jueves, 24 de junio de 2010
Hace 10 meses, 1 semana y 6 dias que sali de mi casa con direccion a San Pedro Sula, sin estar completamente seguro si el avion partiria o no, por una supuesta huelga de los meteorologos. Finalmente partio, y luego de un dia de viaje, me encontraria empezando mi aventura en el viejo continente. Claro esta, que esto me tomo un dia completo de viajes aereos, pero aun recuerdo que al disfrutar de la buena seleccion de entretenimiento presente en la pantalla individual del avion, pense que esperaria con ansias mi siguiente vuelo transatlantico. El tiempo paso, y en lo menos que me di cuenta, ya me encontraba a bordo de otro avion de British Airways, esta vez con direccion a casa. Este medio de transporte ya no me intimida, ya me es la misma cosa como subirme al tren, otro transporte poco usual atnes de mi viaje.
Pues empeze a escribir esta entreada, sentado en el aeropuerto de La Aurora de Guatemala, un lugar en que realmente no deberia e encontrrme, de no haber sido por la ineficiencia de mi aerolinea, con la cual no recomiendo viajar. Pues dado que portaba la camisa de la seleccion de Honduras, no sin temer que algun mexicano se burlase de mi, fue que una señora en el asiento de atras del avion me hablo, y me informo que el vuelo de Aeromexico, del DF para San Pedro Sula, habia sido cancelado. Normalmente, esto me fue un golpe inesperado, pues pensaba estar ya en mi patria ese mismo dia, y no llegue a creerle completamente a la señora, pues nadie me lo habia dicho de forma oficial anteriormente. Asi que al bajarnos del avion, preguntamos por nuestras cuentas y recibimos respuestas variadas. Ya estabamos preparados para ir a pelear al stand de Aeromexico por comida y hospedaje, cuando recorde que no tenia visa mexicana. Como es rutinario en estos casos, el tipo de migracion, noto la ausencia. Yo habia averiguado con anterioridad que no necesariamente ocupaba la visa, y aunq no es necesaria, a diferencia de mi primera estancia en ese aeropuerto, no pude rondar con tranquilidad, sino que se me fue asignado a una habitacion de poco tamaño, con otras 15 personas, y con una mala ventilacion, que hacia que un olor fetido inundara el ambiente.
Permaneci ahi unos 30 minutos, hasta qye llego la persona que British Airways me habia asignado para escoltarme, una muy amable y mas gruesa version de Soriano, un ex-maestro de computacion. Estaba preparado para ponerme a pelear, pero el tipo me cayo tan bien, que guarde las armas. Asi que siempre con èl al lado, fui a comprar una tarjeta telefonica (con mi dinero) y llame a mi casa a informar sobre el camvio de planes. Luego fui mandado a una habitacion con mejor ventilacion, y con funcion de Troya, una version piratead y doblada al español pero con calidad de imagen HD.
Sentado, tratando de identificar otros hondureños, se fue llenando la habitacion. Yo ya estaba poniendo bastante atencion en la pelicula, cuando Soriano regreso con noticias. Me mandarian a Guatemala, de donde saldria la mañana del dia siguiente a las 6 am, de lo contrario, tendria q esperar en Mexico hasta cerca de las 3 d la tarde. Llame nuevamente a mi casa, rechaze llamar a mis familiares en Guate, pues solo estaria unas horas, y me subi al avion de Mexicana, el tercero de ese largo dia.
Llegue a La Aurora, y pase por aduana, y migracion, y luego busque y encontre una entrada para dormir dentro del aeropuerto, protegido de la noche y la delincuencia. Claro esta que la terminal no era exactamente un hotel cinco estrellas, pero debido a mi cansancio, no me fue problema acercarme a una columna, bajar la mochila de mis hombros,, y ponerla como almohada y dormir ahi en el suelo.
La mañana siguiente, tome el que seria el cuarto avion de mi viaje, este, con una duracion de vuelo de apenas tres cuartos de hora, los cuales transcurrieron mientras yo leia las noticias deportivas de un diario guatemalteco, y sobre la muerte del escritor portugues, Jose Saramago. Cuando el avion bimotor de TACA toco suelo en el aeopuerto Villeda Morales y este se detuvo, no pude contener las lagrimas de alegria que se me salieron, por estar en mi pais nuevamente, despues de tanto tiempo. Pense que en cuestion de minutos ya estaria con mi papa, y al dia siguiente en mi casa, Me limpie las lagrimas y hbaje del avion. Dias antes, se me habia cruzado por la cabeza, que seria capaz de besar el piso, pero aunque por higiene no lo hice, llevaba una gran sonirisa y un paso acelerado por llegar a la sala de arrivals lo mas antes posible.
