spinachdip's guide to the 2006 World Cup: Argentina vs Germany
Friday, June 30
Germany vs Argentina (11 am ET ESPN/Univision)
Michael Ballack is Adam Sandler, Hernan Crespo is Paris Hilton
Michael Ballack/Adam Sandler isn't the most graceful of players, but he gets the job done. And he's been a winner pretty much everywhere he's gone. Sure, Ballack/Sandler resorts to cheap means to get to the championship/#1 in the box office, like playing for the club that can outspend the rest of Germany or remaking The Longest Yard, but you can't deny the talent or the resume. Last week, Sandler rode a weak ass formula - a remote control! that stops other people! - and got himself a #1 hit. So far, Ballack has led the weakest German team in memory and is in a prime position to win the ultimate prize. But they'll have to get past....
Hernan Crespo/Paris Hilton and the Argies. I don't think much of either Crespo or Paris. They're both kinda goofy looking but surprisingly effective. Crespo has gotten by just showing enough, and his club, Chelsea won the championship without him doing fuck all. Paris's claim to fame? Being a spoiled rich girl and that sex video where she just laid there getting fucked (albeit the night vision thing was groundbreaking at the time). But the more you watch them, the more they grow on you. Argentina has played some pretty soccer and just ground out a gritty victory against Mexico in the Round of 16 (Maxi!!!!). Meanwhile, Paris has a single out that's surprisingly infectious. So what if it sounds like scraps off Gwen's Love Angel Music Baby? It's fucking summer - you put out a reggae-tinged pop song, computer-process the fuck out of your voice, it's going to be a hit. While I still wouldn't touch Paris with a 10 foot dildo, I have to appreciate her ability to self-promote and to be in the right place at the right time (her dancing is horrendous, howevs). Likewise, while I'll never be a fan of Crespo, I have to recognize his nose for the goal.
As a fan who got his soccer education in England, I am obligated to hate both the greasy diving Argies and the boring brutish Krauts. But I catch myself liking both of them, Argentina for its quality football displayed over the last 2 weeks and Germany for taking advantage of the opportunities at hand. But I'll take quality over gritty here, and go with Argentina. As solid as the German defense has been, they haven't faced the likes of Argentina. Riquelme will keep the German midfield busy and even if the German defense can contain Crespo and Saviola, the South Americans have Tevez and Messi waiting in the wings. And more importantly, the backline will provide, if you will, protection from zee Germans, who have thus far feasted on lesser defenses.
Fearless prediction: Argentina 2 - 1 Germany