Millennium Post

The empire learns to rock and score

If the team makeup of most of the battling teams in FIFA World Cup 2014 is anything to go by, globalization and international migration have triumphed over narrow nationalistic lines. Most teams have black and coloured players, either from non-European countries or ethnic minority citizens of Western nations. But since the sporting passions pouring into the mid-summer soccer fields of Brazil happen to be divided along strong anti-colonial axes, a palpable cheer is spreading amongst those who see the World Cup as a great planetary force of asserting identities, old and new. With the former colonies and less developed nations making spectacular splashes this football season, the madness has taken a definite political turn. Chile drowned the Spanish armada. Brazil ran into Mexican wall as Guillermo Ochoa, the Mexican goalkeeper, proved better than a condom in blocking strikes. Uruguay smashed England and Cost Rica defeated Italy. Ghana held mighty Germany in check despite Miroslav Klose equaling Cristiano Ronaldo’s record 15 goals in the World Cup. Even a resurgent Iran put up a brilliant fight against the feisty Argentina, though the latter scored a goal past the 90th minute.

    It seems at this point the world cup is a downside up tale of inverted glories, of vengeance long and hot, old scores that are more than just the present match, just the ephemeral sea of soccer trivia and facts and figures that keep football buffs awake all night to gobble up every move, wrong or miraculous. Whether it’s Suerez’s headbutt or Ochoa’s ample hands, the body of the football player encompasses the body politick of the game, in terms of its history, the compilation of a successful national team, and qualifying for this gladiatorial contest. It was said that the heart of Rome was not in the marble of the senate but in the sand of the coliseum. The national teams are mixed bags and baskets that have been filled from a churning mart of global migration. But the fervour, the flavour and the bloodlust still remain along linguistic and nationalistic lines – a throwback to the last century.     
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