The South Americans were living in the world of magical realism for the last one year, dreaming and preparing for the world cup. In the last one month, they were talking and breathing football. They postponed meetings and projects to dates after the world cup. When all the four countries of Mercosur reached quarterfinals, there was euphoria. It was a Mercosur moment... of football power and pride. It was expected that 11 July would be a Intra-Mercosur affair.
The South Americans shopped on thursday and stocked their fridge with beer and barbecue meat. They took off from work on friday and prepared for a long weekend of football fiesta with friends and family.
On Friday morning, the Brasilians started in form with 1-0 over Holland. But after the Dutch equalised and made one more goal, the overconfident Brasilian players, who underestimated the Dutch, became nervous and lost out. The Brasilians who were watching in the big screen TV in the Copacabana beach were stunned and shocked.
This morning , the Argentines were humiliated by the Germans with a 4-0 . The Germans outsmarted and overpowered the Argentines who were running around like headless chicken. It seemed to be an unequal battle. The Argentine infantry against the supersonic Luftwaffe bombers. The Germans bombed at will and destroyed the impotent Argentine infantry.
In the afternoon, the Paraguayans fought a valiant battle against the odds and had a honourable and expected defeat. Now the Uruguyans, who won yesterday against Ghana with luck and the Hand of Suarez, are the only ones left to hold the flag in the semifinals. But their chance against Holland is not very bright. It appears that South America is out and Germany is unstoppable to win the 2010 cup.
The days of magical realism are over in South America. Today it is the day of realism without the magic. It is the realism of disbelief and disillusion... grief and gloom....anguish and agony... dejection and despair.
The Argentines have suffered the worst. They are perplexed and depressed. Even the normally talkative Maradona was lost for words and did not even attempt to give any explanation or excuse. The masses who watched in the big screens in public squares left in silence and sadness.
For Maradona, who was shouting all these days ¨ Vamos Argentina ¨ ( Argentina..Ahead ) the only option now is to sing ¨Dont cry for me Argentina ¨ as Madonna did in the movie Evita.
What is incredible is that the Argentine team had more star players than the Germans. The Argentine players are the pride of the European teams and their star performers. How could the star team let themselves be decimated so pathetically and inexplicably.
The other realism sans magic is the zero goal of Messi in the entire world cup.The best player of the world, the top scorer in Europe and the one who commanded the highest price did not get a single goal. The Argentines are at a complete loss to explain or understand this mysterious fate.
The Argentines have realised their mistaken belief in Messi as the Messiah. For those who worshipped in the Church of Maradona, today is the day of crucification.
The Argentine football stars failed to shine today. It is a dark sky over Argentina tonight. The Argentines are not going to dance Tango tonight. Instead, they will sing the sad Tango song of Carlos Gardel,
sola y triste en esta noche,
noche negra y sin estrellas.
Alone and sad this night
Dark night without stars.