Recien el dia de hoy, una semana despues, es que me han llegado las maletas, pues con el cambio de aerolineas, ese problema era de esperarse. Pero a pesar de la noche no programada en el aeropuerto, y el haberme perdido algunos partidos del mundial, ya estoy en mi casa, y aunque me haya costado un poco darme cuenta que ya estoy aca y superar el jetlag, mi felicidad es mayor. Lamentablemente, siempre he sido incapaz de llevar dos vidas diferetens, asi que aunq tratere de vez en cuando contactarme con mi gente en Finlandia, esto no sera muy comun.
Ahora debo concentrarme en mi futuro. Tengo una carrera por comenzar, y me he dado cuenta que lo que me molesta es que esta no es como la escuela. Pagar la matricula, y arpobar lo asignado, esperar el bus en la mañana, y este te lleva de casa a escuela. Ahora, en diferencia, hay que escoger una carrera, que clases llevar, pensar como llegar al edificio universitario, etc. Responsabilidad.
miércoles, 23 de junio de 2010
Pues primero que todo disculpen por haber dejado aun otro proyecto sin continuar. Me refiero a los analisis de los partidos del mundial, proyecto que no pude continuar debido a que tuve que emprenderme en un viaje a traves del Atlantico. Y es precisamente sobre este que he estado escribiendo en mi diario, y me disponia a compartirlo aca en el blog, pero luego pense, no solo en que este era algo largo de transcribir para mi estado de animo, y en que en realidad no sabia quien podria estar interesado en leer ese tipo de historia. No se preocupen, si estaban interesados, seguramente terminare escribiendolo.
Por ahora no mas me limitare a escribir un reconocimiento, no a aquellos 23 jugadores que se encuentran en Sudafrica, sino a todos los que no lograron viajar. Ya el dia de mañana, muy segyramente se acabara nuestro sueño mundialista. Un sueño que algunos no solo nos vieron en los 8vos de final, sino hasta levantando la Jules Rimet. Afortunadamente (o mas bien, desafortunadamente), la federacion organizo una serie d partidos amistosos antes del mundial. Muchos cuestionaban el nivel de rivales como Bielorrusia, Azerbaijan o Rumania, pero al final estos nos dejaron viendo muy mal, y nos dieron un golpe de realidad, por lo cual, aunque las esperanzas continuaban, ya no nos sorprendio tanto las derrotas 1-0 contra Chile y 2-0 contra España.
Es precisamente de este ultimo partido del que hablare. Ese dia en la mañana, mi hermano, llenando su calendario de resultados del mundial me dijo, aun si jugarse el partido, "desde ya le voy a poner un cero a Honduras". Nos reimos, pero aun asi no lo hizo, hasta el mas pesimista no dejaba de ser hondureño, y esto mismo se vio cuando sali a la calle, dirigiendome a una reunion donde veria el partido con amigos. No importando que el equipo ande jugando mal, que metan los 11 jugadores a la defensiva, que nuestros delanteros sean incapaces de crear una jugada de peligro en el marco contrario, aun asi, 3 de cada 5 personas (yo incluido) andaban su camisa de la seleccion.
El dia de mañana ya no se mira con mucho optimismo. Los numeros nos dicen que aun es posible, pero la mayoria ya estan asumiendo la realidad que a lo mejor la proxima vez, y esperando no tener que esperar otros 28 años. Sin embargo, esa leve posibilidad, nos hara levantarnos mañana temprano y pensar "Serà?", y mañana, una vez mas, nos pondremos esa camiseta, y nos pondremos a soñar, que ese trofeo aun puede ser nuestro.
A esa aficion, les dedico este post.
martes, 15 de junio de 2010
I started watching this match with a Moroccan friend at his house, when before Japan went up in the score, he said "I really think it's unfair that Asia have so many teams on the World Cup", probably asking more for Africa, since he also believed 3.5 places for CONCACAF was just enough. So I put myself into thinking, how 12 years ago, in 1998, and I guess before that (although I have no memory), Asian teams were nothing but making the WORLD part in FIFA World Cup true. However, after a questionable 2002 tournament in the continent, were Korea achieved a 4th place, not without the help of the refeereing, and Japan went to the second round, Asian teams have begun growing. And by this I'm actually referring to Korea and Japan (with the addition of Australia to their confederation). Last tournament they were not far behind from getting to the second round, and Korea proved on Saturday, that this time they are planning to go through.
So, having seeing their rivals play up quite good, against a lousy Greek team, Japan was surely aspiring for nothing less. But the Japanese are smart, they realize that ahead of them there is an African squad, which transpires strength, velocity, and who with a good chance for star striker Samuel Eto, would not be forgiving. So they set their defense tight but not closed behind, and they knew that one good chance would be enough. And so it was, minute 39 and Keisuke Honda put the Japanese one goal ahead. Cameroon would struggle to get back into the game, but it was not enough to remove the Asian team from achieving their first victory in foreign soil on a World Cup.
