March 13, 2013

Pope Francis: A Lionel Messi halo effect?

I read in Grantland yesterday:
There was even a rumor making the rounds Tuesday afternoon that the cardinals in Rome trying to elect a pope conveniently called it a day a half-hour before the Barcelona-Milan game so they could catch the broadcast. 

Barcelona's great Italian-Argentine leader Lionel Messi broke out of a minor slump to score two goals to lead Barcelona to a 4-0 win over Silvio Berlusconi's AC Milan.

Today, it was announced that the conclave had elected an Italian-Argentine cardinal, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, to be the new Pope.

Coincidence?

Viewed in the crass terms of ethnic politics, this pick looks like a two-fer: satisfying the rising Hispanic tidal wave etc., while also letting the Italians get back the Papacy, which they held for about a half-millennium up until the Polish Pope.

75 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://s0.jrnl.ie/media/2013/03/diego-1-2-296x365.jpg

The Hand of God approves.

Anonymous said...

60% of Argentines have at least one italian grandparent according to the Italian embassador, there is no concept of italian-argentine in Argentina because they are pretty much the regular people, not a minority.


This new pope satisfies both those who wanted a latin american pope and those who wanted an italian pope, Bergoglio is both things at the same time.
Ginobili is also an ethnic italian.

But I imagine there were other reasons for choosing him related to the vatileaks scandal and the secret report only the new Pope is allowed to see.

Anonymous said...

I don't know. They said Bergoglio was the runner-up in the last conclave where Ratzinger was elected.

Anonymous said...

All the news stories spend 90% of the time praising the new pope for being sort of an honorary Hispanic, and then get around to saying he is wrong on gay marriage and abortion. I wish they'd say what kind of leader and thinker he is.

Anonymous said...

He won't be viewed as Italian He will be viewed as a mestizo Mexican. Most Americans don't distinguish between different types of Hispanics or Mexicans.

I'll bet all these Mexicans now will identify with him and say he is one of us. It will be even harder to kick the out of here now.

According to a link on Lion's sight, most Argentinians are mestizo, even though the pope isn't. I thought Argentina was 85% white, but I guess not.

As if most South Americans pay any attention to religion. They give the sign of the cross when they step out on the soccer field, but that is about as much thought as they give it.

JayMan said...

You said exactly the same thing I did about the ethnic qualities of this choice for Pope.

Mitchell Powell said...

And then there's the Maduro hypothesis. (Chavez went to Jesus and talked him into a Latin American pope.)

Anonymous said...

as a point of style, he can't be francis I until there is a francis II, in which case he will retroactively be "I". Before that, he is just "francis"

feel free not to publish this, think of it as a typo-correction

Anonymous said...

I'm from Argentina and here we don't have anymore that concept of Italian-Argentine since, at least, the 1930s.
Our cultural development have erased the divisions among White people. We are Spaniards, Italians, Frenchs, Greeks, Germans, Croatians, etc. and we are before of all Argentinians.
Of course there are many people who says "I'm from Sicily" or "I'm from the Basque Country" but that's just a personal stand, it has no social nor State recognition or relevance. The ethnic stereotypes about White Argentinians have desappeared. The ethnic slur also has lost its strenght.
So Bergoglio, or Messi, or Maradona aren't Italians at all, they are pure Argentinians.

Anonymous said...

I happen to be an Italian Protestant; I have mixed feelings about all this.

(Just kidding. I don't give a crap.)

Anonymous said...

Steve,

As soon as I heard the Pope was from Argentina, I knew he'd be as white as me, and I knew you'd put two and two together. I am dying here watching the news media describe him as the first 'non-European,' or the first 'Latino'. I even saw some activists praising this choice.

This guy should be a prime candidate for you to use the next time you update your post on Hispanic Hispanics versus White Hispanics.

middle aged vet said...

