Articles are by Ariel Mazzarelli unless otherwise noted. July 20, 1995 Uruguay-Colombia report July 21, 1995 Top ten reasons why the US didn't win Copa America (Colin Morris) July 24, 1995 Uruguay-Brasil Report July 24, 1995 The plot thickens July 24, 1995 Save the rainforest now July 29, 1995 Uruguay is winning too much ============================================= From: email@example.com (Ariel Mazzarelli) Subject: Uruguay-Colombia report Date: July 20, 1995 The object of the game is to score. There are secondary objectives, from controlling the ball to maiming the opponent, but always, we come back to that: You have to score a goal. This is what Colombia has been lacking for quite a while now, and tonight it meant the end of the tournament (3rd place game notwithstanding). Uruguay neutralized practically all Colombian attacks, and scored twice (out of several chances), guided primarily by El Principe Francescoli. Now here is a player. He can score with a free kick, make the deadly pasegol, muscle and dance his way through defenders and also steal the ball from them... his closest analogue (although they are different) is Stoichkov. He may well be the most complete player around nowadays. Whatever happened to him in Europe, it seems that a little water from the Rio de La Plata in his mate has brought him back to the level he once had. The first gol came in the second half, after five minutes. Francescoli takes the ball into the penalty area, on the left side, spins to and fro, and although he cannot completely lose his defender he creates enough space to make the simple pass into the center of the small area, where Otero is waiting. Otero proceeds to kill the ball into the net, but his foot misses it completely and the ball keeps rolling along. Along comes Adinolfi who very calmly takes a step and shoots it over the sprawling Higuita. The second was a surgical golazo. El Principe takes the ball about 20 meters outside the penalty area, on the left side, rotates half a turn and poink tips the ball between two defenders, past another marking Poyet. Poyet runs in second gear onto the ball, looking towards the area, and unhesitatingly lays a perfect pass, right on the penalty spot, hard enough to get there and not a newton more. Otero runs in, and face to face with El Loco he takes the waist-high shot and nails it into the opposite corner. The whole play took about 5 seconds, and demonstrated very clearly the difference between the two teams. Throughout the game, the fans were chanting all sorts of things, and the atmosphere was electric. The game had some rough patches, one of which was actually sort of amusing. Near the end of the first half, Higuita saves a very well-placed free kick against the post, and as he strolls to the ball, he decides to bring it out himself. Mind you, Uruguay had about 13 players near him at the moment. He dodges one guy, using his body to protect the ball, goes up about 25 meters from the endline, right at the sideline, with everybody either asking Que hace? or Bajenlo por irrespetuoso and as he tries to make a pass an Uruguayo reminds him that he is playing in Estadio Centenario and does a semiplancha into the shin. Of course this happened right in front of the Colombian bench, so in an instant there were about 300 people saying all sorts of things to each other. The replay showed that Higuita actually had that extra microsecond to get his weight off the kicked leg, and that the player from Uruguay actually went for the ball (as opposed to, say, the knee), so it was all part of the show. At the end of the game, however, they exchanged shirts and left the field far more amicably than what we have seen lately in Copa America. So Colombia is done playing for the Copa, and although they did not play particularly well (I would personally like to see them try an outstanding play once in a while, rather than perpetually keep the ball), it must be said that most of those players could have stayed home, rather than risk all that one risks nowadays when playing for this team. Alvarez, Higuita, Valderrama, Rincon, etc., all have healthy bank accounts as a fruit of their labors, and do not need to come to this tournament except for their professional and national pride. They could perhaps have played better, but no one can deny that they have real huevos. So the first finalist is determined, Uruguay. Can anyone beat them in such a situation? Hasn't happened in this century, and this is the last opportunity. ====================================== From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Colin Morris) Subject: Top ten reasons why the US didn't win Copa America Date: July 21, 1995 [semi-final: Brazil 1, USA 0] Well, I expected to be able to post this earlier in the week, so first congratulations to the USA for a great achievement in a competitive tournament. Top ten reasons why the US didn't win Copa America: 10. Players exhausted after tiring MLS season. 9. Where were the blue-cards, kickins and sixty-minute stop clock? 8. It was only on pay per view in the US so who cares? 7. The US and Parmalat Cups are more important tournaments. 6. Couldn't locate competing countries on world map. 5. Why should a country of 270m people be competitive with a country of 3m people? 4. Didn't want to upset Keith Olbermann by having the US actually win a competitive competition. 