Man of the Match: Fifa.com users did a good decision by naming Keisuke Honda the best player of the match, since his nerves of steel when shooting were enought to settle the score, plus he created some of the other Japanese attacks, while playing in a position not familiar for him. However, I will like to give this award to Cameroon's captain Samuel Etoo, whom after years in the game, still manages to surprise. Running all over the field, commanding the team, removing defenders from other player and doing a beautiful trick to leave three Japanese players wondering what he had done with the ball.
Just the day before the match, I had set into a paper how I believed the World Cup knockout stage would go (surprises included). When I finally got to the final, just Argentina and the Netherlands remained, for a final, not unlike that one of 1978. Today, I was going to see if Netherlands could live up to my expectations, but I missed the first 30 minutes, because I was in a store deciding if I bought a 4€ Tubullar Bells vinyl or not (I didn't). So I watched the last minutes of the first half, and the second half I did watch completely. I watch as the first goal came in, and thought, what an unlucky goal. I thought the match would end that way, and watch as Dirk Kuyt placed it in the back of net. So I can't really say I didn't watch the match, but the boredom of this one was such, that I really don't have much to add, just that this was not the Netherlands who defeated with superiority the reigning champions and runner-ups on the 2008 Switzerland-Austria European Championship. However, they did have their chances, and Denmark was lucky of going back to the hotel with just two goals on their bag. The orange performance was indeed not bad, their second half specially, but when you set expectations high, you're let down easily. I'll finish with a quote my brother wrote to me "none of the matches I have seen have really satisfied me".
PLayer of the Match: I'll agree once again with fifa.com's decision, by giving Inter's midfielder Wesley Sneijder the man of the match award, because he was always a threat to Sorensen's goal, and he builded up the plays and had numerous chances to score.
Images taken from fifa.com and smh.com.au/photogallery/world-cup-2010
lunes, 14 de junio de 2010
A couple of favorites have played already, and have failed to impress. Had it not being for a referee's mistake on their playoff against Ireland, France might not even be on the competition, however, they are the current runner-ups and have several club figures in their line-up. Thr Gauls opening performance against Uruguay, was not the best, with the game ending up 0-0. But this is exactly how they started last World Cup, and they ended up, barely losing the final against Italy.
Diego Maradona's Argentina might have won the 3 points, but for a team bragging to have the world's number one player, Lionel Messi (among others), the 1-0 victory against Nigeria might not have looked as much, for a country seeking to add a third cup to their palmar. Finally, yesterday evening, England failed to beat the US, and have momentarily given the leadership to Slovenia. Arguably the only favorite for the title playing today, are last cup's hosts and third place, Germany, but ahead of them was an Australian team, first time qualified as part of the Asian Confederation.
During the first half, Germany was convincing. They kept threathening Mark Shwraezer's goal, taking advantage of a constantlly awful mistakes on Australia's last line, and speed and cleverness from German attackers Lukas Podolsko, Miroslav Klose and Özil had Germany two goals ahead and closer to the third, than Australia from the discount. Germany's defense also proved solid, although mistakes, like the one in the first 3 minutes, when the Socceroos were close to opening the counter, might have painted a very different match.
If Australia didn't play better on the first half, it was because the German squad didn't gave them much chance, but the kangaroos came out to the field on the second half, determined to take some points away from this game. They applied pressure on the first minutes, and it was looking like they just might achieve something, when a refeering team, which had been working fine, booking two German divers, ruined their performance (and Australia's) when Mexican judge Marco Antonio Rodriguez (Chiquidracula) gave a direct red card to Tim Cahill, for a foul which deserved a yellow at most. After this, the Australian side broke down, and two goals came from Mueller and Cacau, but they could have been more.
Player of the Match: PLayer of the match award was granted to Polish-German attacker, Lukas Podolski, who opened the score for the Germans, but I would probably go for either Özil, or Thomas Müller, both them created chances, and while Thomas Müller did score, and was not booked, making him my decision.
pictures taken from Fifa.com and smh.com.au/photogallery
domingo, 13 de junio de 2010
Group G has been called the group of death, and much it comes from the fact that this group includes 5 times world champions Brazil, along with C.Ronaldo's Portugal and Drogba's Ivory Coast, however, the inclusion of almost unknwown North Korea, seems to lower the groups standards, making, in my opinion, Group D the most balanced of them all. Germany is the only clear favorite for taking the top position, but the second ticket to the eights can go to anyone.
