The Perfect Performance


Argentina 6 – Serbia & Montenegro 0

How to keep the cool? How can I calm down and stop the hype that is starting to grow everywhere in Argentina and (for what I read around the internet) all over the World?

It’s very hard to do it and honestly, I don’t want to keep the cool!

Because I’ve been keeping it for 8 years now (since Holland knocked us out of France 98) and because for once and forever, the ghosts of Korea-Japan 2002 have been killed, buried and erased! I know if Ivory Coast beats Holland and Serbia and Holland beats us, then there is a chance we’ll be out of the World Cup, but frankly, I don’t see that happening.

We played the best football we played since USA ’94 (before Diego got suspended). We showed a great team spirit and we kept going forward looking for more goals. In that sense, we’ve learned from our mistakes against Ivory Coast and never sit back to defend the early lead.

25 passes!!!!! Almost every player touching the ball, several touching it more than once in the same action and a lovely back-heel pass by CRESPO followed by a great finish by CAMBIASSO. That was a moment of brilliance. The best goal of Germany 2006 by a mile and (I don’t want to lose my cool!!!) one of the best collective efforts in the history of the World Cup.

That was our second goal. Maxi RODRIGUEZ opened the scoring in the sixth minute. A key to win in confidence and to control the game from the start.

SAVIOLA was brilliant. He had a saying in all of the first three goals. An assist in the first one, a great long pass for CAMBIASSO changing the flow of play in the second goal and a shot stopped by the keeper prior to Maxi’s ghostly appearance to send it home. Again SAVIOLA helped out a lot becoming Argentina’s first defender. He was chasing people all over the field and recovering a lot of balls.

I could go on and on hailing individual performances. I might do it tomorrow in a separate article. But I need to say a couple of things about the two players that were the subject of every prayer. The people’s favourites, the most charismatic players in our team and a two of the best players in the World right now: Lionel MESSI and Carlos TEVEZ.

What a way to debut in a World Cup for the two of them. TEVEZ was the first to jump into the field. I don’t know if it was a known fact, but Carlos TEVEZ was sick yesterday and had to skip a training session. He was vomiting and feeling horrible but he was ready for his moment to come. When he replaced SAVIOLA he showed a lot of eagerness to show what he is capable of, but his first couple of actions were way behind his standards. He started to get frustrated and he needed to get something going and when he received the ball from RIQUELME in the 84th minute with the score 4-0, he started his run towards the goal and nutmegged a defender and kept going, was dispossessed by another defender TEVEZ tackled him slightly with the outside of this right boot and he created his own chance. He had only the keeper to beat and like if he was a 40-year veteran he kept the cool (I don’t want to keep the cool!) and he perfectly fooled the keeper, scoring what I hope is the first of many World Cup goals for Carlitos!

MESSI had to wait 75 minutes before taking Maxi RODRIGUEZ’s place. He looked nervous when he was sitting in the bench. He was chewing something, a piece of plastic, or something. He couldn’t wait for his moment to come. But then, when he had to go out there and perform, he did it! He went for it in every ball he touched. He played 15 minutes and ended the match with a goal and an assist! He outran everybody through the left hand side of the attack and then he sent a cross for Hernan CRESPO who came from behind and was faster than Dejan STANKOVIC to touch it and score our fourth goal.

Then RIQUELME and TEVEZ linked up very well and Carlitos was bright enough to see MESSI running through the right. TEVEZ sent a perfect through pass for MESSI and the Barcelona star scored with his right foot (not his favourite) to finish the scoring.

6-0. Our biggest World Cup win since that controversial 6-0 win against Peru in Argentina 1978. This one had nothing controversial about it. This one was flawless. This one was special. This one was bigger and heavier than the ghosts who were behind us since Korea-Japan. This one showed the best talents of this generation having their World Cup debut and coping with pressure in an amazing fashion. This one keeps us alive in the Group of Death and let us in the driving seat. This one is killing me, because from now on, I have no chance of keeping the cool!