Oscars submission on TV last night. As somebody living in that twilight zone between Nordic and Latin American culture I laughed out hard even at jokes the makers probably put there unintentionally. Hilarious movie with a big heart.

I hope I never have to argue in Danish, it sounds really funny. ūüėČ

Argentines 10 years ago, Russians and Brazilians now

My family has visited Canc√ļn since the 1970’s. When I was a teenager I loved to hook-up with Argentine and Paraguayan girls my age who would be coming over as it was quite cheap for them back then (in the times of the convertible peso). Now, a quite easy visa regime and direct flights mean that in the Mexican off-season after January 6th it’s chock-full of Russian and Brazilian tourists besides a few Americans & locals. Wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years the Chinese start holidaying there too.

Dos libros de futbol (Dios es Redondo & La Tenés Adentro)

Acabo de terminar dos libros de futbol que me encantaron por razones totalmente diferentes.

Dios es Redondo de Juan Villoro es una colección exquisita de ensayos de futbol escritos por un autor bastante reconocido con una pasión por el deporte y un humor exquisitos.  Un libro recomendadísimo para todos los que adoran el balompié con el corazón pero lo examinan con el cerebro.  Algunas citas como muestra:

El juego sucede dos veces, en la cancha y en la mente del p√ļblico.

Elegir un equipo es una forma de elegir cómo transcurren los domingos.

Es posible que el futbol represente la √ļltima frontera leg√≠tima de la intransigencia emocional; rebasarla significa traicionar la infancia, negar al ni√Īo que entendi√≥ que los h√©roes se visten de blanco o de azulgrana.

En sus peores momentos, el fan del futbol es un idiota con la boca abierta ante un s√°ndwich y la cabeza llena de datos inservibles.

El sentido de la tragedia inventa ins√≥litos recursos; sin embargo, a veces el futbol se parece a la canci√≥n ranchera y lo bueno consiste, precisamente, en salir ultrajado: ‚Äú¬°Qu√© manera de perder!‚ÄĚ.

Un mexicano adicto al futbol es, entre otras cosas, un masoquista que colecciona agravios, jueves de dolor para los que no hay domingos de resurrecci√≥n‚ÄĚ.

La pelota reclama afecto. Si es pateada con pasión, el tiro acabará en las redes. Si es pateada con angustia o despecho, acabará junto a un vendedor de cervezas.

La ten√©s adentro de Juan Carlos Pasman contiene la cr√≥nica de la “era Maradona” al frente de la selecci√≥n argentina desde el punto de vista de uno de sus mayores cr√≠ticos en el periodismo deportivo rioplatense.¬† El libro est√° muy mal editado y se nota que fue escrito a las carreras, pero pasando esos detalles por alto es interesant√≠simo.¬† Para los que quieran saber m√°s de c√≥mo se manejan los intereses alrededor de la selecci√≥n albiceleste es un libro imperdible.¬† Quisiera saber cu√°ndo habr√≠a un libro as√≠ sobre la selecci√≥n mexicana en sus etapas La Volpe o Aguirre, pero para como se maneja el oligopolio televisivo probablemente nunca suceder√°.

Córdoba, Argentina

I had visited Argentina before in 2004-05 (during their summer) and had a chance to do so again recently.¬† This time I didn’t have the opportunity to stay in Buenos Aires, beautiful city as it is, but was in the province of C√≥rdoba for work.¬† The people have always treated me well (even if someone did remark I speak like somebody from TV due to my accent :P), the food is wonderful and the landscapes of such a varied country are very beautiful.

Pictures are more eloquent than words, so some below (more here).

Bombilla de Mate
Mate is an institution.
Lago San Roque HDR
Villa Carlos Paz is the main holiday destination in Córdoba. No wonder why.
Monumento a los caídos en las Malvinas
The Falklands (Malvinas) war is still a sore point.
Bife de Chorizo al punto
The amount and quality of the beef on offer is not for the faint of heart. I can't imagine there being many vegetarians around.
Not your standard grill.
WRC SS4 El Cóndor
One of the mythical stages of WRC, El Cóndor. We even saw condors there (no kidding).

