Saturday, June 28, 2008

3er. MUNDIALITO de Futbol

La Quinta Magazine hosted the 3rd annual Little World Futbol Tournament at Mamitas Beach this last weekend June 21st and 22nd, under beautiful blue skies and next to an even more beautiful blue Caribbean Sea.

A total of 16 countries signed up for the weekend event. Teams were present from Uruguay, Italy, Israel, Mexico, USA, Holland, France, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, England, Canada, Switzerland, Cuba, Germany and Chile.

The teams were made up of primarily people who are all living here in Playa. Most but not all of them played on the team of their national origin. I saw lots of familiar faces on many of the teams and I never realized how good these people that I pass on the street each day, really are at futbol. I also did not realize how seriously most of them take the game. Soccer or futbol as it is called here, is a really big deal in most of the world except the US and in Playa it is no different. Several of these matches nearly came to blows. Cursing, spitting and kicking sand were the norm in many of the matches. Uruguay, Italy and Argentina in particular all brought far too much testosterone to the beach. My Spanish and Italian vocabulary of filthy names quadrupled over the weekend. I can’t wait to use them. I don’t think I’ll try them on any of the people I learned them from however.

Team USA made a respectable showing but was never a threat. To anyone. They played hard and deserve credit for even going out on the sand but alas they were doomed from the get go. With three consecutive losses to Israel, Argentina and England, the USA was eliminated without scoring a single goal. I’m sure they’ll regroup for next year and do much better.

I hope Argentina and Uruguay enter the tournament again next year. Not because I want to see them play but because their female rooting sections had some of the best looking and scantily clad South American beauties to be found. Some of the players had a difficult time keeping their minds and eyes focused on the game. I even found myself distracted once.

Team France had some pretty good players and one excellent one but the one match I watched between them and Uruguay turned into a rout after a 1 to 1 tie part way through the second period turned into a 7 to 1 loss after the French goalie completely crumbled. By the time the match was finished so was he.

Team Canada had a young lady on their team who actually played very well. I think the really hard core teams had a hard time deciding how to handle her or maybe I should say not handle her. She was the only one who did not seem to be bumped, tripped grabbed and kicked. Even the mangler’s from Uruguay and Argentina cut her some slack.

Although I didn’t see the final match for the local championship, I understand it was played between Italy and Israel with the Italians coming out on top here in Playa only to find the true Italian national team was eliminated at about the same time by Spain in the Euro 2008 competition in Germany.

All in all it was a great two days of fun for the locals with wonderful weather both days. I’m sure next year will bring even more teams to the beach.

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