3. McDonalds franchises are thin on the ground in Uruguay. 2. Players don't speak Latin so couldn't understand refs. 1. US coach kept calling timeouts but referees took no notice. ============================================= From: email@example.com (Ariel Mazzarelli) Subject: Uruguay-Brasil Report Date: July 24, 1995 Brasil went to Montevideo today to do a very difficult thing. They went to defeat Uruguay in a final. It was tried in 1917, 1923, 1924, 1930, 1942, 1956, and 1967. Each time, the home team walked away with the trophy. In 1930 it was a World Cup, and the other years, it was Copa America. But today Brasil meant to do away with this tradition, and ease the sting of the Maracanazo of 1950. In that game, Brasil needed a draw to become World Champions. They met Uruguay, ended the first half 0-0, then scored in the second half to place nearly all 200,000 spectators in delirium. Obdulio Varela calmly picked up the ball, had a short chat with the referee and the linesmen, then led his team to the most famous result in futbol history, a 2-1 victory. Since this is the last major event that Uruguay will host in this century, there was a little history riding on this one. The game began in brilliant afternoon light. From the first moment, Uruguay pressed forward and obtained a corner kick. After a few minutes of imperfect pressure, Brasil began to turn back their attacks and began to control the ball. Six minutes into the game, the eternal question reared its head: Se van a cagar a patadas? Edmundo receives a long pass on the left side, near the penalty area, but Ebert Moas follows him closely and kicks viciously at the ball. Ball flies, Edmundo flies, Moas calmly takes the ball and drives upfield. After taking three steps he is met with tapones (both) from Roberto Carlos, which is a foul. Of course all this happens right in front of Zagalo, so soon a few words are exchanged, and Carlos gets a yellow card. The next 15 minutes were spent jockeying in the midfield, with the Brasilians flying in all sorts of directions, as though their bodies were filled with feathers, and the referee asking them to get up. Replays by and large agreed with the referee. Uruguay attempted to create some plays of the rapid and incisive type, which usually did not materialize as far as the opposing penalty area. Brasil attacked based on the occasional run by Juninho (which led nowhere), or by sending the long pass to Edmundo, who could do wonders when he obtained possession (three or four times in the first half). The rest was the quite predictable Carlos sending a hard kick in no particular direction (diagonal is the best I could ascertain) and to no particular player (his favorite seemed to be Moas). Uruguay found it pretty easy to run up the right side, since Carlos could only put on the type of pressure that earns yellow cards. On one such play, Mendez wins the ball from Edmundo and begins to run up the line. Seeing Carlos coming, he stops just short of the point of contact, rolls with the plancha and cushions his fall by placing his forearm on the back of Carlos' head. Carlos sends a Leonardo-style elbow that of course lands nowhere near the alert Mendez. The referee does not show Carlos his second yellow card and gives Uruguay the ball out of bounds. Shortly thereafter, Juninho tries to run up the middle and is solidly stripped of the ball; it comes to Gutierrez, who does an amazing thing. Running rather slowly (seems he's slow) and not very smoothly (seems he can look clumsy) he follows the example seen a few times earlier and leaves Dunga about five strides behind. 20 meters outside the penalty area, along the left side, he is clearly running out of breath but fakes an enganche and leaves another Brasilero spinning, and as Aldair cuts him off from entering the penalty area he does the enganche outwards instead and sends a lovely pass to Fonseca, who heads it low to the opposite post (as the textbook says) but not very hard (as the textbook hopes), so Taffarel scoops it up. The stadium vibrates with the chant Soy celeste Soy celeste Celeste yo soy Thirty minutes into the game, Brasil obtains a sideout on the left side, about 40 meters from gol. Pass comes to Juninho, who sees Edmundo cutting laterally and flicks it right to his chest. Edmundo makes a pared with Zinho with pechito and receives it well inside the penalty area. Unfortunately the ball lags behind and he makes a desperate stab at the ball, which floats towards the middle of the open gol as Tulio dashes in and hits it with his chest. The replay confirmed that he had not used his hand, and that he was onside by a haircut as well. Golazo. On that play, Tabare Silva is injured and is forced to leave the game, replaced by Adinolfi. Things did not look good for Uruguay at that point; would they have the resolve to come back? The vibrations increase, and the nervous Brasileros start hacking away. Carlos, then Dunga hack down two fouls within 15 seconds of each other, so Poyet wakes up, and as Uruguay takes its second free kick he attempts to receive a pass in the middle of the semicircle, then executes a swan dive (9.0) as Aldair touches him on the back. Free kick, Fonseca and Francescoli look at it and El Principe takes it with too much comba on the inside post. Brasil makes a couple of incisive plays, but they are both nullified by some rather absurd offsides. On one