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Posted by Maru Wednesday, July 13, 2011 Go To Comments

Messi sings the anthem on the field

Messi was unlucky to have been born in Argentina. Unfortunately he was. Why? Because Argentina is a country that's very hard to fix. It's a country where people feel free to criticize everything and everyone. It's a country where, if a person has more money/success/fame, and the rest of the people cannot somehow benefit from this money/success/fame, then that person is the devil. However, once there is a way for us to benefit from that, then that person suddenly takes the role of hero, national idol, god.

Argentina is a very polarized country and unfortunately, it will probably always be this way. Here, it's everything or nothing. It's black or white, there are no grays. You are either loved or hated, you are either the most amazing person to walk the face of the earth or a horrible person who can do nothing right and should get away now. Our country is either the BEST, most beautiful, most intelligent country ever, or we are the worst country, and anyone who's lucky should just go live somewhere else. This is how it works here, this is how it has worked for a very long time. People are motivated by masses, and those masses go along with whatever seems best for them now. There is no critical thinking, there is no taking a step back to look analytically at the situation, there is just FEELING. What do I feel is better for ME now? What do I feel is worse for ME now?

And that is how the country works.

Unfortunately for Messi, he was born here and he therefore has to deal with this. As I've said many times, football becomes so much more in this country. Messi is criticized for everything here, for whatever he does and for whatever he doesn't do. But half (or maybe more?) of the criticism is not about how he plays football, no... It's about his attitude, what he does before, and after the game, and in regards to playing football, more often than not it's not HOW he played but rather what was his attitude while playing. Any criticism towards Messi exceeds the limits of the sport and goes into the culture of our time, its values and its practices.

The reason why Messi is still being compared with Maradona at this point in time is because people can't let go of those few days of glory now many years ago. People are hanging on to them like if it was their own life and have this fantasy in their minds that if we can re-create exactly the team and the circumstances surrounding that team, we will be winners again. Someone please tell those people that times have changed, football has changed, and the circumstances surrounding it too. Maradona's NT, or even Napolí were teams that played football for him. Maradona was "on top of the food chain", the whole team depended on his 'magic', and any goal that didn't go through him at least once was rare, unimaginable. A situation in which Maradona had to be replaced for a sub changed the whole dynamic of the game and could potentially have catastrophic results.

Messi's Barça on the other hand plays football in every part of the field, Messi - as extraordinary as he is - is just one of the players that makes a larger system work. He's the best one, yes, but he's also just one more. In Barça, if Messi can't play it might make the team a little worse, maybe not score as much, but it would not make the whole system fall apart, as has been proven often in La Liga. This kind of football doesn't always rely on speed, like mainly Maradona's team and that era of football did. It relies more on passing, and accelerating those passes when the time comes-- that's where they are lethal.

This is why Messi can be the best player, win an immense amount of trophies with Barcelona and even our NT, but he could never play the role Maradona did (and thank goodness for that).

Unfortunately, people demand it. People demand Messi to BE THAT GUY. Sometimes they demand he play football like that, but when they realize that football times have changed, that this cannot happen anymore, they demand him to be that guy OUTSIDE of the pitch, and that's where crazy things such as "Messi doesn't love Argentina because he doesn't sing the anthem" comes in. This is a crazy, crazy criticism. Let me tell you now, the anthem is NOT this huge patriotic song that we get up and sing everyday. In fact, I'm willing to bet "normal" people ONLY sing the anthem whenever they go watch a football game live. That's it.

This is an example of a comment I read in a popular magazine recently that represents popular thought (excuse the translation):

"What's wrong Messi? Is the jersey too heavy for you? You are missing heart and passion to play with the NT. There is nobody like Maradona, THAT guy could play because he put "huevos" and sweat for the team."

That's one comment that came out of Messi not singing the anthem. I just want to go part by part addressing this crazy person. First of all, what's all the talk about love for the jersey? About it being heavy and what-not? What does that even mean? Does anyone really think that if someone didn't "love" the country (because I'm assuming love for the jersey is just love for the country) he/she would go through the TORTURE that is playing for the NT, like Messi, right now? Because seriously this guy could say he just doesn't want to put up with such nonesense and leave. He is the star of Barcelona, the best club in the world right now, he has won multiple awards and trophies, he doesn't need the money. The only reason anyone would even have the guts to keep playing for our NT, especially someone who doesn't need it for trophies or the actual sport, is a strong desire to win something for the country. In other words it's the love for the country.

Messi at a young age went to live in Spain, he has Spanish citizenship. He had the CHOICE of where to play and he chose Argentina. Could it be that at that time Argentina had more prestige than Spain? Sure, maybe. But the fact is he had a choice and he made it. And he didn't choose what was easier, he didn't choose the place where most of his teammates and fans would welcome him with open arms, nor did he choose the best option economically... He chose Argentina and that shows an incredible commitment to his country.

I am tired of the stupid "they have to put more 'huevos' argument". This is the typical argument of someone who doesn't understand what's going on in the game, who doesn't try to understand, and is just looking for an excuse to complain. If you had seen Messi laying on the floor after they fouled him, still managing to PASS it to Aguero, a good pass that could even have ended up in goal, from the freakin' ground, if that's not playing with heart I don't know what is.

So there we have it. Messi has proved once and again while playing and choosing this team that he loves it. So it's a fact that critics have nothing to base their criticism on. So what's the easiest way out of this? Admit one is wrong, that Messi is the best player, that he's doing what he can, that he loves our country as MUCH as Maradona (or even more I would argue, but that's for another day)? NO. Here in Argentina we don't admit defeat, sorry. No, the easiest way out of this is seeing how he doesn't sing the anthem before the game and using that as proof for this he-doesn't-love-the -country argument. Do you think that the people complaining about this sing the anthem themselves? God no. They are probably in their houses, AS the anthem is being played saying to their friend: "Oh my god, this guy isn't even singing the anthem, he's such a foreigner, he probably doesn´t even know it" .THAT's what the people are doing while the anthem is playing, nobody sings it in their homes.