I really liked John Paul II and am morally certain he was a better person than me but it is clear to just about everyone that one of his biggest faults was his excessive love of, not of Poland, which, like every decent country on the earth, no human with allegiance to it could love enough, but his excessive love of his own view of Polishness. I sincerely (or hopefully)doubt that the current Pope, a witness of the serial foolishness from Peron to the sad secular "Kirshchners" , and a very old man (a couple decades older than JPII on his election), and a man who, unless he is lying about his faith, lives more in the country of the Lord than the country of soccer patriots,
wouls like to be seen to any non-trivial degree as an important "first pope" in any national, linguistic, or ethnic category.
I.e., Steve, your post, while interesting, focuses on one of the least important parts of the story.

irishman said...

The most significant thing about his election is not that he is Argentinian or Italian but that he is a Jesuit. Once they're in control they'll never let go. The Catholic church will now move hard to the left.

Anonymous said...

I thought the same thing, Argentina is practically a Semi-Italy, the closest thing there is to a former Italian colony in the New World. My wife who is fluent in Spanish has told me that when Argentines speak Spanish they sound like Italians who are speaking Spanish as a second language. They in effect speak Spanish with an Italian like accent and cadence, which is slower than how traditional Spanish is spoken, which is much faster.

Luke Lea said...

Is Messi considered the greatest soccer player who ever lived?

David said...

Please put all these up for comparison:

1. mug shot of an hispanic criminal whom every official calls "white"

2. photo of a white do-gooder whom everyone officially calls "hispanic"

3. photo of white Pope Francis, also called "hispanic"

4. photo of George Zimmerman, this century's classic "white hispanic"

It's enough to make Tom ("Back to Blood") Wolfe chuckle.

Everyone wants to be hispanic, until his hand is caught in the tarro. Then he's "white."

RmanCandle said...

@LukeLea

No, not yet anyway, although he's far and away the best player of his generation, and the best overall since Zinedine Zidane, the French-Algerian midfielder whose career ended with an out-of-character headbutt in the 2006 World Cup Final. When it's all said and done, I think he'll be considered better than Zidane.

But the general consensus of greatest of all time is usually Pele, the black Brazilian. But about one in five soccer experts prefer Diego Maradona, another Argentine.

Anonymous said...

Scam City Buenos Aires:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIEuptPrfxI

Anonymous said...

"I'm from Argentina and here we don't have anymore that concept of Italian-Argentine since, at least, the 1930s.
Our cultural development have erased the divisions among White people. We are Spaniards, Italians, Frenchs, Greeks, Germans, Croatians, etc. and we are before of all Argentinians.
Of course there are many people who says "I'm from Sicily" or "I'm from the Basque Country" but that's just a personal stand, it has no social nor State recognition or relevance. The ethnic stereotypes about White Argentinians have desappeared. The ethnic slur also has lost its strenght.
So Bergoglio, or Messi, or Maradona aren't Italians at all, they are pure Argentinians. "


I lived in Argentina for a year and this is total bullshit. It's a failed country where most white people identify as Italian if they have some Italian grandparents or even great-grandparents. Argentinian identity is very weak, and I have a feeling most Argentines of European ancestry would like to return to their homelands. They certainly haven't blended into a "white" Argentinian identity.

Please don't lie, this South American nationalism crap is so tedious; I've seen so many young Argentines, third and fourth generation, identify as Italian, etc.

It is sad (and unjust) that when they go to Italy or Spain the people there don't agree, many have big disappointments about this.

Anonymous said...

Diego Maradona is part-Indio isn't he? He looks part-Indio and has that squat native Andean build.

Anonymous said...

So, Dorner was wrong?

Matra said...

When it's all said and done, I think he'll be considered better than Zidane.

He's been considered better than Zidane for a number of years now by virtually everyone outside of Algeria and, perhaps, France. Even in Britain, where they tend to be dismissive of anyone who hasn't played in the EPL, many now talk about him as a candidate for greatest of all time.

We are Spaniards, Italians, Frenchs, Greeks, Germans, Croatians, etc. and we are before of all Argentinians

What about Anglo-Argentines?

Scam City Buenos Aires:



That's a good series. IIRC BA was all about counterfeit money and the "black widow".

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

@Luke Lea

It depends on how you want to count "greatest".

He has/d the *exceptional* luck to be personally gifted and paly on teams which, tehmselves, were gifted.