play, Carlos brings up the ball on the left side, the defense loses its bearings rather amateurishly, and as a consequence when the change of fronts is carried out there are three Brasileros all alone on the right side, Zinho in posession. He makes a lovely globito pass to Edmundo, who unfortunately was standing on the penalty spot, watching the game and offside by 10 meters. The amusing part was that Tulio was not only offside by 5 meters himself, but clamoring for the ball, raising his arm as though he was claiming offside. Even Tejada would have seen it. Near the end of the half, Edmundo finishes off an excellent 45 minutes by putting an embarrassing sombrero on Moas near the left sideline. Moas gets back up, dizzily runs back to Edmundo, and while the Brasilian starts doing a little dance he decisively kicks at the ball and the two vertical objects in the way. A yellow card was given on the play, adhering loosely to the newer code and overlooking the older one. Uruguay applied some more disorderly pressure and halftime was reached. A play that flashed by rather quickly involved a double globito between Francescoli and Fonseca, which did not end up as a scoring chance but looked very nice nonetheless. Uruguay makes two substitutions: out come Fonseca and Dorta, in go Bengoechea and Manteca Martinez. The pressure mounts and then a very interesting pared between Otero and Francescoli ends up with Aldair knocking Otero and free kick, 5 meters outside the penalty area, just left of center. Francescoli and Bengoechea look at it, and then a slight surprise for some as Bengoechea takes two steps and hops it over the wall and just inside the inside post. Golazo. It reminded me of a free kick that Bengoechea took during a Copa Libertadores match between River Plate and Wanderers, many years ago. Perhaps Zagalo had not seen that kick. The ground shakes all the way to L.A. Vamos vamos LA CELESTE Vamos vamos A GANAR Que esta barra QUILOMBERA NO TE DEJA NO TE DEJA DE ALENTAR Juninho yet again attempts to slalom down the middle and gets sandwiched between two skyblue shirts. While the teams settle themselves, a quick pass to Jorginho running down the right side, who looks up and places a perfect pass to Edmundo, who runs onto the ball and heads it just inside the internal post. Golazo, and the tv image disappears. After 15 seconds of some very serious cussing for many reasons, but principally for the score, the image comes back to a despondent Edmundo. Lo anulo?! Then the replay shows that Edmundo does everything properly, no offside, no handball... but what about that Brasilero that refuses to get onside, taking step after step towards the middle of the goal to stay ahead of the last defender? Why it's Brasil's version of Diego, Tulio. Excellent call by the referee, as an attacker that stands in the goalmouth is never "passive". Brasil is now completely disorganized, a bit run down, completely unaware of the offside rule and committing all sorts of fouls. Francescoli gets it from Sampaio, from Dunga, from Aldair. No more yellow cards for anybody, it seems, except to Juninho for throwing the ball at Adinolfi after a midfield scramble. Shortly afterwards Juninho is replaced by Beto, but he does nothing of note. Uruguay approaches the gol with some rather elementary plays, the most frequent being a long throw-in from the left side by Adinolfi. Every divided ball seems to go to Uruguay, and Brasil is gasping for air but responding schizophrenically to the notion of penales: the team seems to want them, but Taffarel moves the ball as though they were down a gol. On one of those disorganized plays, Francescoli attempts to control the ball near the semicircle when Sampaio deposits his cleats square on his testicles. No card, of course, but El Principe gets to take a free kick. Taffarel does not allow the dark spot between his legs to slow him down as he snatches the shot near the inside post. At 41', another approach by Uruguay ends up with Francescoli disputing a waist-high ball with Andre and receiving a kick in the teeth for it. As Dunga demands that they carry him off the field and continue the match with an extra man (Uruguay had made all 3 substitutions), the ref shows him the yellow card and watches as the stretchers carry out their duty. A quick run by Brasil up the left side ends up with Carlos receiving the ball quite alone and the central defenders begging for an offside. Things look bleak as Tulio and Edmundo are onside but Herrera snaps a rocket on his butt and reaches Carlos just outside the penalty area, casually clashing legs in midrun. A yellow card is issued and on the resulting free kick Carlos proceeds to once again do absolutely nothing worthwhile with it. Francescoli staggers onto the field and the referee signals the end of regulation time and on to the anxious penales. Francescoli stumbles up first, body cast and knee braces getting in the way of his crutches, but he hits it low to the right post. 1-0. Roberto Carlos runs up and hits it low and hard and right at the middle. Alvez does not quite manage to close his legs at the right moment. 1-1. Bengoechea is next. He takes nine casual steps and nails it inside the left post. Very nice. 2-1. Edmundo shoots it high and hard inside the right post. 2-2. Herrera shoots next, four quick steps and hard to the right post. Perfect. 