Sunday, 15 June 2014
Group F Messiah or False Prophet
Argentina have twice won the world cup, but both times it could be said to have been under a cloud.
In 1978 the tournament was held in Argentina, despite the cruel reign of the then junta, where thousands of people just disappeared and their whereabouts are unknown to this day. On the football field they had some good players led by #10 Mario Kempes, along with Ossie Ardilles and others, but a blatant piece of match fixing took place before the game between Peru and Argentina which was agreed upon by the leaders of the 2 dictatorships of the time.
Argentina needed to win by 4 clear goals to knock out Brazil and promptly won 6-0, you can see from the clip below that the Peruvians were not trying and I remember to this day the BBC commentator (the one in the clip) giving his trade mark one-nil as a Peruvian contrived to miss before Kempes score the opener for Argentina
In 1986 , Argentina won the world cup with some great football led by the their troubled star #10 Diego Armando Maradona. Although a genius, in a footballing sense,he was a cheat but that is in the past.
Now a nation which has moved on is waiting for the current wearer of the #10 shirt, the messiah apparent, Lionel Messi to lead them back to the promised land which would be especially sweet ftom the heartland of their bitter rivals Brazil.
The pressure on him is immense, but he is lucky that the supporting cast is very good, Angel di Maria and Sergio Aguero offer exciting attacking options and outlets if Messi doesn't come off.
The opening game 14/6 (22.00 GMT) sees them up against Bosnia, who are making their first appearance in the finals, since that war torn country came into existence in the early 1990's. They are no mugs, and this game might not be a walkover. But you have to go for Argentina for the win
The 2nd game in this group sees Iran take on Nigeria,(16/6 at 19.00 GMT) The Iranians have made a number of appearances in world cups and Nigeria are one of the stronger African nations. There have been match fixing claims in recent times with the very violent Nigerian Mafia to the forefront. See the clip below to see what I mean as the Nigerian goalie "scores" an own goal during a recent warm up game.
You never know which Nigeria is going to turn up but Nigeria to win
All three teams apart from Argentina have a large Moslem Presence and they will all be out to show that Messi is a false prophet