When your Arch-Rival Reaches the World Cup Finals

You may have noticed my focus on Latin America, South America in particular. This started twenty years ago when we lived in Santiago, Chile for a year. The economic and sports rivalry between Chile and Argentina was palpable. (En español más adelante) In the past, Argentinians visited Santiago, asked the price for shoes for example, and said “That cheap? I’ll buy two pairs.”

Hard working Chileans did not appreciate that view too much. However, 2002 was not kind financially to Argentina; runaway inflation, runs on the banks, banks freezing all accounts. In revenge, Chileans thought about visiting Buenos Aires and talking loudly about bargains. The rivalry continues.

In sports, Argentina has a strong soccer/fútbol history. They have won the Copa América 15 times since 1916 (so has Uruguay). Delightfully, from their western neighbor’s point of view they lost to Chile in 2015 and 2016 in penalty shoot outs. Chile was number one in 2015 and 2016. Argentina was the champion again in 2021.

On the Soccer World Cup scene, Argentina has won twice in 1978 and 1986. Maximum third place win for Chile (1962) and for the United States (1930) in the World Cup football.

France has won the competition twice, in 1998 and 2018, so they are evenly matched with Argentina. May the best team win. Sunday, 6 pm Qatar Time, 4 pm Madrid, 9 am Chicago. Will the Chileans be cheering loudly for France, or hoping that “one of their own;” a South American team will win?

Have you watched the World Cup? All or none of the games?

¡Olé! –Rebecca

Thanks to the FIFA World Cup site for the stats.

Soccer! Photo: Rebecca Cuningham

Cuando el rival llega a los finales de la copa mundial

Es posible que hayan notado mi enfoque en América Latina, Súdamerica en particular. Empezó hace veinte años cuando vivimos en Santiago de Chile por un año. La rivalidad económica y deportiva entre Chile y Argentina era palpable. En el pasado, unos argentinos visitaron a la ciudad de Santiago, consultaron un precio, por un par de zapatos por ejemplo. Al recibir la respuesta, dijeron “Tan barato. Dáme dos pares…”

Los trabajadores chilenos no estuvieron felices con estos intercambios. Pero, en cambio el año 2002, no era buena financialmente para los argentinos; inflación fuera de control, colas para sacar dinero de los bancos, bancos cerrados por impedir la frenesí. Los chilenos pensaron en tomar su vengaza, visitar a Buenos Aires hablando en voces muy altas de las gangas.

En los deportes, Argentina tiene una historia larga de dominar el fútbol. Ganaron la Copa América 15 veces desde 1916 (tal como Uruguay). Felizmente por el punto de vista de su vecino al oeste, perdieron a Chile en 2015 y 2016 en tiros penales. Chile era el número uno en fútbol en 2015 y 2016. Argentina era el campeon de nuevo en 2021.

En la Copa Mundial, Argentina ganó dos veces, en 1978 y 1986. Pero, tercer lugar es lo máximo que han alcanzado Chile (1962) y los Estados Unidos (1930) en la Copa Mundial.

La Francia ganó la competencia dos veces, en 1998 y 2018, así están en par con la Argentina. Será un partido interesante. Entre Argentina y Francia, qué gane el mejor equipo el domingo 6 pm Qatar, 4 pm Madrid, 9 am Chicago. ¿Los chilenos estarán gritando por Francia, o mejor que gane “uno de los suyos”, un equipo sudamericano?

¿Miraste los partidos de la Copa Mundial este mes?¿Todos o ninguno?

¡Olé! –Rebecca

Rebecca Cuningham

30 thoughts on “When your Arch-Rival Reaches the World Cup Finals

  1. Normally, I watch the World Cup, fill in the score sheets religiously, put up decoration. This one, though, I boycotted. Mind you, quite an easy decision, since my birth country never made it out of the group stages and my adopted home country never qualified in the first place. I’m not sure I would have been quite so steadfast, if either Germany or Scotland played in the Final!!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s the fact Qatar got the World Cup through bribery, then built the stadia by exploiting their workforce in unspeakable conditions, hundreds of them died, let alone Qatar’s treatment of the LGBT+ community…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I actually haven’t been watching the World Cup, although I’ve been vicariously following the results along on social media. And having just gone to Argentina this past month, it’s really cool to see the country advance onto the finals! Not only that, but also France, where I spent a notable amount of time there in my twenties! We’ll have to see who comes out on top!

    Liked by 1 person

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