[2022 World Cup in Qatar] has become a belief: Why do Argentine football fans love Maradona more than Messi?

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[2022 World Cup in Qatar], I think it is difficult to have a country that can compare with Argentina in terms of football madness.

Although several football powers participated in this year’s World Cup (except for Italy, which lost its ticket in the qualifying round), even the British in Argentina said that only in Argentina can they truly feel like experiencing the World Cup . The World Cup kicks off in mid-November, but as early as the end of September, the entire country of Argentina has fallen into an “immersive experience” where you can see football and the national flag wherever you go-except for the news that closely reports on the movements of the Argentine national team, Buenos Aires Highlights from previous games will be broadcast on Sierice’s bus, and blue and white ribbons, balloons, hats and jerseys are everywhere. Not only children, but even adults line up to buy football cards of national team stars to collect into books (it is said that the quality is rough but it is very popular, and it is sold in limited quantities every day, so if you want to buy it, you can’t buy it). After the World Cup began, the country fell into madness. During the game, the company’s TV is turned on to broadcast the game, because even if the TV is not turned on, everyone will watch it by themselves. The school has announced in advance that students can enter the school later and come back after watching the game at home; some cities have also announced on their own that Argentina will have a day off when the game is played, because “watching the game is a right.” Indeed, every World Cup, as long as Argentina plays, the country stagnates. The taxi driver will ask you to get off in the middle of driving, because he has to go home to watch the game; during the game, there is no one on the road, and if you meet someone, the passer-by will tell you to go home to watch the game quickly – in this country, football No interest is not allowed. If you go to a restaurant to eat during the game, you may not be able to wait an hour for the waiter to be mentally prepared, because the waiter is watching the game like you, but it is said that the locals don’t care much, anyway, the important thing at this time is the game , You can wait a little longer to eat. In the round of 16 qualifying match with Mexico in the same group, I watched the match with my Argentine friend in Taipei. When the goal was scored, my friend threw his fist into the air and yelled. In the end, Argentina defeated Mexico 2-0, avoiding the penalty in the preliminary round. When the one who was eliminated was ashamed and even had tears in his eyes, this man’s reaction can be said to be the epitome of Argentine society. According to reports from local friends, Argentina played against Saudi Arabia in the first group match . When Messi scored the first goal, the whole community made a loud noise. It was not something that exploded, but at the same time Someone is playing Vuvuzela, someone is honking the horn, knocking on the pot, someone is opening the door and yelling, all kinds of sounds that can be made explode at the same time, a friend’s wife is feeding the child in the room, saying that she knows when a goal is scored without watching the broadcast up. However, after Saudi Arabia scored the first goal, the jubilation on the Argentine side stopped. After Saudi Arabia scored the second goal, the local area in Argentina was so quiet that “you can even hear a needle drop to the ground.” ” (This statement may not be an exaggeration if you understand the local people’s love for football). After the game that day, the distraught Argentines returned to work one after another, but many of them did not do anything even if they went to the company, and did not remember what they did all day, as if they had lost their souls. For the Argentines, this year’s World Cup is a very important competition. The “God of Football” Maradona (Diego Maradona) passed away the year before last, and the contemporary star Lionel Messi (Lionel Messi) announced that this will be his last World Cup. The atmosphere this year is particularly tense.  

For the Argentines, what kind of existence are Maradona and Messi?

