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The beautiful game
November 25th, 2022
Everything is history, even this strange World Cup 2022. Let's see. It's a football (soccer, they say in North America) tournament in a country with no tradition in that sport. FIFA is considering sanctioning the Mexican national team —with good reason— because its fans shout homophobic insults. Still, that same organization agrees to hold the World Cup in a homophobic country, which violates human rights, which has built its stadiums at a very high cost: around six thousand dead migrant workers.
Players from democratic countries remain silent in the face of petro-state tyrannies, while players from Iran publicly protest against the repression in their country. The English players are risking money if they wear the colors of the rainbow, so they refrain from doing so; Iranians risk their lives, and they do.
Argentina began participating in the World Cup, losing against Saudi Arabia, another criminal country without a football tradition. Canada is playing very well. Powerful Germany fell to humbly Japan and the striker with the most goals is Enner Valencia, until now. Thousands of white Ecuadorians support their national team, almost exclusively of Afro-descendants.
In this soccer World Cup, there are three Athletic de Bilbao players, that is, Basques. They play for two different national teams: Spain and Ghana. Two of them are brothers: one wears La Roja, the other the white shirt of the African country. The most outstanding English scorer until now is called Bukayo Saka, and the one from the Netherlands is called Gakpo. The best player on the Swiss national team is called Xherdan Shaqiri.
All these contradictions generate different reactions in me. On the one hand, I dislike hypocrisy; I detest those tyrannical governments. On the other, I love diversity; I enjoy watching this sport in which the origin of the players does not matter. I greatly enjoy seeing the smile of players like Gabriel Jesus. How not to marvel at the beautiful goal by Richarlison, that boy from the favelas, who now inspires many other boys and girls from the slums around the world.
I like that they dream, have fun and continue to do magic with their feet.