It’s Time for Argentines to Get Behind Their Team

The Albiceleste won all three first round games, but that hasn’t kept its demanding supporters from complaining. From one Che to another: Shut up and enjoy the team!

As Argentina readies for its second-round game against Switzerland, its fans are getting, well, tense. Is Argentina playing to its full potential? No, it is not. Is it the worst team at the World Cup? No, far from it. Yes, many of us have been frustrated by the performance of our team at this World Cup, despite its perfect record in the first round. Alejandro Sabella’s men have been static and even boring at times with neither Sergio Aguero nor Gonzalo Higuaín up to their usual standards.

As a long-time fan, I can’t pretend all is well because it’s not. described Argentina’s game against Iran as “one of the worst in history.” Lionel Messi was a “lone adventurer, disconnected and static,” and “hostage to a team with no contingency plan.”

Maybe it was nothing more than pre-World Cup delusion, I expected the team to play much better than this. Where are Pablo Zabaleta’s threatening runs that open up the right side like he does for Manchester City? Where’s the Angel Di Maria who is not only flashy but also precise in his decision making? Where are the pinpoint crosses he executes perfectly for Real Madrid?

But enough! Enough with the negativity. We are allowed to voice our frustration—even Lionel Messi’s grandfather has done it—but we are also here to support our team. We did top our group, and Lionel Messi does have four goals. There are problems, but every team has them. It is our passion that gets us so worked up about our Seleccion, but I think that if we took that passion and put all the good energy to cheer on our team then maybe it could change what happens in Brazil. I’m talking to you people on Facebook and the Twitter-sphere. Like you, I’m also guilty of the “C’mon Messi…!” with the subsequent, “I’m so sorry Leo, you are amazing,” post after he shuts us up with an amazing goal in classic Leo style.

I’m talking to you people gathered at home or at a bar watching the game arguing about who sucked the most. And I am also talking to you fans in the stadium lucky to watch our boys live. Enough of the gloom and doom. Stop the heavy whistling and the “el que no salta es un Ingles”—“the one not jumping is a Brit”—chant that’s not even relevant anymore.

How about we start flooding the web with support? How about we chant for 90 minutes straight? Whatever happened to “en las buenas y en las malas” (through the good times and bad times”)? It’s the knockout stage now, the real World Cup has started. People: wake up! We’ve all waited a long time for this. There’s only one thing our guys need from us right now, and that is our support, so let’s give it to them. They’ve already got the journalists for criticism. For Argentina’s remaining days in this World Cup, I pledge that I will only cheer and celebrate the team that has always given me so much joy. We’re lucky to call La Albiceleste our team. No more negativity. There’s still hope of a third star on our jersey.