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OPINION AND ANALYSIS | 02-08-2023 18:20

I’m also uncomfortable about Messi in Miami

We’re no longer sleeping with the enemy, we are the enemy.

Last Sunday, in PERFIL, columnist Damián Tabarovsky in his both usual and impeccable column, this time entitled 'What I dislike about Messi in Miami,' described the decadent way that identifies the Argentine player these days.

As we are used to, the columnist did it in an obviously critical yet elegant tone, disguising any grotesque terms the situation warrants with sharp reflections, even casting doubt on his “supposed” doubts to express what even words seem to refuse to define. Right, because it is not easy to define ourselves.

Despite everything, Tabarovsky did it and without wasting any words, by using, of course, Lionel Messi merely as a hook for something deeper in a society which every day changes and which, at least viewed from today, cannot conceivably wipe itself off such a polluted attitude: superbly trivial, insecure and aggressive, profoundly frivolous, unseemly and loud, intolerant, from lost generations, unhinged and bipolar, with a gap that is not just political.

Yet what is truly worth reading and interesting are the comments of readers who want to burn Tabarovsky to a crisp at the same stake as Joan of Arc in Rouen nearly half a millennium ago. His revelation should wake us up, make us reflect, self-examine, or at least weigh what was read impartially, rather than organise a verbal championship of poisoned darts agains the person who dared utter such a truth. Every comment, without exception, reminded me of the submersible “Titan”: a rescue is not possible. The national digital footprint, popular and rash in these phrases could be laughable or make you cry, the choice is yours. But it is still dramatic. Better yet, tragic.

Reading these comments at the foot of the article, which scholars call “trash talk”, means more than understanding why Messi chose Miami, that colourful Latin American dive which so blinds the (futile) Argentine culture, to retire from football without telling his blinded fans that he has already retired.

A warning is what in so few, subtle and educational words Tabarovsky offered us without charging a ticket or offending anyone, least of all Messi, but as well put by Jean de la Fontaine, a French poet from the 17thcentury: “All the brains in the world are powerless against the sort of stupidity that is in fashion”. And Messi is in fashion, even more than Miami and what Miami represents to Argentines.

“Resentful” is the adjective more used to label Mr Tabarovsky. If so, by calling him that they only confirm his hypothesis. He was respectful, and even warned that his opinion was not about a private matter, the player’s family life or his decision, but was rather trying to “think beyond”. That “beyond” is for the Argentine people. Is that perhaps what hurt rather than any reference to Messi?

Maybe, because when he mentioned the word “ideology” in his text, he was suspected of being a “Macrist” and I ask you: can anyone outside his fermented sphere be “pro Macri” after his horrible administration? They also think he is a Kirchnerist and once again I ask: can anyone who is not subsidised be a Kirchnerist after their terrible terms of office?

Tabarovsky, as though inviting us to look in the mirror of the sport idol, barely said that “Messi in Miami says something about the atmosphere of our times” and the response to his articles expressed much more of that rancid atmosphere which, like the actual atmosphere, is near melting in the social poles of logic and ready to flood us with an irretrievable void. But let us not “kill the messenger”. We’re no longer sleeping with the enemy, we are the enemy.

By the way, I’m also uncomfortable about Messi in Miami.

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Edgardo Martolio

Edgardo Martolio


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