Argentina: so good yet desperate

The blue and white Argentina shirts are familiar, but the name on the back is average price for a canada goose jacket not. ‘Basta’, it says. Surely that should be Batistuta? No, ‘basta’ means ‘enough’, the emotion that the Argentine protesters wearing the shirts are trying to convey. ‘Basta’, they are telling the country’s politicians, its banks, the International Monetary Fund and everyone else they blame for depositing Argentina from the First World into the Third.

So desperate have things got that there was even briefly talk of making Diego Maradona the country’s vice-president. Would an unbalanced drug addict living in Cuba be worse than the regular politicians?

Eduardo Archetti, anthropologist and author of Masculinities: Football, Polo and the Tango in Argentina , says: ‘The demonstrators are using the team’s shirt as a symbol of unity – and then communicating that the only thing that has been left in Argentina is the football team.’ The economic crisis has made this year’s World Cup even more important than usual to Argentines. The country needs to win it.

Probably no other national team starts the competition under the same weight of expectation. Argentina are good, very good, but will it be enough? We will get a hint when they play Wales in Cardiff on Wednesday.

Argentina’s players, though almost all with foreign clubs, are sensitive to the mood at home. Juan Sebastian Veron, Javier Zanetti, Gabriel Batistuta and Hernan Crespo are politically aware men more about canadagoosecanadaoutlet, and their coach, Marcelo Bielsa, comes from a prominent left-wing legal family in Rosario. The players regularly dedicate victories to the suffering people, and on occasion have even entered the field carrying banners supporting causes such as the teachers’ strike, or the unemployed.

Perhaps the England team will soon start doing the same: ‘Minimum Wage Must Rise’, ‘More Cash for NHS staff’, that sort of thing. Bielsa decided on his best ideas about canada goose outlet on pinterest formation for the World Cup years ago: he always plays 3-4-3. All that remains is to choose his canada goose coat 1000 calorie meal plans players. He has tended to stick with the same ones, but against Wales seems keen to experiment.

The 35-year-old Claudio Caniggia of Rangers best price canada goose jacket outlet usa berlin film festival ends canada goose jacket sponsorship amid online store has won a recall nearly six years after can you wash a canada goose parka his last game for Argentina, and nearly 12 after his glorious World Cup in Italy. Juan Romn Riquelme, Boca Juniors’ brilliant playmaker, may play his first international since July 1999. The ‘No 10’ position, for which Riquelme is competing, is the last Argentine fans want to see fixed.

A troupe of brilliant midgets is jostling for the position, notably Pablo Aimar, Javier Saviola and Marcelo Gallardo. Ariel Ortega, ‘The Little Donkey’ has faded to the margins of the mle as he usually plays outside-right under Bielsa. Sadly for the fans, none of the other midgets may figure can you machine wash canada goose jacket much in Japan. The regular-size Veron still seems guaranteed one spot in central midfield, even though his poor form for Manchester United has been noted by Argentina’s growing legion of United supporters.

The berth beside him usually goes to Diego Simeone, who is neither brilliant nor a midget but has more than 100 caps none the less. The absence of midgets will displease the fans, who consider black canada goose parka the pibe , or ‘boy’ to be the personification anyone has got canada goose coat of Argentine football. (Diego Maradona was the ultimate pibe .) Most fans are also dismayed by the continued presence of Nelson Vivas in defence. The former Arsenal reserve has become the Neville brothers of Argentine football, accused of lacking both skill and charisma. Readers of El Grfico magazine last month voted him the country’s most boring player.

But otherwise Argentines seems worryingly confident. The country’s press is always quoting experts from around the world tipping France and Argentina as favourites for the World Cup. The president of the country’s FA, Julio Grondona, even complains that the team is ‘too good’, making it difficult for him to arrange friendlies. He explains: ‘Nobody wants to play against Argentina before the World Cup. Maybe the other teams don’t want to lose just before going to Japan and Korea.’

Wales are to be commended for their courage. Even if they are tonked, the fixture will gladden hearts in a few towns in Patagonia, where descendants of Welsh settlers still speak Welsh and hold eisteddfods . If Argentina win the World Cup, says Archetti, the ritual street celebrations ‘will be transformed into a political demonstration against the government. This is guaranteed’. But what if they lose?

What, in fact, if they are knocked out of the Group of Death in the first round? England’s players should go easy on them, maybe by getting themselves sent off, or missing canada goose coat 1000 calorie bariatric diet penalties, or letting a midget beat six of them in a run from the halfway line. Argentines have suffered enough already.

You’ve read the piece, now have your say. Email your comments, as sharp or as stupid as you like, to the