Last World Cup qualifciation, Serbia (as Serbia & Montenegro) qualified to the finals, ahead of Spain, but ended up in the "group of death", and were the worst team, statistically of thw whole competition. This time, Serbia again qualified directly, ahead of a top team (France), and plan to have better results. Ghana on the other side, was the only African team to go past the group stage on Germany, only to be defeated by Brazil, in a 3-0 match which many believed, the African team deserved better. This year, the Africans have also been successful, winning the Under 20 FIFA World Cup, and losing the final of the African Cup against Egypt. So before this match started, it seem hard to point who the winner side might be.
The first half, again proved that most teams consider winning important, but "not losing" is top priority. Serbia and Ghana both practice different styles of play. Serbia playing a smart tactical game, with counter attacks, and waiting for the Ghanan mistake, while the African team seems to be driven more by impulses, and spark of genius from its players. Therefore, it was not surprised that at half time, there still were no goals, and not many of those were promised for the second half.
The game continued pretty much in the same way, and it could go for any of the two teams. Nikola Zigic and Dejan Stankovic struggled at the Serbian offensive, while Ghana was missing the boost generated by their Chelsea star Michael Essien. However the game lost its tightness when yet another stupid sending off, this time for Serbian player Lukovic, came to give Ghana an advantage. Two match days in, and substitutes are apparently claiming for more smart decisions from their coaches, since both Uruguayan Nicolas Lodeiro and Argelian GHessal, came from the bench, only to leave their teams with one player less. To this inefficient, and arguably harmful decisions, we should add that of Swiss born Zdravko Kuzmanovic came from the bench, only to concede the winning penalty to Ghana, by touching the ball with his hand on his own area.
Man of the Match: This time I will have to agree with fifa.com users, who chose goalscorer Asamoah Gyan as the man of the match. Not only did have the steel nerves to put the ball at the back of the net, but he was close of making the score 2-0 near the match ending.
Images from fifa.com and galleries.myjoyonline.com
I have the time, I have the words, and I've got the football knowledge, so there is really no reason why not to resume my writing in this blog, by including my "every" match analysis on the World Cup games. I have tried to watch as much minutes as possible, but due to a tight schedule on the first two days of the competition, this is just the second complete match I have seen.
By individual names, the game would make the traffic stop in any other than the playing countries, since none of them feature big star players on their line-ups, but after yesterday's "big ones" drew, this match meant a lot to whomever decided to win this game. It's true that this is just the first match of the group for both teams, but the losing side would have missed the chance to add points, something which seems harder on the upcoming fixtures against England and the USA. So, even though in theory, the game could incline on any side, none of the teams were taking much risks, and were planning on capitalizing on the opponent's error, something which just didn't happen, or was not taken full advantage of. The truth is that during the first half, I wasn't 100% into the game, preferring to grab a paper and test my memory, trying to remember the teams and groups of the last two world cups (France 98 proved to be a little too far behind), but also, the game didn't do much to grab my attention, so much, that I feared this would be another goalless match in this tournament.
Fortunately, when the game restarted after the break, both teams seemed to have realized that they needed to put more effort if they wished to place those valuable three points in their pockets. Argelia risked by making the first substitution of the game, when striker Ghezzal hit the field, and receiving a yellow card after a first few minutes in the game for grabbing a rival's shirt. HOwever, Ghezzal's substitution was proving to be a productive one, when he caused danger on the Slovenian area, unfortunately, after generating two dangerous plays, Ghezzal received a center which he would not connect, and tried to get the ball down with his arm. The player hit the floor and knew what was coming. Guatemalan referee Carlos Batres didn't back down and gave him his second yellow card.
Argelia, who were showing a better game, were left with one player less. On the next minutes, Slovenia's numerical advantage will begin to show, when they began having more ball possesion and more space where to move. Just before the match hitted the final ten minutes of full time, Slovenia's captain Robert Koren, saw a chance, shot and scored a goal, not much unlike Clint Dempsey's last night equalizer against England.
Excuses will come, and Jabulani, this tournament's official ball, will probably be targeted, but this not excuse, since the players should already be acquainted with the ball's performance differences (if any).
After the goal, Argelia knew what losing this match would mean for them, and decided to risk it all. Slovenia didn't completely back down, although they took their time whenever possible, but the game seemed to be on equal numbers again. GOal differntial might end up being important for Slovenia, but not enough to risk the 3 points which currently have them on the top position of Group C. However, I believe both Anglo speaking contries should have no problems of getting into the next round, with the US having a strong chance of ending up first.
Player of the Match: THe player chosen by the users of fifa.com was the Slovenian cpatain and goalscorer Robert Koren, but in my opinion, the best player was Karim Ziani, who seem to be all over the place, and battle 'til the last moments of the match, and who belong to the Argelian side, which in my opinion deserved a better result.
Images taken from fifa.com