So, maybe Messi's nervous. Maybe he doesn't like to sing. Yes, maybe he doesn't know it. SO? What is the big deal if he doesn't? The guy left the country at a young age, they maybe never taught it to him in school... We do not sing the anthem in school everyday, in fact we sing it maybe twice a year and that's it. So it is very possible he never learnt it and there's nothing wrong with that. Suddenly it seems like the anthem has become this huge iconic, representative, patriotic thing for our country. Suddenly you ONLY love Argentina if you sing every single lyric, from "Oíd mortales" to "Oh juremos con gloria morir". WHAT? You sang the first part and not the second? You don't love Argentina as much. You sang the last part but no the first? Same thing. YOU DIDN'T SING ANY OF IT? That's it. You HATE the country. Oh, you sang all of it but you didn't sing the typical "Ohohohohohoh" during the musical parts? Well it's probably ok if anyone other than Messi does it, but if Messi ever decides to sing the anthem he better be prepared to sing the "Ohohohohoh" because if he doesn't thats's probably where the critics will be pointing to next. This is where we stand in the craziness scale.

The funny thing is that Luis Scola himself has stated that he never sings the national anthem during games. He just doesn't like singing, yet nobody as I've said ever suggested that he doesn't love his country. Why? It's possible that basketball IS just about the sport for people here... And football is not. PLUS, Messi was not so lucky to have played for River or Boca, something that at least gives you a bit of immunity in the football world. This not being the case though, Messi is probably going to keep enduring these silly comments about his lack of patriotism from people that are not patriotic at all. Because for these people Messi has to behave exactly how they think he should, showing more emotion when they deem it acceptable, and showing less emotion when they don't. The same people that turn around and don't miss an opportunity to insult this country, the same people who think the only way to be patriotic is to SHOW it to the whole world, it's to scream the anthem everytime possible, it's to insult everyone in your path that's not Argentinean, it's to cry every single time you miss a goal and wipe your tears with the jersey. THAT's the only way. Again, all or nothing.
And even when Messi does score and proves everyone wrong, it's not going to count because he wasn't singing the anthem WHILE he was scoring.

Are we rolling our eyes yet? Because ever since this stupid criticism for Messi started my eyes have started to hurt from how much I've been rolling them.

As I've said earlier, and probably left it clear here too, these criticisms against Messi are nothing short of stupid. This is why I choose to defend him everyday, because in Messi I see a different Argentina, I do. An Argentina that's selfless, that knows its good at what it does but doesn't have to scream it for everyone to hear, that gets along with and respects everyone, that doesn't need huge gestures to show the love for the country. It's hard, but the day that I stop hearing these types of insults against Messi is the day I'm going to think that maybe something in our country is changing... The anthem doesn't mean anything in a football game, it's just words after all, for it to mean something it has to be translated into actions. What good is it to us if a player knows all the words to the anthem, screams them at the top of his lung, and then plays a lousy game? Messi sings the anthem everyday by having chosen to play with Argentina, by showing up for every game, by never demanding to play in a different position, never demanding who he does or doesn't want to play with, never insulting any of the managers (even if a few of them deserved a few insults), by playing the entire 90 minutes even if the game is going nowhere, by NEVER having threatened to quit the National Team, which is a lot more that can be said for some of the players today-- and most important by passing the ball, by being the best one on the field almost every game, by having the most assists, by passing the ball even after someone fouled him, by never diving, by trying his best to play some good football in an incredibly unorganized team. So at least to me, he is singing the anthem pretty loud.


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(United States)
Posted on 1/19/2014 at 10:04 AM
After this coming July, in 2014, the Argentinean shield will have a third STAR! Vamos Argentina!

(United States)
Posted on 1/19/2014 at 10:00 AM
Mr. Maru, you're absolutely right!
But, what do you expect? Some Argentineans haven't evolved with the rest of the World. These ignorant losers are the ones that still applaud and celebrate the worst era of Diego Maradona, not the best part of him! Like opportunistic sewer rats, these uneducated hypocrites are probably the ones screaming insults and throwing trash to others, while our National Anthem is been played, and they call themselves "patriotic"! Lionel Messi is more "Patriotic", more "Argentinean", than all of them put together, and that's a FACT!
Excellent job on this article!

Posted on 7/28/2012 at 4:04 PM
i love u messi

Posted on 7/2/2012 at 1:24 AM
singing national anthem in a game is not an evidence that player has a sense of patriotic. various ways can be shown having huge patriotic. Messi choose silent when the anthem is sounding, perhaps he feels every single word lyric heard. he is kind player, humble in each game he played, he keeps patient even other player try to hit, rude tackling, step on his hand,,,,
running the entire game, passing for his friends, scoring awesome goals in games all that Messi did only for his country. Messi's passion is only for Argentina.
keep running, score many goals, bring Argentina to the highest. our captain!!!

Posted on 11/13/2011 at 10:48 PM
i feel sad when someone criticise messi he is a great player and remember 1 day he will bring happiness in face of all argentine fans by winning world cup. keep hope and believe in our talanted captain.

Posted on 9/7/2011 at 2:54 PM
finally someone that understands soccer

Shubhi Footballfanatic
Posted on 7/18/2011 at 6:10 AM
Brilliant Article. I couldn't agree more. I'm an absolute Messi fan and it's sad to see the country that's produced the finest player of this generation itself criticizing him.

Posted on 7/17/2011 at 10:56 AM
Wow what an article! Thank you for this one Maru G!

Posted on 7/16/2011 at 4:16 PM
It's funny Messi is punished for playing well for Barcelona. Hopefully Messi does not give a shit about all these morons. Probably most of them are not even close patriotic as he is. He has played like 59 matches in 6 years (not including olympics and youth teams matches), he has never said "no", so stop this ridiculous accusations. You all moaners, you do not deserve to have him playing for your national team.