Argentina is a Catholic country, and it seems that it is not an exaggeration to use the concept of the “Trinity” of religion to describe football characters. Maradona is undoubtedly a god-like existence. As for whether Messi, who is nicknamed “pulga” by Argentines because of his short stature, can become Jesus, it depends on whether he can lead Argentina to win this year’s World Cup. During the World Cup, some local people in Argentina wrote “Dios” (meaning “God” in Spanish) under Messi’s image. Is Messi better than Maradona? This is a long-standing discussion, Maradona led Argentina to win the World Cup in 1986, an achievement that Messi has yet to achieve (Messi led Argentina to the final of the 2014 World Cup, but lost to Germany, The runner-up), which is why Messi has been criticized by many people. The statue of Messi in Paseo de la Gloria Park in Argentina was damaged twice, and finally cut down to only his feet and football. But Messi’s performance is not good? As an extremely stable player, Messi has scored nearly 800 goals and 385 assists for the club and the national team, which is the most in contemporary football. In contrast, Maradona’s career goals are less than 400 a . Messi has won 35 trophies for his former club Barcelona in highly competitive international competitions, and he himself has won 7 Ballon d’Or awards, the most by a footballer so far. In this year’s World Cup group match against Mexico, Messi relied on one shot and one assist to lead Argentina to a 2-0 victory, which also allowed Messi’s scoring record in the World Cup to catch up with Maradona’s 8 goals. However, it may be meaningless to compare Maradona with Messi. Maradona’s son (Diego Maradona Jr.) said when he was asked by the media a few days ago , “Those who compare Messi with my dad probably didn’t watch football games and don’t understand football.” He said Maradona and Messi are two “very different planets”. In the hearts of the Argentines, Maradona has been sublimated to a god-level role. Maradona is a belief, not a joke. His influence has been unsurpassed so far. Perhaps it is related to the time and space background of the year. It is difficult to replicate, and it is best not to replicate it. Looking back at the 1986 World Cup, Maradona led Argentina to defeat England to win the championship. Many Argentines are still excited in retrospect. In the World Cup that year, Argentina had not recovered from internal and external troubles. In 1982, Argentina and the United Kingdom fought for the sovereignty of the Mavinas Islands (called the Falkland Islands in the United Kingdom). The war lasted for more than two months. Both sides suffered heavy casualties in the war. The British claimed 255 soldiers were killed, while Argentina claimed 649. The victory of the World Cup was not only a battle of revenge, but also appeased people who had just transitioned from dictatorship terrorism to democracy (Argentina The dictatorship lost power in 1983, it was a very dark, violent period, at least 8961 people disappeared during the military dictatorship). On the other hand, Maradona’s personal qualities also make him more inspiring than Messi. His story is very similar to the story of the birth of Jesus to local people who are familiar with the Bible. Born in a poor area in Villa Fiorito, Argentina, when Maradona was 16 years old, it was said that he would surpass the Brazilian football legend Pelé, and many people came from thousands of miles to see him play football.

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Maradona meets all the qualifications of the God-making movement. His football career has caused many legends, including the possibility that he won the game by accident-the “Hand of God” that made England fans hate it in 1986 is still the World Cup winner. One of the most controversial goals of all time. He smoked, smoked marijuana, and took drugs. Maradona’s dissolute image fits the romantic imagination of Argentines; he was born in poverty but became the most legendary figure in the country, and he embodied the “American Dream” and brought a glimmer of hope to poor children; The untimely death of legends in the prime of life is like a flash of fireworks that lights up a depressed country and then goes out. Maradona was the consummate star who could deliver something memorable just by holding a microphone in front of him . He has the Argentine-born revolutionary hero Che. Guevara (Ernesto Guevara) and the Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro (Fidel Castro) tattoos, he openly supports the left-wing regime in Latin America, has also been photographed wearing the Communist Party’s Red Star hat. Even Maradona was sold to the Napoli Football Club, which was a Serie A relegation team at the time, in 1984 because he led the players to fight with the players of the Bilbao Athletic Club. Poli won 2 Ligue 1 titles, and the Argentines believed that he “gives glory to those who need it most” (before this Italian football was dominated by teams in the north of the country, and teams in the south had never won a league title ). On the other hand, Messi is very professional and low-key. He does not comment on politics publicly, and there are no scandals (he and his wife Antonella Roccuzzo have been in a super long-distance race since they were 9 years old). Quite respectable for starting his own foundation (Leo Messi Foundation) to help vulnerable children affected by the disease. [In 2017, before Argentina and Uruguay competed for the World Cup qualification match, a small fan sneaked into the hotel where Messi stayed and wanted to take a photo with him. Group photo, the kind gesture is still unforgettable] Different from the mood of “winning the country” after the war, in this year’s World Cup, the focus of Argentina is on Messi’s last World Cup. The players on the same team also watched him grow up, and those who played with him also I really hope to win for him. Not only Argentina, but some fans in other countries also think that they “owe Messi a World Cup”. They all applaud him. Not leading Argentina to win the World Cup has always been a thorn in Messi’s heart, and it may have affected his performance in the past two games. However, football is not a personal show of a certain player, it is more of a group cooperation, and sometimes it depends on luck, as Maradona’s son said, “In football games, sometimes you even lose to weaker players. opponent”. But in any case, the joy that football brings to Argentines remains unchanged. Speaking of Argentina, “economic out of control” and “corruption” may not be able to get rid of the label, the country’s inflation rate in October this year has risen to 6.3%, the outside world predicts that this year’s inflation rate may reach 100% , soaring Prices continue to erode people’s wages and savings. On the other hand, Argentina is about to usher in the 2023 presidential election, but the current ruling left-wing party faces a corruption scandal involving Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner , which may give the right-wing party a big victory. The dominant social and political situation is turbulent. After a thrilling victory in the group stage, I sincerely hope that this football-loving country can find their joy and glory in this year’s World Cup.  

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