Eighty-seven thousand one hundred and twelve spectators at the majestic Wembley Stadium in London, and those of us who were there attest: the Argentine bass drum did not stop playing the song “Come, come!” Not one of 90 minutes of play.
A festive atmosphere that began with the last afternoon sun of the longest day of the year, as Argentines, Italians and Bangladeshis make a pilgrimage along the long pedestrian street – the legendary Wembley Road – that leads from the subway exit to the imposing staircase of the now ultra-modern stadium, known as the Football Cathedral for its history The scene in its ancient incarnation of unforgettable moments in our football history. From Miguel Angel Rogello, the Wembley Lion, through Rattyn’s refusal to leave the field on the grounds that he does not understand the language, to Mauricio Pochettino’s final move as coach of Tottenham Hotspur, the club that played at Wembley at home. Because its stadium has been renovated. Wembley means something to Argentine football fans and perhaps a memorable achievement has now been added.
Argentinians, Argentinians, and Argentinians came from everywhere. Some, of course, are local. But there was also a father with two school-aged children who took a week off from Carlos Paz. The two Argentinian young men who a year ago worked in a hotel in Israel, many of them residing in Europe and whom they approached. Claudio Paul Canigia, who was returning from Doha, organized an “improvised” small talk in a restaurant near St. Paul’s Cathedral for a small group of Argentines. Beige and white T-shirts roam Piccadilly Circus, Beige and white T-shirts dot Hyde Park, and on Wednesday everyone finally gathered at the Mecca that summoned them. “They are the colors of the sky,” a woman explained to a conversationalist of another nationality entering the stadium.
The masses’ support for Argentina was persistent and malignant. “He who does not jump is English,” he heard perfectly. Via WhatsApp, they ask me from Argentina what the English reaction is. Do you know what we sing? But there is hardly any Englishman in this audience – Finalissima, a mixture of friendly and innovative cup, very friendly with a prize, had almost no local broadcast. Tickets were practically sold out when they went on sale, but among informed fans. A major media football editor only discovered the event last weekend, while a team of very supportive international football fans asked at 45 Minutes about the final being played at Wembley.
And this week the football topics that permeated the UK news agenda – those that received attention and comment outside the sports sections – were the debacle of the Champions League final in Paris, in which French police forcefully detonated tear gas canisters. The affluent audience that included children, the elderly, Emperors and Lords (because it includes an English club and Liverpool, the fallout is still on the agenda) on the one hand, and Scotland, which had not played the World Cup in 24 years and welcomed Ukraine in the home of a chance to qualify for Qatar 22. The headlines anchored in Ukraine. Tears, football and a lot of feelings.
But the final, the “revival” of the South American champions against the European champions, went unnoticed by the host capital. Except for the nearly ninety thousand who attended, of course, including legendary football writer Henry Winter who attended. Visibly influenced by the atmosphere created by the already famous Argentinian passion. I can’t resist tweeting that a lot of people at Wembley are asking for a Messi shirt. The last time Argentina’s No. 10 shirt was in high demand in London, it was sold for £7m.
The three targets were like cherries on a cake that were really delicious anyway. Each one culminated in a play of chemistry, passes and cooperation between Messi and his friends, which elicited an even louder roar, increased noise, and drew near-comfortable smiles from the players. The first, a master pass from the master, paving the way for a comfortable game. The last, about an hour, concludes with a magical night.
In the post-match press conference, Italian coach Mancini answered one question in English. They played better than us He said. They played better than us. Scaloni was mediocre, as usual, and said he was already starting to worry about the next game.
But The fun that the game generates goes beyond the score. Of course, winning three times is great, and winning a cup polishes my ego and builds confidence in the World Cup. But nights like June 1st in London, with Wembley dressed as the Argentine, They save the most fun of the nobles of good play. Nice play. The players enjoy and the audience enjoys. Argentines enjoy and Bangladeshis enjoy. (And who knows a little Italian, too). Because it was a friendly game with prize, but no risk involved, in a great stadium, with a group of players who are in an excellent moment in their career and as a team. They played excellent football. The audience was up to the task.