(United States)
Posted on 7/14/2011 at 6:12 PM
@ Maru:

Sorry to say, but me and two of my Argentine friends did .. I mean even though it sounds stup!d but on every single game I watched for Argentina, I stand up holding the Argentine flag and try my best to say whatever I memorize from the Argentine anthem !

Posted on 7/14/2011 at 4:57 PM
Leo doesn't deserve all the criticism..he is and will be the best..he needs support from his country...he plays for Argentina...not for Spain...but he argentinians have to RESPECT him.

(United Kingdom)
Posted on 7/14/2011 at 2:36 PM
Great Post. One thing I can relate is most countries are pretty polarised and if it's not the uber developed nations of Europe or America; developing nations are way more polarised and less tolerant. Eeverything is ramped up and made as if it's some sort of mythical existential issue.

Posted on 7/14/2011 at 9:25 AM
@LaTino, I agree completely with your example about Tevez and Messi, that's exactly what I mean... Of course polarization exists everywhere, especially during political elections of religious wars, but what I mean is that I think in Argentina it's stronger in an everyday basis. And I agree again that leaving Argentina does not make you less patriotic, in fact in my experience it makes you even MORE patriotic. But anyway, I agree with your comment and it's what I was trying to convey here as well, we all need to belong to a group and there is no middle ground unfortunately. But of course we will keep going against these people and supporting Messi trying to get them to think with reason :)

@Abs Well I doubt anyone who isn't Argentinean would criticize him for not singing the anthem which is what this was about...

(United States)
Posted on 7/14/2011 at 8:15 AM
And how you defend him from the criticisms that aren't coming from Argentina ?!

@ eranho:

What's wrong with Luis ? I don't think saving your team is something "negative" !

Posted on 7/14/2011 at 3:59 AM
Hi there, I was born in Argentina (71) but have been living in Holland for most of my life. From first hand I can tell you that living in the exterior doesn't necesarely make you less involved or fanatic about your home country. Although I support Holland in every sport, when the Leonas play against Holland I'm there on the sidelines yelling for Argentina! The same goes for my brother, who wakes up at 2:45 am to watch a football game, even though he has to work the next day.

So all those critics should shut up. The don't know anything. I really hate people who believe they have some mutant powers and can read other peoples minds stating that someone doesn't feel a real Argentinian or isn't motivated enough because he's rich.
These people are ignorant beyond believe, or heavily frustrated with their own underachieving lives, resulting in a need to kick other people down.

Like you have written here Messi could never be blamed for being unmotivated as he gives up every vacation in between seasons just to play for his country. He gets on all those trips travelling far away, just to play some stupid friendly to make the AFA some money. And he swallows all these insults from a bunch of people with no brain.

Do we ALL think like that? No. It's the stupid/frustrated/jealous people who think like that, and unfortunately there are lot of them wandering the streets ;)
For example: I believe a lot of people living in the slumbs are simply routing for Tevez because he's one of them, so if Tevez is supposedly in a fight with Messi they all rout for him and Messi is the bad guy.
It's really astonishing how people think, but unfortunately that's the way humanity is wired. We all need to belong to a group, and it's evolutionary good to be fanatic about your group and try to exterminate the other group.
In these times it isn't necessary anymore, and if you think rationally about it and work together you can achieve much better thing

This natural 'polarisation' is universal, it's not exclusive to Argentina, just think about the Catholics vs Protestants in Ireland, or Pakistan/India where several religious groups are killing eachother off. Religion if the most common type of polarisation.
And there is also political polarisation, think of the Republicans vs the Democrats, it doesn't matter if the other group has a great idea, their adverseries will condemn it as stupid and vote against it. It happens all the time and everywhere. In these cases it's not driven by ignorance and stupidity but by greed and lust for power, another human flaw ;)

Anyway, let us just be the wiser people here and keep on supporting Messi, one of the few Argentinians in the news lately that makes us look good in other countries!
It's nice not to be inmediately linked to cocaine, a foul mouthed coach, escaped nazi's, militairy junta or an economic collapse when you tell somebody you are an Argentinian :)

Posted on 7/13/2011 at 11:16 PM
Some supporter,

I understand what you mean about social reputation, and us being the "black sheep of the nations" I do, and I agree, and it also worries me... It's something I have fought against for a very long time. And I still fight against it! I mean, I accept that some of the "reputation" is based on facts (something which I already made clear haha) but I also think that a lot of it regarding our culture IS blown out of proportion. To keep it simple, I think we do have a bad reputation that even though some stuff is - for me - true, NOT ALL OF IT IS.

It's not my intention to make Argentina look bad, it's a great country, of course it has its flaws, and we will keep trying to figure out what they are and if we can, work to fix them, but in no way does that mean that this is a horrible country or that its the worst. In the same way that Argentina has its flaws and these flaws in my opinion are the ones that led to Messi being the source of criticism, in that same way every other single country has flaws too and we are in no way the worst ones (if there even is such a thing).

So, the only reason I used the polarized argument to explain why in my opinion there was so much hate for Messi, is because like you said and I quote: "a few people who se fueron de boca por una boludez y los demás les siguieron la corriente." This is all I was trying to explain: the reason I think "que los demás les siguieron la corriente" is that it is common for us to pick sides like this y ser extremistas. (Go spanglish, right?)

