Gilson Jorge, from Buenos Aires
The next Tuesday, September 7, is a holiday in Brazil, celebrating that date their independence from Portugal, which took pl,ace in 1822. For just that day, the Brazilian national basketball team will face its greatest South American rival by the octaves in the world championship in Turkey.
The Argentine Rubén Magnano, who coaches Brazil, will not have many options. If he beats his homeland’s team will be cursed by his countrymen and also run for national hero in Brazil. In case of defeat he will surely hear Brazilians saying “I knew it would not work to have an Argentine coach…”
Of course, basketball is far from having the same importance that soccer has in the samba’s country. But as is said on Brazilian soil, beating Argentina’s good in any dispute, even in computer games. For Magnano, the main figure on the clash of Tuesday, will be a difficult day.
Proud of national symbols, like almost all argentine, the coach gave a statement to the traditional newspaper La Nación, from Buenos Aires, claiming that this is a challenge he would not want to deal with. By the side of Brazil, some internet users have been commenting in websites they would prefer to cheer on the United States than by an Argentine, though he is ahead of the national team.
Magnano has expressed its commitment to lead Brazil to victory against his country, even if from his seat he burst out crying, listening some tangos. Defending the colors of the flag is almost an obsession among Argentine, while many Brazilian soccer players, for example, do not hesitate to wear another country’s uniform in World Cups.
Messi, who never played professionally in an Argentine club, chose to defend his country to naturalize himself Spaniard. This does not prevent him from being questioned at home by having a lower performance in the selection, comparing to the Barcelona’s ones.
Yes, there are other cases where a Brazilian’s neighbor played for or coached a foreign national team. In the last World Cup besides Maradona’s Argentina, Paraguay and Mexico had coaches that were born in the River Plate’s Basin. But when Mexico faced Argentina by the octaves, Maradona called his fellow countrymen Javier Aguirre a traitor. Let’s see how they treat poor Magnano in Argentina and in Brazil from the next Tuesday.