Rally has a huge tradition (and traction) in Córdoba as you can gather from the ads below (1, 2).

Gotan Project in Helsinki

We were able to get tickets to the Gotan Project gig in Helsinki on Monday. I saw them live in Brussels in the summer of 2007, so catching up with them 3 years and one album later was really cool.

I was not able to take video of this concert, but you can see a video of 3 years ago (the song is “Mi Confesi√≥n”, one of my favourites) below:

Recap: Mexico in the World Cup

The last month has seen a dearth of posts in this blog for two very simple reasons: work has been absolutely hectic and the World Cup has overtaken the little available spare time I have.

The Mexican team was eliminated in the second round of the World Cup, but I wanted to recap on its campaign in the tournament (for the full tactical analysis go here).  Its preparations were the best in recent memory, doing not only the usual tour of the US against mid- to low-tier teams but also a tour of Europe, where the team lost against England and the Netherlands but beat Gambia and Italy.

As the Tricolor played the opening match against South Africa expectations were very high, but the team looked imprecise (if you could blame the ball the time was now) and lacking killer instinct in the last third of the pitch.  South Africa scored a beautiful goal on the counter and Mexico had to search further, with captain Márquez saving our blushes (and our chances to qualify for the next round).

The second game, against France, was the one everybody expected the team to lose.¬† The French team, however, hadn’t read the script and arrived tired, divided and overconfident.¬† Mexico, having performed some changes in defense compared to the first game, looked the better team throughout, but it was the introduction of¬† youngsters “Chicharito” Hern√°ndez and Pablo “Dinamita” Barrera that really made a difference.¬† The first open the scoreboard and the second provoked a penalty that sealed the game as 2-0 in our favour.¬† The victory was celebrated by the 110 million Mexicans in Mexico and the 30 million abroad, it was the main news item in domestic media and life was good.

The third game of the group stage was weird: Mexico and Uruguay could go through to the next stage with a draw, while a victory by either team would mean trouble.¬† Both came out swinging anyway but it was Uruguay who scored the only game in the match.¬† Mexico would meet Argentina in the second round… just like in 2006.

Expectations being enormous, it was the Mexicans who played the better football in the first 30 minutes, until a blatant offside goal gave Argentina the lead and totally crushed Tri concentration.¬† That was obvious with the second albiceleste goal, rising from a childish error in defense.¬† The 3rd goal for the South Americans, however, was a thing of beauty and there’s nothing the opposing fan can say about it.¬† Mexico picked up the pieces and it was again “Chicharito”, coming as a sub, who led the Mexican charge and scored what in Spanish is called the “honourable” goal, but that was it.

Aguirre, the coach who saved the Mexican qualification campaign, will not continue at the helm of the national team, but many of the men he picked are called to become the backbone of the group that will seek to play in the next World Cup in Brazil: Ochoa, Moreno, Aguilar, Guardado, Dos Santos, Vela, Hern√°ndez, Barrera are all under 24 years old, and many are either playing in Europe or have the possibility to move here within the next 4 years.¬† Other players who figured in the team but didn’t make the trip to South Africa are also young, so right now would be the time to find a good coach, create a proper plan and stick with it.

Regardless of what happens, this is the moment I’ll cherish until I see the guys in green, white and red sing the anthem at the World Cup again:

Swine flu… epilogue?

After a week and a half of having declared the emergency, everything is slowly going back to normal in Mexico City now that the government has declared that the worst has passed (at least in Mexico itself, as the virus is still being reported in the U.S.). Tomorrow people will go back to work and in a few days schools will reopen.  There are a couple of diplomatic incidents still ongoing, and I for one am not planning to go to China nor Argentina anytime soon (both suspended flights, and Mexicans without symptoms are .

I really hope that the Mexican tourism industry recovers once this emergency is over, as the economic cost of this emergency runs in the billions.¬† At least it’s not the main news item in international media anymore at the time of writing.