Javier Mascherano

Luke Dempsey's Best and Worst
July 07, 2010

Best Uniform: Uruguay, for the insouciant way they wore their collars. No two players agreed -- should it be up, a la Eric Cantona; non-existent, a la Brazil, or all messed up? All messed up seemed to dominate. Worst individual performance: Ricardo Clark, USA. Phew, he was dreadful. Substituted after half an hour against Ghana? That's a starting pitcher giving up 8 runs in the top of the first. On two grand slams. No one out. In the post-season. Least enjoyable game: England vs. Algeria. Did anything at all actually happen?

Argentina: Still Bipolar
July 03, 2010

A contribution from Vinod Sreeharsha, an American freelance journalist who has written about Latin America for McClatchy News, the Miami Herald, and the New York Times. BUENOS AIRES—The ups and downs of the past 24 hours here have been brutal, saddening, and well, very Argentine. The knives will likely come out now for Diego Maradona as quickly as the flurry of mea culpas came in during the days leading up to today's match with Germany.

Is Maradona's Madness Working?
June 29, 2010

As the World Cup began, Diego Maradona was a figure of absurdity and fun—a perverse and lunatic figure, his ego as bloated as his abdomen. On the sidelines, bearded and animated as he was during his days of cocaine and Castro, he wore two huge wristwatches at once. He forced his hotel to rebuild his suite to include a bidet. He had lost, in qualifying, to Bolivia, and favored an absurd strategy that committed everything to attack, a sugared-up video game kind of football.