Euro soccer, to a degree unknown in american sports, has stand-out players playing for mediocre teams. The Cavs had LeBron, but it was a bizarre one-off. euro soccer is *full* of allegorical LeBron's playing for the allegorical Cavs.
Messi's great luck was to play for a barca side which was composed of people who *themselves* might have been in cntention for greatest were it not for messi. Xavi, iniesta etc.
Zidane, as a poster mentioned, is the sort of "anti-messi". A *truly* exceptional player, a once-in-a-generation sort, playing for mediocre teams. So his highlight real is basically, "given the shitty pass he was offered, it's pretty amazing he was able to pull this goal out of his ass" where as Messi's highlight real is, "this is the textbook goal"
And, frankly, soccer is full of this. Ryan Giggs, a SUPERLATIVE player, who's been a key player for 20 years (!!!) is from Wales, which means he NEVER was able to play for his national side (well, he was, but wales would routinely lose to shit-holes you'd have difficulty locating on a map).
Ditto George Best. Best was another *pantheon of the gods* type. But as he was from Northern Ireland (pop. 800,000), he was never able to play national footbal. Northern Ireland would lose to Canada, to give you a feel.

So Messi was able to i) play for the best team of the last 75 years and ii) play for his national side (cherrypickign either the gold Medal Argentina or the Gold Metal Italy). He is a *superlative* player, but how you feel about him is kinda like a "how do you feel about a LeBron durign the Cav's years" question for football fans

LemmusLemmus said...

What "Hispanic tidal wave" are they trying to appease? Is there such a wave in the catholic church? I mean, they didn't elect the pope of California, did they?

Anonymous said...

What now passes for the new moral norm in America.

Steve, you should delete that comment. It's a link to gay pornography. Do you not click on links when you screen comments? Or are you trying to be funny or something?

Beefy Levinson said...

Waldorf: Can you believe it? They elected a Jesuit to be pope.
Statler: No wonder St. Malachi prophesied that he'd be the last one!
Both: DO HOHOHOHOHO

Drunk Idiot said...

According to the much-hyped CBS News/The New York Times poll that ran earlier in the week, what mattered most to American Catholics in the selection of a new Pope was that the new Pope be a reformer who brings change to the Church on the following positions:

1. Ordination of women

2. Abortion

3. Contraceptives

4. Gay marriage

And predictably, the respondents' preferences in the CBS NEWS/NYT poll mirrored the issues that the American media seemed to focus on the most (minus the media's constant reinforcement of The Church Abuse Scandal) with regard to their coverage of the search for a new Pontiff.

Even in local cow town media coverage, parishoners at the local cathedral said that they were most concerned that the new Pope "get with the times," and take "progressive attitudes," on gay marriage, abortion, contraception and female ordination.

It's hard to tell whether the media is just pushing their preferred narrative (and are omitting the opinions of Catholics whose views differ) or whether American Catholics really do care most about gay marriage, abortion, free birth control and female priests.

Obviously, it could also be the case that American Catholics really do care most about those things, but mostly because those are the issues that the media keeps pushing on them.

Whatever the case, with a Doctrinal conservative who has a long history of opposing Liberation Theology (and who's a foe of Christina Fernandez de Kirchner), the New York Times probably isn't going to be running any "strange new respect" types of articles on the church or the new Pope anytime in the near future.

something something race said...

"Viewed in the crass terms of ethnic politics"

well it's what you do. Go found the Biochurch of Sailer or somethin' mayn

Anonymous said...

Steve, did you see this? It's the quant data type stuff that's right up your alley:

"Top Porn Search Terms From Each Country

Porn search engine PornMD has released its search data by country, revealing some surprising local tastes."

http://www.buzzfeed.com/katienotopoulos/top-porn-search-terms-from-each-country

Drawbacks said...

Jeb Bush tweets:
"Wonderful news of the selection of Pope Francis, the first Latin American pope."

It's all about furthering the fortunes of the Bush dynasty.

Anonymous said...

Messi is the greatest I have ever seen and I remember Pele,Cruyff,Beckenbaur,Best,Platini.All of them.

There is only one only one question mark against Messi and that is if he would have stood up to the often savage tackling of bygone years.

I think he would.

dearieme said...