Just like for this particular case I pointed out a flaw common in Argentina, there are MANY good things I can write about for the country, as well as there are many bad things about other countries. It's just that when I was sitting there trying to think why Messi got so much hate, this is what I came up with. It's ok if you don't agree with it, really... But I think so. For example, today during the Brazilian game, I don't remember which player it was that wasn't singing the anthem, but I remember there was ONE who wasn't singing and the rest were. Now, I highly doubt we are going to wake up tomorrow and read Brazilian news that the guy is not patriotic because he didn't sing. Therefore, I think there is something particular to us that would make us go to those extremes. HOWEVER, this does not mean that Brazil is perfect, in fact it has many flaws. And even the fact that I think Argentina is polarized, like I said, is not always a bad thing, and even when it is there are many good things about the country in general.

Does the fact that I see some flaws mean I think Argentina is the worst? NOT AT ALL. Do I think that some stuff can be explained by how we seem to work, YES, but after careful consideration and analysis, not just as a scapegoat. What I'm trying to say is that Argentina has flaws yes, and some of those flaws translate to football, yes, but it also has a lot of virtues which I didn't focus on right now just because I was writing an article on an unfortunate matter like the silly criticism. If I was writing an article on something else like the way Kun Agüero gave Messi the credit for the second goal or the way Luis Scola defended him on twitter, then I could write about how Argentinians tend to be very helpful with one another, how an Argentinean friend will always have your back, etc.

Again, there are no black and whites, that's what I'm trying to say. Just because I pointed out a flaw to explain some silly criticism doesn't mean I can't also find a THOUSAND virtues, and doesn't mean I wouldn't choose this country 100 times again as my home and the place to live in, it doesn't mean that I think EVERY SINGLE Argentinean person is like this (NOT AT ALL!) and least of all it doesn't mean that people should feel free to think as Argentina as the "black sheep" because we all know that no country is perfect and the fact that we are all supporting the National Team makes me think that most of us here find something charming about not only the team but also the country.


some supporter
Posted on 7/13/2011 at 10:27 PM

Ohh, well, I think I understand. I'm not expressely opposed to the idea that you'll more frequently find easy rejection towards Messi than appraisal, but I just can't accept adding to the whole society reputation just because of the silly opinions of a few individuals (even though you say it's many of them, to which I can't agree since I don't believe all opinions count as real opinions) in such an irrelevant subject. What truly worries me is that there's the idea that we are the black sheep of the nations as if every other nation and it's society were perfect and whatnot (I know you don't believe this fairy tale either). We might not be lo más de lo más, sure, but nowadays it's pretty easy to blame "the argentinians" because there's that self-hating idea in the air. In this case - the Messi "controversy" - it means fueling that fire for a very stupid reason, with the usual argument: we're too extreme. Right now I can accept we're extreme, but then I can't accept fueling the fire just for a few people who se fueron de boca por una boludez y los demás les siguieron la corriente.

Nonetheless I can't deny what you said about the Mejor en Bici project, and maybe I should state that I was trying to make an almost philosophical (and not social) point on which opinion is viable and which one is not, and how using the argies' bad reputation as a scapegoat is so easy these days when nobody, not even us, would be opposed to it, no matter how malicious and biased it might be.

But ok, althought I accept we're very polarized, still insist this is not the proper subject to mix it up with, just like expecting Messi to sing the anthem in a football match is plain ridiculous. And I was hoping you weren't Fito Páez, so thank you for that jajaja saludos!

Posted on 7/13/2011 at 9:40 PM
So to summarize what I wanted to say there, I do think that in GENERAL it's a very polarized country, and I am and will generalize there. I don't think every single person here has the same mentality or anything, but it has always been - in my opinion - a very divided country. I guess we could argue about this forever but in that case we would go into a debate involving politics, culture, politically-correct use of words, etc. which has nothing to do here. However, in my opinion, I maintain this vision of Argentina though I wish it wasn't the case and am optimist that it could change. I mean it's not always a bad thing, this is why people are so passionate about stuff, but it definitely creates a lot of division.

Then, from that point being that I do believe our country is one of the most polarized, at least the most polarized I know, I DON'T think everyone hates Messi or even the fact that he doesn't sing the anthem. In that case, mine was just a response to the media who blew this anthem thing out of proportion, and this being the polarized country it is (again my opinion) it was easy for every-day chit-chatters and the general word down the street to "choose a side" and hate Messi and what-not. OF COURSE there are people who don't, I mean case being all the posters here that are Argentinean and don't have the same views. But that doesn't take away from the fact that Messi was criticized by MANY for not singing the anthem.

To finish, of course this is subjective. As I said this is my opinion. There is no need to say it is subjective because the mere fact that I'm just writing an article based on my opinion makes that clear. I am not making some kind of law saying this is the way it is. I'm writing an article based on my opinion, my experience, my response to the media and to the people I have talked to and in response to that I can say again what I said in the article. Of course it's subjective, and of course it's not a fact, I mean whenever anyone reads an article by ANYONE you should always start reading it keeping in mind that it's the personal view of the person writing it, with his or her experiences and views of reality. Nothing more :D

Dante Pastrana
(United States)
Posted on 7/13/2011 at 9:20 PM
Sorry for the typos. I was emotional and getting stoned! LOL

Posted on 7/13/2011 at 9:19 PM
@Some Supporter, primero, obvio que no me enojo :), nunca me enojo cuando alguien piensa diferente (no soy Fito Paez)! Así que lo mismo te digo, no te enojés si difiero también.

I think when one expresses and opinion of course it's going to be based on your own experience, and my experience with "compatriotas" has been this. I am in no way saying that mine is the only truth-- it's just my opinion. I don't think that I am considering all opinions the same or even worth mentioning, I think in general the MEDIA has considered all opinions the same and worth mentioning which is why this whole anthem thing started in the same place. Or it could be the other way around like you have said, the media started it and other people adopted it for day-to-day conversations. Like I said, if the only opinions taken into consideration in football were only those who cared enough to get informed then the taxi driver making conversation, or the person in the elevator's opinion wouldn't get blown out of proportion, and again this Messi debate wouldn't exist. Then maybe all the polls in the popular newspapers involving who's to blame for our defeats wouldn't always end with Messi winning. It wasn't me who blew it out of proportion, but there is a reason those people chit-chatting and not making informed opinions say things like these, and clearly because of all the media repercussions it has it seems like it matters.

