Monday, October 18, 2010

Chile played miserably, to the delight of Eastern European propaganda machine. The vile injustice of both military junta and FIFA was ‘unmasked’. Of course, such a team did not deserve to be at the finals – shame on Pinochet and shame on FIFA for robbing righteous Soviets from well deserved spot at the World Cup. In the west there was also delight – the team of the junta was gone. Political arguments obscured football entirely. To be sure, the Chielans were psychologically affected by the events at home. To a certain point they underperformed.
They lost their opening match 0-1 to West Germany, which was expected. Chile did not play strongly, but the news really were underperforming Germans.
Beckenbauer looks either overconfident or puzzled. Apart from sporting brand new Adidas kit, Chile impressed no one – Germans did, by disappointing fans and observers.
The second match was no better – a 1-1 tie against the East Germans, in a match best described as unmemorable.
Ahumada equalizes, Watzlich and Croy watch… and may be think what their Communist masters would say after the game. As for the Chileans, it is hard to tell. Theoretically, the odds were still in their favour: last match with Australia and East Germany facing West German giants. But Chile finished on particularly low key – 0-0 tie with the Aussies. As a whole, terrible performance. Yet, nobody really judged them by their miserable football… in fact, Chile was part of the whole misery of South American teams in 1974. They played outdated, sluggish football, light years behind the inovative total football. Politics aside, the truth was South Americans were lagging behind Europe and the Chileans, been traditinally weaker and less talented South American team, painfully exposed the troubles of the continental football. They finished third in the group and were out. One of the least memorable teams of the tournament. There was a bit of pity in all that: nobody noticed Elias Figueroa in 1974. True, he had unremarkable tournament, but still there was injustice – so much was the preocupation with politics, that this player was hardly mentioned and he remains largely unknown outside South Americe. Over there he was considered the best central defenseman in the world! May be not entirely objective view – after all, better than Beckenbauer? – but he is non-entity in Europe. Perhaps because he never played in Europe…and Chile played bland, faceless, boring brand of football. At the end, the team ended third in Group 1 and was out. Forget about politics: the early exit of the Chileans was no great loss of football.