"the news media describe him as the first 'non-European,'": it's hard to beat the stupidity and ignorance of the news media.

P.S. Messi is quite brilliant: by the time he retires it will be him vs Pele for The Greatest. People will presumably opine on racial grounds, so that'll be one for Steve to discuss.

Anonymous said...

I'd figure the new Pope denying Communion to politicians who support abortion would be kind of a big deal, but instead you nerds can't stop name dropping soccer trivia.

josh said...

What does the Vatican care about "the hispanic tidal wave?" What do Cardinals from Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America care? Isn't that the US's problem?

Anonymous said...

Argentineans are Italians who speak Spanish and wish they were British.

SF said...

Nobody in the church seems to want to talk about ending priestly celibacy. To a protestant, this seems like a no-brainer. If you want to end the epidemic of priestly pedophilia, recruit married heterosexuals to the priesthood.

Anonymous said...

The concept of "Hispanic" is one of the more stupid things the US government has come up with. And considering some of the other things they've done, that's saying something.

Anonymous said...

I highly doubt that the Catholic Church is concerned about any "Hispanic tidal wave". Sometimes America really isn't the center of the world.

It's plausible that high rates of catholicism in South America played into the decision, but there the message is clear. If you want the Church--any church really--to remain a "Western Institution" then get your butt in the pews. What's that phrase? "The future belongs to those who show up"

Anonymous said...

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_CENSUS_DYING_COUNTIES?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-03-14-00-13-18

Cail Corishev said...

What "Hispanic tidal wave" are they trying to appease? Is there such a wave in the catholic church?

No, there isn't. But there's a parallel in the Church to the myth you hear from the GOP: Hispanics are all devout Catholics (we know this because we've seen movies from the 1950s), so they will save us from American hedonism and anti-religious politicians.

Never mind that Hispanic immigrants have higher rates of abortion, teenage pregnancy, and crime than native-born Americans. Never mind that 2nd-generation and later ones voted for same-sex marriage in California last time around. Never mind that the image of the rosary-holding, Mary-venerating, burro-riding Latin American is a stereotype from the 19th century that hasn't existed since that part of the world was overrun by various socialist revolutions (if it was ever true).

If we're lucky, he's more Italian than Argentinian. We don't need liberation theology and charismatic heresies spreading from South America to the rest of the Church.

Cail Corishev said...

It's hard to tell whether the media is just pushing their preferred narrative (and are omitting the opinions of Catholics whose views differ) or whether American Catholics really do care most about gay marriage, abortion, free birth control and female priests.

They give the game away by including same-sex marriage. Yes, there are many people who consider themselves Catholic who nonetheless use birth control, think there should be some accommodation for abortion in certain circumstances, and think womyn priests might not be a horrible idea. That's why half of Catholic vote Democrat, after all -- that, and thinking the Democrats care more about the poor.

But there's no way that average, rank-and-file Catholics named "gay marriage" as a big issue they think the Church should get behind. No way at all.

In any case, it's going to be pleasant to watch yet another pope disappoint them by turning out to be a "hardliner" on all the media's pet issues.

Luke Lea said...

The thing that seems to separate Messi from all the other players I've seem is the lightning quickness of his reflexes. Probably a genetic quirk.

Anonymous said...

"I lived in Argentina for a year and this is total bullshit. It's a failed country where most white people identify as Italian if they have some Italian grandparents or even great-grandparents. Argentinian identity is very weak, and I have a feeling most Argentines of European ancestry would like to return to their homelands. They certainly haven't blended into a "white" Argentinian identity.

Please don't lie, this South American nationalism crap is so tedious; I've seen so many young Argentines, third and fourth generation, identify as Italian, etc.

It is sad (and unjust) that when they go to Italy or Spain the people there don't agree, many have big disappointments about this."

And how many of those self-percived Italians speaks Italian? 2% maximum.
How many of them have a subculture with their own styles or slangs? None of them.
In front of a gringo the Argentine people tends to recognizes itself as european, just to avoid the typical gringo treatment toward latinos.
Much people in Argentina have a dual citizenship because of the country inestability. When the Argentinians travels outside of their country, they recognize that they aren't foreigners because the customs and traditions in South America are very different from those of Europe or North America.
So there is a true white Argentinian identity but it isn't as that in the USA, because as catholics we are not racists, we are assimilationist and not segregacionists.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZUCgq8LfhY

Terrific

Reg Cæsar said...

