Yesterday, Brazil, who have to be the favorite to win the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, played an international friendly match against Ireland. Ireland has a very good team. You might recall that Ireland was robbed of a chance to play in South Africa because Thierry Henry of France put the ball in the goal after touching it his hand (twice) while a referee slept nearby.
Yesterday Brazil beat Ireland 2-0. And, of course, you can see the two goals in the following video. The first goal is an own goal: the ball went into the net off the body of the Irish defender (who shall remain nameless). The second goal is an example of the magic of Brazilian futbol: Goal by Robinho, wonderful assist by Grafite, who led the German Bundesliga in scoring last year. Yeah, Brazilian football stars ofter are like Cher, having only one name. Watch the Brazilian video. Turn the audio up. Feel the energy of this game.
Why’d I put this up at docuDharma? This is the world game. And the World Cup is the pinnacle of the world game. The US will play in it, but really, the US isn’t a futbol power. Far, far from it. Teams that are powers are Brazil, Argentina who beat Germany today, Spain and England. And Mexico. Teams that might be powers but today are not doing so great include Germany, Ivory Coast, Italy, Egypt, and Nigeria.
Sometimes I think that if more people in the US understood futbol, maybe they’d understand our neighbors in the world a little better. What interests them. What games they play. How they feel about strategy, art, athletics, aesthetics, competition. Understanding can only make us all closer. And being closer in this might even make us less likely to fight with each other. So I offer this essay as a simple, first step toward cultivating your checking out this sport.
If you like this simple essay, I’ll do a few more futbol essays before the World Cup begins in June. Just to get you ready and in sync with the rest of the planet. And I won’t cross-post them.