What I understand from your post is that you disagree with my use of the word "people". You think that it's not the "people" who think these things but rather the media and people making random conversation. But, no offense, I think that's just being a bit 'picky' on the choice of word. I could say "the media and random people making conversation with whom I have talked and encountered here in Argentina", but there comes a point where you need to use ONE word to encapsulate all of that, I mean I would have to type out an entire sentence instead of a word just so it won't sound like "politically-correct racism". When I say the people, again, I am talking about how the media blew the anthem thing out of proportion, and everything I hear and see from fellow Argentinean. Of course I in no way mean that it's 100% and rarely nobody does when you generalize, sometimes you just generalize for the purpose of making a point. Though I would think that the fact that I don't mean that everyone thinks that, or that everyone is the same, and that people who are more informed don't think this way, goes without saying.

And it's crazy to say that there is no such thing as a "majority". Of course there is a majority, everywhere. If there wasn't then nobody would ever win an election for example. Maybe I don't know exactly what it is, but FROM WHAT I CAN TELL THROUGH MY RESOURCES (as limited as they may be) the majority is this. Which is, again, my personal experience and where I'm coming from when I wrote the article. You might not agree with it, but it's what's been translated through the media, and therefore what I'm basing my opinion on.

And the polarization thing, again I'm not talking about football just here. I wouldn't want to go into a political debate of anything but I disagree with this:

"the idea that argentinians are so extreme at opinions is a myth perpetuated by argentinians themselves"

We differ here as well. I mean, I think Argentinians are very extreme at opinions. I can give you an example though it has nothing to do with this (even though we all know we can find thousand of football examples, but since you could argue that football in many countries is like this I'll go with something else)
I was hired the UNITED NATIONS (ONU) to talk to people about the "Mejor en Bici" project, which is a combined project between the Bs.As.Gov. and ONU. Now the job included among other things telling people how the "Mejor en Bici" project works. (I'm going to say this in spanish because I have a hard time in english). Dejame decirte que yo no soy militante del PRO, no soy Macrista, ni MUCHO MENOS. No estoy metida en el gobierno de la ciudad de ninguna manera. Era simplemente un trabajo para contarle a la gente como podía usar las bicicletas ya que a muchos les conviene. En fin, te sorprendería la cantidad de gente que se acercó solo para putear al proyecto diciendo que es una mierda solo porque es de Macri, o agarrar un folleto y en frente nuestro tirarlo al piso (contaminando la ciudad) o romperlo para demostrar que quieren sabotear a Macri. Acá ves claramente, a esa gente no le importó si les conviene, si ayuda de alguna manera, o lo que sea el proyecto. Simplemente porque viene de Macri lo odian. Cuando, si se informaran un poquito más, el proyecto tiene distintas ventajas, no es solamente del Gob. y yo ni siquiera estaba contratada por el PRO. así que no podía "mandarles el mensaje". Ahí tenés la polarización de la que hablo, si odias a Macri ODIAS A TODO LO QUE TENGA QUE VER CON EL.

Trust me, I used to think like that as well, that the reputation for Argentina was just a myth. I mean when I was abroad I used to defend Argentina, whatever it took. I have been back for many years now and my experience has been a different one. That is just one example, but for me Argentina has been the most polarized country I have ever lived in.

Dante Pastrana
(United States)
Posted on 7/13/2011 at 9:16 PM
I’m Argentinian who left the country at age 7 and been living in the United States ever since. I’ve not become a Citizen of the USA even though I can. I’ve served in the US marines for 4 years as a US resident and still love this country. I’m a citizen of Argentina. Born in Salta. I don’t know the National Anthem but I bleed OUR blood. I love ARGENTINA and we’re all not the same. I know they “People” you talk about Maru and just wanted to let you know that thankfully we are not all alike. FUCK ALL THE NATIONAL ANTHEMS LOL RSRSRSRS JAJAJAJAJA No...j/k....but on a lighter note so glad that the NT looked great out there in their last changes and that everyone please support the squad especially the Unselfish Messi who can just want to DUMP the NT if he’s he feels his people don’t want him. He had his father do a press conference on the BS all you people gave him and who knows one day...He might boooo us back. I sure hope not.
Great article/opinion Maru :o) Greetings from New Jersey!

(United States)
Posted on 7/13/2011 at 8:54 PM
While I agree with Maru's sentiment in defending Messi, I understand where "some supporter" is coming from. There are many Argentines that think criticizing Messi is stupid and misplaced (for example, the many fans in Cordoba before and during the Costa rica match). Let's just leave it that such ideas are foolish.

some supporter
Posted on 7/13/2011 at 8:39 PM

You just can't use any word (like "people") to represent the majority because there's no such thing, rather it's your impression of a reduced amount of arbitrary information (reading newspapers, watching the news, talking to a few individuals - because I doubt you talk to 40 million individuals everyday, and even 200 is nothing compared to that) what's making you say there's a "popular thought", or a "most people's idea". You're putting all the opinions together as if they all had the same "weight", thus creating a pseudo-majority, for example: does the taxi driver really mean what he means when he tells you "did you see last night's match? That guy, he didn't sing the anthem!" or is he just making conversation? You know when you humor someone in the elevator, "yeah yeah, he sucks"... that's not an opinion. Does it matter then? Is it real polarization, or is it being kind and trying to talk, though not in the most proper way, sure. Same goes for everyone else, are they discussing football, or are they just discussing what they saw posted on Taringa by some troll? Are they just joking? Are they all being serious? Theirs are not opinions and can't be used to measure any polarization. How many out there truly believe what they believe, and how many just repeat what they were "told" to repeat?
I think I remember pretty well, it was the media who started all this "Messi has to be like Maradona" BS, constantly saying it and showing on TV that goal against I don't remember which spanish team, it was Grondona trying to make money, it was not "the people", nobody even knew what his position was when he arrived in the NT and we had Riquelme to be the playmaker, in 2006 we had big hopes for him but nobody expected anything Maradona-like from him back then. So who started it, and truly believed it? The people? I don't think so.

