Maybe this isn’t true – who knows, but supposedly the Tango (dance) was invented in the Quilombos (brothels) as the bored Johns waiting to take their turn, would playfully dance with each other, the early tango dance would be an exaggerated almost G-rated Knife Fight but with no knives, just a deep embrace choreographed in staccato movements which depended hugely on the dancers interlocking into the same rhythm. One depended on the other, the other could not move without the other… which brings us to today’s topic, el Clásico.
No, not Barcelona v Real Madrid… not Boca Juniors v River Plate… no… not even Nacional v Peñarol. The topic of the day is “El Clásico” between Argentina and Uruguay. Two national teams that for a while ONLY danced with each other until the world got bigger on them, and once that happened these two nations stopped needing each other. You could say they each decided to go their separate ways… they ghosted each other before the term “ghosted” was even invented. It was a mutual separation.
But every time these two sides play, we’re told to expect fireworks, so we watch. The best example is probably the highlight of the Tabárez garrá reboot i.e., the 2011 Copa America quarterfinal these two sides played and which Uruguay won on penalties. Four other matches ranging from OK to Abysmal have followed it.
October 12, 2012 – with Brazilian Referee Leandro Vauden deciding to only dish out yellow cards to Uruguay, Uruguay lost 3-0 to Argentina in a game which was decided in the second half when Messi decided to annihilate Uruguay for the fun of it.
October 15, 2013 – The return match played in Montevideo, saw Argentina field a weakened B-side which featured Maxi Rodriguez (now with Peñarol) as their only “star” player while Rodrigo Palacio and Erik Lamela completed the roster which DIDN’T feature Messi, Higuaín, Agüero, Mascherano or Di Maria, Uruguay eventually won 3-2 but Argentina had managed to draw 2-2.
June 15, 2015 – Argentina won 1-0 in Uruguay’s anemic defense of their 2011 Copa America title. While Tabárez preferred this defensive bottleneck, Uruguay’s lack of goals all throughout the 2015 Copa America signaled how much they missed Luis Suárez who was still serving a suspension for his bite on Chiellini in the 2014 World Cup.
September 1, 2016 – three years after their 3-0 win over Uruguay and in the same Stadium in Mendoza, Argentina with one man down defeated Uruguay 1-0 in a similar match to the Copa America borefest of 2015. Uruguay despite having Luis Suárez back in the lineup were unable to take advantage of the numeric superiority.
What Went Wrong?
Well for starters, for Uruguay, that special hatred they used to reserve for Argentina is now being given exclusively to Chile, while Argentina now considers the dead on arrival “Super-Clásico” with Brazil as their ONLY clásico (as per Humbertito Grondona, Julio Grondona’s asshole son). Just like the Tango is no longer the timeless art of seduction, maybe the Clásico has become irrelevant but entertaining or not, on August 31st… the dance continues!