miércoles, 11 de junio de 2014

Argentina, fútbol, historia y relación con los vecinos

Artículo del New York Times que incluye mi opinión sobre una encuesta que indica que la mayoría de los latinoamericanos no quiere que Argentina gane el Mundial:

The Global Game

Why So Many World Cup Fans Dislike Argentina

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RIO DE JANEIRO — Argentina has one of the most successful national soccer teams in the world, and the country has won the World Cup twice, in 1978 and 1986. In this year’s tournament, the team ranks among the most formidable competitors, with Brazil’s coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari, even predicting a final showdown with Argentina.
But if the Argentine team is feared by many fans, it certainly is not loved. To put it bluntly, many people can’t stand the thought of an Argentine World Cup title.
A plurality of people in several countries named Argentina when asked in an Upshot/YouGov study which country they were rooting against this year: Brazil, where 34 percent named Argentina; Chile (20 percent); and Colombia (14 percent). Argentina was the second-most disliked team in Costa Rica and England.
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The dislike seems to stem from Argentina’s soccer history and the way in which neighbors in Latin America have reacted to how some Argentines projected their perceptions of economic and cultural superiority in the region. “It’s no secret that a lot of people despise Argentina in the world of football,” said Christopher Gaffney, a scholar at the Fluminense Federal University here, who studies large sporting events.
“This has a lot to do with stereotypes on and off the field,” Mr. Gaffney added, emphasizing that national soccer identities were formed in the 1970s and 1980s, when Argentina was a powerhouse of the sport. A highlight of that era was Diego Maradona’s Hand of God goal — in which he illegally punched the ball into the net — against England in 1986, when Argentina won the Cup.

Diego Maradona scoring his Hand of God goal in  the World Cup in 1986. Credit Bob Thomas/Getty Images
Despite recent economic troubles, the country also has a legacy of ranking among the richest in the region. In the 1990s, when the currency was stronger than those in neighboring countries, some Argentine tourists were notorious for their braggadocio.
And about a century ago, the expression “rich as an Argentine” was commonly used in Europe, a reflection of the relative prosperity of the commodities-exporting economy. (The gradual decline since then of Argentina’s economy remains a topic of somewhat morbid fascination among economists.)

“For many years, Argentina’s economy was the strongest in the region, and there was a strong European influence; that built an image of superiority,” said Leandro Morgenfeld, a historian at the University of Buenos Aires. “The sectors of society that regional neighbors most came into contact with were those projecting that arrogance.”
Historians of soccer and politics in Latin America attribute some of the animosity to the ways in which some Argentines have traditionally viewed their nation, which received millions of European immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries: as a dominion of racial pre-eminence in the region.
In the realm of sports, before Brazil surged to the elite ranks of global soccer in the second half of the 20th century, dark-skinned Brazilian players faced racial abuse in Argentina. In the 1920s, the Brazilian writer Lima Barreto described how Brazilian players were called “macaquitos” (little monkeys) in Buenos Aires.
On the streets of Argentina’s capital, views differ as to why the national team isn’t popular with other Latin Americans. Daniel González, 29, a television producer who moved to Buenos Aires 10 years ago from Colombia, said the stereotypes of Argentines in his home nation were misguided.
“They have a reputation for arrogance,” Mr. González said. “But when you arrive here, you see it’s not that bad.”
Still, many Argentina do exude brazen pride. “They’re jealous of us,” Eduardo Gangi, 60, who runs a corner store in Buenos Aires, said of Argentina’s neighbors. “We’re slowly taking over the world. We sent a queen to Holland and a pope to the Vatican,” he said, referring to Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, the Argentine-born wife of King Willem-Alexander, and Pope Francis.
Despite such views, Argentina’s political ties with its neighbors, especially Brazil, are much warmer than in previous decades, marked by the endurance of Mercosur, the South American trading bloc. Mr. Morgenfeld, the Argentine historian, warned against using opinions voiced ahead of the World Cup to interpret the wider cultural context.
“Soccer and culture are two different tracks,” he said. “I think Latin American unity is strong, but soccer creates divisions.”
That tension emerges in different ways, with many people in Latin America rooting against Argentina, and many Argentines expressing ire against their neighbors.
For instance, at a warm-up match for the World Cup in Buenos Aires last week, a group of Argentine fans outside the stadium sang about its hatred of Chile. They singled out Chilean support of Britain during the Falklands War of 1982, when Argentina unsuccessfully sought to establish sovereignty over a group of islands in the South Atlantic called the Falklands by the British and the Malvinas by Argentines.
“All I ask from God is for all Chileans to die,” the Argentines chanted. “The betrayal of the Malvinas will never be forgotten.”

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