Friday, June 9, 2023

Argentinians dreaming of World Cup glory in Qatar

by Daniel Politi

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Zaida Cipra has been so anxious all week about Argentina’s World Cup final match against France that she hasn’t avoided talking to her psychologist about how she’s been feeling. Was.

“She told me she felt the same way about the World Cup,” laughed Cipra, a 35-year-old economics student who runs a pet store in Buenos Aires. “I’m really excited, and awfully anxious.”

Argentina prepared to watch the national team play in Qatar for a third World Cup title on Sunday, the first since 1986, amid a sense of unity and joy, which is rare for a country that has been in economic turmoil for years. The country is beset by crisis and has one of the worst inflation rates in the world, nearly 100% annually, and where nearly four in 10 live in poverty.

“People are constantly feeling a very intense joy. There are cars driving by with the tricolor. The whole city is decorated with the flag,” said 52-year-old podiatrist Guillermo Ortiz. “The crazy thing is that we’re all united and Says we want the best, which usually doesn’t happen in this country. It’s like soccer draws a hoop and puts us all inside.

Argentina last reached a World Cup final in 2014, when they lost to Germany, but it seems everyone in the country agrees with the sense of anticipation and excitement for the game, which first came eight years ago in Brazil. There was more to that match than it was.

“There is something special about it because of the situation in the country. The truth is that we are going through a really difficult time and we are looking forward to this happiness,” said 46-year-old plumber Martin Ferreira. “We are enjoying a break as a society.”

As Argentina prepared for the country’s sixth World Cup final, many superstitious rituals were set to follow.

For example, Sipra will watch the game alone as she has done with all other World Cup matches, surrounded by her two dogs and two other people she is taking care of – all wearing Argentina jerseys.

Ortiz will be watching the game with his family and friends in his apartment, where, as at every other game, he will hang a 25-metre (82-foot) Argentine flag.

Ortiz aims to later hoist that flag over the capital’s iconic obelisk, the traditional venue for the celebration, which will undoubtedly be filled after the match, whether the Lionel Messi-led team wins or loses.

Ferreira said, “Even if we lose, we will celebrate.” “We know the values ​​were there and this is a real team.”

However, some were talking of losing it as a real possibility.

“I think it will be ours because the players have shown they can adapt to any system of play and they can change depending on their opponent,” said photographer Guillermo Darchez, 43, whose daughter plays youth in Newells. Plays in team. Big boys

Navel Messi’s old club is located in Rosario, Argentina’s third largest city.

“We are all very hungry to win,” agreed Pablo Jimenez, a 29-year-old waiter at a restaurant in Rosario owned by Messi’s family. “I think we’re going to eat them alive.”


AP World Cup coverage: and

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