If you and me had very different experiences with other compatriotas, then I'm sure mine involved not considering all opinions the same, and not considering them all worth mentioning nor representative of anything. It's not about where or who I got them from, but what's the purpose of such opinions. Even if it's on the news, or especially if it's on the news, since the media's business in these days is to create opinions, disseminate them and have people buying their newspapers and visiting their ad-ridden websites.
I also didn't say we were just as polarized as the rest, but we're certainly not the only ones, nor are those countries just a few. But then that's not worth mentioning either, since the idea that argentinians are so extreme at opinions is a myth perpetuated by argentinians themselves (which is why I began the previous rant) and not a fact. Take a look at the behavior of uruguayans in and tell me it's a fact they're bad, evil, insulting or whatever, because of the impression you got from them there. Then also tell me they're humble and whatever just because of your experience with them. None is right, it's all myth, an illusion. It's not even talking about a real "majority" — it's politically-correct racism! That's why I didn't feel it any appropriate to say this or that about Argentina or argentinians.

I understand your rejection towards this recent anthem thing (to which I agree!) and why you associated it with the idea that Argentina is so polarized. But you also need to mention that all that is very subjective, since you couldn't get that idea but from the limited amount of people you relate to, and your own subjective experience with them and the enviroment; it's often quite misleading and may I say dangerous. It makes your text make sense, but it's not based in any objective, undeniable truth which could then be used to argue something. That's all. Pero no te enojés si suena mal, que no tengo nada contra vos!

Posted on 7/13/2011 at 6:42 PM
@some supporter

Actually, I would argue that there are MANY countries that aren't polarized, at least not to the extent Argentina is. I mean, of course I can only speak from my experience, and in my experience I have never lived in any country as polarized as Argentina. I'm not basing any of my opinion on stereotypes, I'm basing them on my everyday experience living in Buenos Aires. If you think Argentina is a country that is JUST as polarized as the rest, they your experience MUST be very different from mine. In my case, it's not about just football, but everything is either white or black here. River vs. Boca. I keep using 'people' to represent the majority because it is, how else would you explain that the person at the supermarket, the people in my classes, the taxi driver, etc. all talk about Messi not singing the anthem? And all basically memorize the speech about Messi not playing as well with us as he does for Barcelona? (even though those same people probably never even watched a Barca game in their lives!) Of course these people are not worrying just about football... If it was just about football we wouldn't be having this discussion, I WISH this was just about football. How come in all the social networks the first person I see blame for if we lose is Messi. It's not a coincidence, it's because your everyday thought here is that Messi somehow plays bad with us (on purpose?) and therefore he should "go back".

Yes, I don't mean to sound like every Argentinean thinks like this, I don't. But at least everywhere I go the general opinion is that Messi is not patriotic, and what not. Of course that the people that maybe are more involved in the football debate see how silly it is, but that's not the popular opinion. By popular opinion I mean, that's not the people that go watch the game and cheer them on, that's not the people you talk to when you go to a store and comment on the game. The Bolivia game is the perfect example. Everyone was cheering for Tevez even though he did not play well at all, and in turn Messi could ONLY get cheers when he got into a fight with an opposing player. In my experience the "mala leche Olé/Canchallena/boludos en la calle", those are the majority. In fact it's not a coincidence that in a poll in one of those of 'who was to blame for Argentina playing badly' Messi got the most votes with Batista. It's because the majority of your everyday people think like that, of course they are influenced by the media, and it's not people that can critically look at the game and the players, but if in football it only mattered what THOSE people thought, then we wouldn't be having this discussion, and the anthem thing wouldn't even be on the news.

If ONLY the "individuals who are really interested in football" were to ever comment and were to represent what most of the country thought in the media, the streets, and the stadium then the story would be another one. This is not the case though, and in football everyone, even the chit-chatters, can comment for hours about what they think of the football game, and it's the exact reason the anthem thing even started, and it's the same reason almost nobody cheered for Messi in the first two games in his own country, and it's the same reason Messi's dad had to come out and talk saying that the guy was devastated by the way he was treated.

I'm not accepting any stereotype, I'm trying to (when I talk to people in real life I mean) to get the to BREAK that stereotype and not fall under the same opinions over and over because they do influence the team. I think what you take as a "stereotype" I take as the mentality people have, and yes, of course many people have the same mentality because they live in the same country, with the same leaders, with the same media. This conditions the mentality of any country, and for me, Argentina has a very distinct one that can be seen through football with criticisms JUST FOR CERTAIN players and not for others, and in other national issues too. I mean, the simple example is this-- if "popular everyday chit-chat" didn't matter then the whole concept of "people's player" wouldn't exist and Tevez would probably not even be in the team today.

And I don't think I'm making a big deal about this. I'm just commenting my disagreement on a topic that was VERY commented these past few days like the fact that Messi doesn't sing the anthem, and stating my reasons as to why I think this would be the case. I mean, this is hypothetical but I'm pretty sure a debate as silly as whether is Messi is patriotic or not because he doesn't sing the anthem wouldn't just happen in any country.

I just want to say for the record that I love Argentina, it has some of the nicest and warmest people I know, it's beautiful in my opinion, I mean if I didn't love it I wouldn't have come back (like Messi), but that doesn't mean I have to love every aspect of it, or agree with what seems to be a MAJORITY (so as not to use popular) thought in the street. It's my country of course, and it's always going to be my home, but there are certain things about people's mentality, at least people I'm surrounded by, that I don't agree with, and the only way to break with this mentality, or in your opinion "stereotype" (which as a stereotype has certain reality behind it) is to point it out.