As if most South Americans pay any attention to religion. They give the sign of the cross when they step out on the soccer field, but that is about as much thought as they give it.

How many commandments did Maradona break with his "Hand of God" goal? At least two.

sister maria mary said...

"The most significant thing about his election is not that he is Argentinian or Italian but that he is a Jesuit. Once they're in control they'll never let go. The Catholic church will now move hard to the left. "

He rode public transportation and cooked his own meals. Lived in a modest apartment. Far as i know, no questionable background, like the previous one. He's conservative on social issues which is fine with me--I'm not Catholic any more, but the Church in Rome is a living museum of history, and I don't want the exhibits falsified for PC purposes. He's not so bad.

Rohan Swee said...

As soon as I heard the Pope was from Argentina, I knew he'd be as white as me, and I knew you'd put two and two together. I am dying here watching the news media describe him as the first 'non-European,' or the first 'Latino'..

Yes, that gave me my guffaw for the day. After all the "global South" this and "emerging Christianity" that, the first "non-European" pope is a....drum roll...Italian white dude.

This is so entertaining on so many levels...

I even saw some activists praising this choice.

This guy should be a prime candidate for you to use the next time you update your post on Hispanic Hispanics versus White Hispanics.


...but the usual suspects are going to keep on pretending they don't get the joke.

sister maria mary said...

"According to a link on Lion's sight, most Argentinians are mestizo, even though the pope isn't. I thought Argentina was 85% white, but I guess not."

You sound like a disingenuous sort.
I don't know or care who Lion is, but Argentinians are not mestizo--or very few are. It is a white country. Certainly more white than the United States.

Rohan Swee said...

"I'm from Argentina and here we don't have anymore that concept of Italian-Argentine since, at least, the 1930s."

I lived in Argentina for a year and this is total bullshit.

Hmmm. If I had to pick I guess I'd credit the opinion of the anonymous poster "from Argentina" over the anonymous poster who "lived there for a year". (I wonder if the old joke about "Argentinians - Italians speaking Spanish who think they're Englishmen" makes any sense any more. If it ever did.)

BB said...

In my experience, Argentines from recent immigrant background, such as Pope Francis, do have a different identity from older stock Argentines. Both in terms of self-identity and in terms of not being thought of quite as Argentinian as others. Not a big issue, but it´s there.
And older Argentines are more likely to have some indian in the mix, even upper class types. These are less likely to be 100 % Euro than fresh off the plane/boat Argentines which are getting rarer BTW.

pat said...

As I listened to the media commenters effuse over the possibility of an American Pope or a black Pope, my mind drifted toward an idea a little further out.

Does the Pope need to be a Catholic?

It seemed to me Mitt Romney would be a fine Pope. He's very virtuous and perhaps more importantly for this particular institution, he's very heterosexual.

Romney has a lifetime of experience in turning around troubled institutions. He's hard working and healthy. He's a talented guy and he needs a job.

Think about it. Nancy Pelosi is nominally a Catholic but she has to often explain publicly why she favors abortion. In terms of fundamental moral beliefs Romney is far closer to traditional Catholicism than Democrat Catholic politicians like Joe Biden.

Wasn't it Vatican II that healed the split with the Jews? What about the Mormons? Mormons are the straight laced moralists today. They are the real 'bible thumpers'. The Catholic Church could use a couple million more devout church goers.

Today the term Catholic connotes corruption and scandal. But when people think about Mormons they think about one of the few faiths that actively promotes traditional virtues. The Catholics need Mormons more than the other way around.

Tom Clancy spread the notion that the FBI was dominated by Catholics and the CIA by Mormons. We seemed to have missed an opportunity for some real ecumenical-ism yesterday.

Albertosaurus


Albertosaurus

Matra said...

Euro soccer, to a degree unknown in american sports, has stand-out players playing for mediocre teams. The Cavs had LeBron, but it was a bizarre one-off. euro soccer is *full* of allegorical LeBron's playing for the allegorical Cavs.