3-2. And then comes Tulio. The crowd had been of course whistling each Brasilero that took a shot before, but for Tulio the whistling is choppy, as though somebody had cracked a joke. Tulio continues to provide the humour as he kicks it hard and right at Alvez. 3-2. Gutierrez takes a long uneven run and nails the ball exactly where Tulio kicked it, but of course Taffarel is elsewhere. 4-2. Dunga comes up next, his secure trot and a hard shot to the left post. 4-3. Manteca Martinez. The man that has missed so many goles for Boca. With trepidation he takes a long run, Taffarel dives to his left, Manteca shoots to his left as well, and the ball bounces around inside the net. A just result, for many reasons. Tulio is of course very prominent... but justice is done for Uruguay, a team that demonstrates yet again for those that refuse to be anything but incredulous that they are the best team in America. That is what the cup says: Campeon de America. Brasil leaves the twentieth century with that old score pending. Yet again, the little country to the south, whose entire population would fit in Rio, puts on the sky blue shirt and reminds them: Ustedes, aca, nunca, eh? With this result Uruguay draws even with Argentina in Copa America. The standings are now: Argentina and Uruguay 14, Brasil 4, Paraguay and Peru 2, Bolivia 1. ============================================= From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ariel Mazzarelli) Subject: The plot thickens Date: July 24, 1995 I see it so clearly now... the bribe for Tejada did not originate from Brasil. It was Uruguay! ============================================= From: email@example.com (Ariel Mazzarelli) Subject: Save the rainforest now Date: July 24, 1995 Please, something must be done, or within a few years the Amazon rainforest will be completely defoliated. Let us agree that Brasil will win everything from now on, for there are not enough trees in the world for all the kleenex being used up right now. There used to be only 60 million Brasileros once, that we could handle. Now there are 150 million, and for some strange reason they expect the yellow shirt to win when it plays. One could blame their media, that tells them that a bribe is even better than a gol, but the fact remains that even when faced with the truth time and time again over the whole twentieth century, they still cannot recognize the fact that Uruguay is a superior team. Who knows how many there will be in 10 years, in 20... there could be a billion by the year 2050, and they will still be waiting to win Copa America away from home. Hence, I ask you to please sign the following petition, if you are a fan of an American team other than Brasil. ---------- Dear futbol federations, We hereby declare Copa America to be a totally unimportant tournament, which we do not care about at all. Please do not send our best players there, allow them to play out their crucial matches in their leagues, specially the one in Japan. We promise that we will not hold it against you if you fail to win the Copa, even if we are the hosts. We promise to write many letters and posts on electronic forums throughout the whole world exonerating you from any blame, and placing full credit on the brilliant and very bonito play of the champion. Please help us, the rainforest needs our attention now more than ever. Sincerely, Ariel Mazzarelli (Argentina) ============================================= From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ariel Mazzarelli) Subject: Uruguay is winning too much Date: July 29, 1995 Statistically speaking, one would think that Uruguay is the most influential country in FIFA. One might even suspect corruption. Consider the well-known proposition that futbol strength should be proportional to population size. Of course it is bullshit, but toy with the concept for a moment. Uruguay has won 2 world cups and 14 copa americas. If Argentina wanted to keep up with that, it would be 20 and 140. Brasil, 100 and 700 (now that is funny). Italia, Germany, England, 40 and 280. So this proves, by contradiction, that the proposition is false. It remains an amazing fact. It has often been suggested here that Brasil, because of its size, and the quality of its futbol, could put together four world-class selecaos. Personally, I would be more impressed if they could put together just one that would be favored against Uruguay in a home-and-away series, with the second game in Montevideo. Well at least Brasil has the excuse that its playing style is at a disadvantage with respect to Uruguay. Argentina has NO excuse. Uruguay is like a midsize province, and culturally there are so many similarities, that there is no excuse for the fact that Uruguay has won as many of the important trophies as Argentina. Of course Uruguay cheated by playing in that filthy 1950 cup and winning it easily since Argentina was not there. Nonetheless, after 80 years of going at it they are tied. As a palliative, one is tempted to simply add the results of the two countries and use it as a statement about the playing strength of a futbol culture. With about two thirds of the population of each of those European countries mentioned earlier, or one third that of Brasil, these two Rioplatenses win four world cups (thanx fifa) and twenty eight copa americas (hijos nuestros). Oh, that subject line? I don't like the way that the 1930 final went.