Posted on 7/13/2011 at 5:13 PM
beautiful post.....

Posted on 7/13/2011 at 4:56 PM
Great post Maru... interesting as always!

I dont live in Argentina, so i wouldnt really be able to understand the general Argentine mentality, attitude and expectations. You did a great job in clarifying that for us...

This 'mambo-jambo' about Messi not singing the anthem has become really pathetic. Here they are, lucky to have the best player on earth (and probably in history) and what do they do? They bash him, insult him and make him feel unwelcome in his own country. Very disappointing! I know it's not all Argentines, but no matter how few these people are, they should not have such a loud influence.

Their words are clearly irrational and reckless... their claims have no substance and what's worse is that we have to actually answer to such stupidity. I dont know what such people hope for when they make such outrageous comments, what the hell are they trying to do? They do nothing more than harm the team, especially Messi... The poor guy's got enough pressure on him, expectations to meet and way too many obstacles to face as a result of clueless coaching. One day he's the hope of a whole nation and the next, when things go bad despite his obvious efforts, he's the scapegoat and all they do is pour salt into his wounds.

Looking at Tevez for example, they could find a million reasons why he's been crippling the team, but they choose not to. Like it's a tabboo or something to even question his form. And i would not say that they find it easier to throw the blame on Messi, coz it simply isnt. They have absolutely nothing to bring to the table that actually makes any sense. He played badly? Uuuh... even on a bad day, he's still the best! He didnt pass to his team-mates? No, cant say that! Missed 10 easy chances on goal? Nope, cant say that either... Didnt sing the anthem?? Yesss.. that's it!! Why didnt i think of that?!

Pathetic... when they cant blame his football, they turn to his character... which i guess they will never like or appreciate. They want a "bad boy", a controversial, fearless character with moxy... who stands up to critics with a dirty tongue and disrespects everyone, Argentine or non-Argentine (especially Brazilians). They like the "us vs world" attitude, supporting every loud mouth who comes and feeds their crave for such insults. Sadly, i guess for such people, such aggression is their definition of patriotism... horrible!

Messi is not that kind of person, he's actually the total opposite. So calm, focused, humble, polite and respectful... traits that dont go down well with these Messi critics. Not rude enough, not controversial enough, not entertaining enough... not Argentine enough?!? Pathetic!

Im really glad to see most (if not all) our Argentine readers here on Mundo support Messi and what he stands for. Its a big relief to see that the rational, logical and appreciative Argentines greatly outnumber those stupid Messi-bashers. I hope Messi himself is able to mentally make piece with this situation, come out stronger and give the real patriotic people of Argentina (and abroad) the joy we'r all waiting for on July 24th.

Oh, and one more thing. Since this has become such a hot topic and now all eyes are on Messi at the beginning of every game to see if he'll sing the anthem or not.... Messi, if you'r reading this, dont sing! Tease those bastards, let them fume! The day you lift a cup for Argentina, they will eat their words, stand up and learn to sing the anthem themselves. After that they'll get down on their sorry knees and praise you like a god...

some supporter
Posted on 7/13/2011 at 4:51 PM
Sorry, but you're just accepting the stereotype other people have of "us", no offense but way to go Maru. And you're letting chit-chatting judgements of Messi become the real deal, important "national" (a thing that doesn't even exist, by the way) judgement instead of that from those *individuals* who are really interested in football. Nobody can represent "popular thought", there's no such thing, let alone a magazine making money out of it. Besides, there's no single country where "losers" and "underachievers" are supported by absolutely everyone. Messi is the subject of everyday conversations, and it all "adds to the bag" of what we know about him. That doesn't mean all those thing said about him are equally important for god's sake.

Don't label us, the mere concepts of "people" and "country" are ambiguous enough not to be used to argue anything. Starting the article with what argentines or Argentina are supposed to be is such a horrible mistake and so typical of making stereotypes, I'm sorry but that's what it is. Which country is not polarized? *Unfortunately* for Messi? "That's how the country works"? Are you sure you don't mean "eso es lo que dicen los malaleche del Olé/Canchallena/boludos en la calle que toman birra por ahí"? Please. Yes, your text sounds great, but you're being too idealistic about things which can't be said to truly exist and be responsible of anything.

Be worried about football.

Posted on 7/13/2011 at 4:42 PM
This was powerful, Maru! A great read.

I would say MESSI knows the lyrics to the anthem. I mean...he lived here until he was 13 and that song you learn it from even an earlier age.

Like Luis SCOLA. He knows it.

They just don't sing it. They aren't forced to sing it. And they shouldn't be judged by that fact.

Those who criticize MESSI for not singing the anthem, are the same who don't understand that he can't play for ARG on the same level he does for Barcelona simply because there is a thing in football some people know nothing about and it's called: TACTICS.

It's not a lack of effort. Certainly not a lack of commitment. What Lio lacks with ARG is a system around him.

And this is perhaps the part in which I didn't agree 100% with Maru on her post: Diego had a system around him. He had it at Argentinos Juniors. At Boca. At Barcelona (where he didn't have much success -granted he suffered a terrible ankle injury and had hepatitis too!-). He had it at Napoli. And most importantly, he had it EVERYTIME he played for Argentina. With MENOTTI, BILARDO and BASILE.

MESSI never had that with Argentina.

And he needs it. Like any other player in the world/in history.

Posted on 7/13/2011 at 4:40 PM
Fantastic post! A true joy to read.

(United States)
Posted on 7/13/2011 at 3:38 PM
At the risk of being labeled unpatriotic, I think the Argentine national anthem is an embarrassment. From the "Listen up mortals" line to the "Die with glory" ending, it is laden with self-conceit and laughably overwrought. It makes the Star Spangled Banner sound like a Beatles classic. I'm proud of my heritage and proudly wear the light blue and white, but like Messi, I wouldn't be caught dead singling that claptrap publicly.