This is questionable at best. it's in the US where they have salary caps to spread the talent. In Europe any great soccer player will eventually be poached by the big teams in England, Spain, Italy, or Germany. If anything there has never been such a concentration of great players in just a few clubs as there is today.

Zidane, as a poster mentioned, is the sort of "anti-messi". A *truly* exceptional player, a once-in-a-generation sort, playing for mediocre teams

At the peak of his career he moved to Juventus right after they won the European Cup when they were the best team in the world! He went from there to Real Madrid!

A *truly* exceptional player, a once-in-a-generation sort, playing for mediocre teams.
...And, frankly, soccer is full of this. Ryan Giggs, a SUPERLATIVE player, who's been a key player for 20 years (!!!) is from Wales, which means he NEVER was able to play for his national side, frankly, soccer is full of this. Ryan Giggs, a SUPERLATIVE player, who's been a key player for 20 years (!!!) is from Wales, which means he NEVER was able to play for his national side


So what. He's played all his career for Man United, perhaps the richest team of the last two decades. Every fan in the world has seen his skills at the highest level of the sport: the UEFA Champions League. International football is a sideshow made up of hastily thrown together teams.

Ditto George Best. Best was another *pantheon of the gods* type. But as he was from Northern Ireland (pop. 800,000), he was never able to play national footbal.

Again, he played for United and won two European Cups.

NI's population was actually one and a half million when Best played for them and back then the Catholics played for NI, not the Republic of Ireland. So though you are right about their lack of abilities at the international level the team wasn't that bad. They qualified for the two World Cups after Best retired.

Northern Ireland would lose to Canada, to give you a feel.

Let's not exaggerate. They would've beaten Canada in Best's day and would do so today. (Canada's diverse and "greatest team ever" recently lost a must-win World Cup qualifier to Honduras by a score of 8-1). But Canada did beat NI in a friendly in the mid90s.

So Messi was able to i) play for the best team of the last 75 years and ii) play for his national side (cherrypickign either the gold Medal Argentina or the Gold Metal Italy).

He was being called the greatest of all time by football experts based exclusively on club performance, not what he did or didn't do for Argentina. International football can enhance a player's standing but it's what a player does week in week out for his club team that he gets judged on.

Somewhat more on topic every time Messi scores he crosses himself and points to the sky. According to some commentators he's pointing to his late grandmother whom he thinks she's in heaven!
BTW don't believe the (Croatian propaganda?) story that Messi visited Medjugorje; there is no evidence of that AFAIK.

DPG said...

If Messi can win a World Cup, he'll probably be the unanimous choice as best ever.

If Argentina continues to underperform, he'll have that millstone around his neck.

It would be interesting to see a conversation about his use of growth hormones in his early teens.

Londoner said...

One wonders if la famiglia Bergoglio helped out some friends of Herr Ratzinger who suddenly needed a place to stay in the mid-1940s and thought Argentina suitably remote.

Probably not, of course,, but I like the idea.

Anonymous said...

"It's hard to tell whether the media is just pushing their preferred narrative (and are omitting the opinions of Catholics whose views differ) or whether American Catholics really do care most about gay marriage, abortion, free birth control and female priests.

"Obviously, it could also be the case that American Catholics really do care most about those things, but mostly because those are the issues that the media keeps pushing on them."

Both are true. In the Western world, people want the Church to conform to THEIR beliefs, not the other way around. These people want to belong to a church, want to feel themselves in good standing with the church (thus, in their eyes, be in good standing with their God), but only if the Church doesn't stand for or demand the practice of and belief in absolutes.

I always ask my friends who are Catholic and bitch about Catholic teachings, "Why do you belong, then? Why do you call yourselves Catholics if you don't believe in Church doctrine?"

Silence.

Anonymous said...

Question:

If the internet didn't exist, would Sailer have any kind of outlet for his views?

Sam said...

Messi has been great for many years now but he is yet to deliver the goods at the international stage where he has been a failure for his country. The last World Cup was a big failure for him.

