A Report from Mexico on the World Cup
I am in Mexico, watching the games. Who could have predicted, believed, or even dreamed that Mexico—which has participated in all the World Cups since 1930 and never once advanced beyond the quarter-finals—would beat the world champion, Germany? I had an inkling that they would put up a good fight: watching them sing the Mexican anthem, I could see such fervor, such a light, in their eyes.
But, the Germans—most of them did not even sing. They were overconfident. It is a rule in war, as well as in sports, that you must never underestimate the enemy. Never. Germany did and paid the price.
When Mexico won, the Mexicans in the Zócalo, the main square of Mexico City, were jumping with such enthusiasm that the local seismograph registered a false earthquake.
A cousin of an acquaintance of mine, a Mexican, was in Germany at the time of the win. He was carrying a Mexican flag. Some Germans stopped to congratulate him. That is class.
The Mexican coach showed class too. When Mexico scored the winning goal, if I were him, I would have moved all the players to the back into what is called “a bunker” to protect the win and the hell with the rest of the game. He did not do that. He instructed the players to keep playing, as usual, taking the chance that the Germans might retaliate. And they tried. They tried hard the second half. Proof? They had many, many fouls… but could not overcome the Mexicans who fought with all their heart to the end.
What stood out to me about the French team is that only three of their players were white—the other eight were black.
What does this say about globalization?
I felt for the Moroccan team. They played better than the Iranians, far better, and then lost in the last minute by posting an own-goal. What a pain.
I have attended two World Cups with my children: one in Italy and one in Germany. Watching the games on TV with friends this year beats the traffic, the dirt, the pushing, the shoving, and the heat. Hands down.
I will keep watching. If there are more interesting insights, I will get back to you all.