Posted on 7/13/2011 at 3:06 PM
Bravo Maru.... Bravo!

Posted on 7/13/2011 at 3:04 PM
I don't know about any other country but in Asia, in general, when ppl hear the anthem of their country in TV, no one would stand up and sing. I knows some ppl in western do that, but it doesn't necessarily shows our love for the country. If you love your country, you would do the best for it. Batista can be an amazing example if he is willing to step down after get the Copa for us (i know, it's impossible!).

Btw, could anyone explain to me what does "nuevo" mean? I tried google translate but to no avail...

Posted on 7/13/2011 at 2:58 PM
I'm happy to know that Messi has some supporters as well in his own country :)

For me, I love Maradona and Messi and don't like to compare them. It puts burden on the players like what they did to Ariel Ortega for example. But, as a non Argentinian, I clearly see that both love Argentina and proud to be Argentine.

Your country of birth determines your mindset. Messi spent 13 years in the country and for me it is enough time to form your love to the country. I'm sure he prefers Argentine cuisine, Argentine weather, Argentine people.

Relating to football, he has sacrificed much for Argentina NT. He has demanded Barca to release him for Olympic as well as all the friendlies. He always speaks well about Argentina and its people. He has never demanded special treatment from his teammates and coach. He never acts like superstar.

For the anthem thing, I'm pretty sure he won't sing it at least for the mean time. If he starts singing it now, people will say it's not pure from his heart, it is just because of the critics, etc. Btw, I notice that all Argentine players sang the anthem in the last game against Costa Rica, while previously not everyone did that. Now they knows that it is important ;p

Posted on 7/13/2011 at 2:14 PM
A brilliant post, from beginning to end. Highly recommendable.

I apologize in advance for the following rant. It's about Eranho's comment about Luis Suárez. I don't understand the 'doing negative things' part. What he did against Ghana was perfectly fine, and within the rules of soccer. Suárez stopped the ball with his hand knowing that it would mean a penalty kick against his team and a red card for him. He didn't cheat or break the rules, what he did is no different than fouling a guy near the middle, if you ask me.

Doing negative things or cheating would be scoring a goal with your hand (like Maradona did in Mexico '86) or making a save with your hand making sure that the referee can't see you and then play dumb (Maradona again, this time against Russia in Italy '90).

But... we're talking about Maradona here, a brilliant player and my home country's hero. This is when Argentina's double standards enter the game. What Diego did was OK because he did it against England and well... because he's Maradona. What should have happened in that case? The goal should have been disallowed, and Maradona should have been given a card. Did that happen? Nope.

What should have happened in Suarez's case? Well, a PK should have been awarded and Suárez should have been given a red card. Did that happen? Yes.

Explain to me the 'negative things' concept again, please. Suárez didn't cheat.

Posted on 7/13/2011 at 1:44 PM
Hey, I applauded Suarez for that handball then and I'm still applauding ! Smart move by him and no different than "accidentally" sticking out an elbow !

Posted on 7/13/2011 at 1:30 PM
i m only scared of luiz suarez......... he can do anything( i mean negative things) to win a match.... do you guys remember what he did against ghana in the world cup quarter finals 2010?

Posted on 7/13/2011 at 1:17 PM
sun will not stop shining........... just like that messi's greatness cannot be destroyed by few mouths.................. messi will always shine in theheart of every true football fan , forever.

Posted on 7/13/2011 at 12:47 PM
Great post Maru ! Just because the Messi haters will always be there, it doesn't mean that the Messi lovers can't continue to refute their hateful, ignorant nonsense.

Posted on 7/13/2011 at 12:46 PM
A fantastic was awesome text to read.

Posted on 7/13/2011 at 12:39 PM
I m too emotional,these minutes i read the text,i was silent,bold,hapy n on top of da world that i m a big fan of messi...i think i hav nevr seen as humble as messi,being a sports star ronaldo(cmpared to messi every secnds) also stares,pushes guardiola or even falls on the ground as if playing rugby,rooney,a mastermind of bad manners and many others..the patriotism u argentinians cant define,cant spell it if u make a bright star to a moon with scar..plz let him free,let him do his job,let him play football

Posted on 7/13/2011 at 12:10 PM
That was so refreshin 2 hear aftr wat has been talkd abt Messi by his compatriots...if thats the true identity of u Argentines then its no surprise that u were badly defeatd by the Gurkhalis in the falkland war against Britain...thats history...myself a gurkhali nd an overwhelming argentina nd messi hurts 2 kno the people of arg's atitude 2wards him..c'mn ppl,when wil u realise u hav a gem in ur cabinet..when wil u stop finding reasn 2 bring dwn sm1 dat can put ur country on top of the everest...its 4 da world 2 c dat messi luvs arg n wat it means 2 him 2 walk on the green turf wid blue nd white stripes..why r u ppl blind...u cant b dat reckles,can u?? Giv da kid sm breathng space...nd he wil deliver...if u ppl hav evn little bit of logic inside ur cranium then STOP SUFFOCATING Messi..nd Copa America wil go 2 argentina...thats my word...

Posted on 7/13/2011 at 12:08 PM
Brilliant and a very honest write-up.

Awesome Post!!

    On this day in 2006, Lionel MESSI scored his first ever goal for the Argentina National Team. MESSI scored his first goal for Argentina on March 1, 2006 in a friendly match against Croatia. A match which ended 3-2 in Croatia's favor. 
    The media in Argentina has been reporting that the AFA has not paid Tata MARTINO or his coaching staff since October. 
    On this day in 2012, Lionel Messi scored his first ever hattrick for the Argentina National Team vs. Switzerland. February 29, 2012 marked the day Lionel MESSI scored his first hattrick for the National Team in a 3-1 win against Switzerland.

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