Maradona was the greatest because he took a rather average Argentina team to 2 WC finals and won 1. Not to mention he took a southern Italian Napoli to two league titles when it was the best league in the world. Messi has played in one of the best teams of all time and failed for the less stellar Argentinian national team.

Pele has won 3 World Cup titles so he is up there. An honorable mention to pre-TV Alfredo Di Stefano who guided Real Madrid to 5 Champions League titles in a row.

sykes.1 said...

You all forget that the cardinals merely carry out the wishes of the Holy Ghost.

Sword said...

Francis is not the first Non-European pope. Starting with St. Peter, there have been several popes from Asia. There were also several African popes in the 4th and 5th century. However, he is the first Non-European pope since AD 760, IIRC.

Anonymous said...

So there is a true white Argentinian identity but it isn't as that in the USA, because as catholics we are not racists, we are assimilationist and not segregacionists.

If you are going to participate on this blog, remember that we are unlike other whites you may have known. Using the charge of 'racist' to win a debate will not work with us. First, unlike other whites we have no guilt in which you can manipulate with such a charge. Second, we don't even believe a racist is the worst thing in the world because no one can actually describe what a racist is given its meaning tends to vary considerably over time, place and demographic.

Keep you arguments based more on facts than emotions Amigo, and you should fit in well on this blog.

Anonymous said...

So there is a true white Argentinian identity but it isn't as that in the USA, because as catholics we are not racists, we are assimilationist and not segregacionists.

Tell that to the Mexican whites. They seem to be working hard towards getting their non-white coreligionists to leave their nation. That doesn't look too assimilationist to us.

Matra said...

Sam - you're remarks about Maradona and Di Stefano are fair enough but not about Pele.

Pele has won 3 World Cup titles so he is up there.

No, Brazil won three World Cups during the Pele years.

In 1958 Pele was not the tournament's top player - according to observers at the time - though he obviously had an impact, including a hat-trick against France.

In 1962 Brazil won but Pele only played in two matches. His name is missing from the roster for the knock-out matches: the quarter -final victory against England, the semi-final victory against hosts Chile, and the final 3-1 defeat of Czechoslovakia.

I've seen every match of the 1970 World Cup held in Mexico and there's no doubt Brazil would have won without Pele, unlike an Argentina without Maradona in second Mexican World Cup.

Pele never played in Europe. That alone disqualifies him from any conversation about the greatest footballer ever. That's like picking some Japanese baseball player who was never in MLB or a Spanish basketball player who never played in the NBA as the greatest of those respective sports.

Anonymous said...

I don't know or care who Lion is, but Argentinians are not mestizo--or very few are. It is a white country. Certainly more white than the United States.

The whites in North America are "whiter", that is they generally have no non-white admixture, even despite family legends about Indian ancestors and the like. Whereas there tends to be more non-trivial non-white admixture among whites in Argentina, even though there may be more people in Argentina that identify as white.

Anonymous said...

I am from Argentina and at least 40% of the population is mestizo, although whiter looking than your average mexican, since it is not rare for them to have recent european admixture.
Mestizos with italian surnames aren't rare, like Daniel Passarella. Camoranesi and Crespo are also mestizos with italian surnames. There are many football soccer players like that.
That includes the 10% of out population which is made of paraguayan and bolivian immigrants.

Around 60% of the population does look white. (it changes according to province) But in no way it is close to 90% white.

Sam said...

Matra
I know he gets 62 cheaply but he still got 2 WC's. 1970 was a great team but he was still a big player for Brazil being the captain as well.


Also bringing up playing in Europe is not fair to the Brazillian league. Remember back then that Brazil had a lot of good players in their league. This was before the game became globalized in the way it is now where all good players from South America leave for Europe.

And here Pele also shined for this team even among stars. This is also what makes Pele great. He stood out even among a star league and a great national league.

Anonymous said...

"According to a link on Lion's sight, most Argentinians are mestizo, even though the pope isn't. I thought Argentina was 85% white, but I guess not."

You sound like a disingenuous sort.
I don't know or care who Lion is, but Argentinians are not mestizo--or very few are. It is a white country. Certainly more white than the United States."

Here's the link. Lion of the Blagoshpere in on Steve's blog list.
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2009/12/how-argentina-became-white

Quote:
"The median Argentinean probably has enough indigenous ancestry to qualify as a Native American tribal member in the United States by the rules of blood quantum (on the order of 20-25%)"

Anonymous said...

'If Messi can win a World Cup, he'll probably be the unanimous choice as best ever.:

Why do you have to win the WC? Soccer teams have 11 players and 1 players isn't going to change a lot if your team isn't that good.

C Ronaldo has played great in 2 leagues now. Messi has done it in 1.Messi benefits from a great team around him. Ronaldo has played on 2 great teams too, but he has done it with different teammates and in different countries.

Let's see if Messi can dominate without Xavi and Iniesta in England or Germany. He would do well, but I would like to see how well.

I heard George Best was beaten up during the games in his time. I wonder what he would do in Spain now. England probably isn't as rough now either.

Anonymous said...

Argentina now has both the Pope and the Messiah. How unfair!

Yes, Messi is well on his way to being considered the best ever soccer player. Maradona doesn't have a problem with this; not sure if Pele has spouted off recently, as he's prone to doing. He's quite jealous of his reputation as numero uno.

Messi was injured pre WC 2010, and has looked far better for his NT since. If he is totally healthy for Brazil 2014, watch out. The Argentinian team has some top talent, and with him aboard they are the #1 contender.

skeptic said...

"I am from Argentina and at least 40% of the population is mestizo, although whiter looking than your average mexican, since it is not rare for them to have recent european admixture."

Have studied Argentina for a while and never heard that. It has always been described as specifically different from most Latin American countries precisely because the mixed ancestry is so low. I don't believe you are Argentinian. Perhaps you are Chilean? Peruvian? Paraguay?
What are you sources for your statistics?

Someone I know who moonlights as a social studies professor thought Che Guevara was mestizo. Inexcusable. He was entirely European (Basque, Spanish and Irish) and even described himself as the descendant of Irish rebels.
There weren't enugh Indians left in Argentina by the time large numbers of Euros arrived, to make 40% mestizo possible anyway.

Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnography_of_Argentinaaa

8-15% of the Argentinian pop. is considered mestizo, and most are in the northern provinces. The above website gives a breakdown of ethnicity in Argentinia. Anyone who claims "40%" of the country is mestizo, and "does not look white", has some sort of agenda, or is delusional. Argentina got more European immigration than any other country except the U.S.

Gringo said...

So there is a true white Argentinian identity but it isn't as that in the USA, because as catholics we are not racists, we are assimilationist and not segregacionists.

There is a well known Argentine saying: "Bolivians came from the hills. Brazilians came from the trees. We Argentines came from the boat."

Tr: Bolivians are indigenous. Brazilians are monkeys[from the trees]. Argentines are immmigrants.

That sounds rather racist to me.

I am also reminded of a number of Argentines telling me that they were sorry that the US had a problem with blacks. Upon further conversation, it was evident that from the Argentine point of view, the problem wasn't that blacks were mistreated in the US, but that the problem was that there were blacks in the US.

I also recall conversations In Andean countries with Argentines who referred to the "dumb Indians" in those countries.

From my experience, the average white Argentine is more racist than the average white US citizen.

frederic said...

about zidane, nobody ever compared him with messi
zidane was entertaining, beautiful to watch, but he was also unreliable and, above all, he wasn't able to perform in each match, which messi does ridiculously well

zidane is a great example of a player who came in the right time at the right time

would have france won the 1998 world cup without zidane? absolutely yes
zidane missed 3 matches because of a red card
then against italy he disappeared, because the italians knew how to prevent him from shining
in the semi fianl against croatia thuram had to score the only 2 goals he ever scored for france, zidane did nothing
in the final zidane scored 2 headers on 2 corner kicks, leboeuf could have scored these

same in the 2000 euro champs, in the final against italy he was bad again, but france won, without his help

he played at juventus which was one of the best european clubs, but was unable to win champions league, and the club awner said when zidane left for real madrid (the best club at the time, again) that he was more entertaining than useful

zidane's best tournament for france was in 2006 but he made france lose the world cup in the final, with that aggression on materazzi

frederic said...


Also bringing up playing in Europe is not fair to the Brazillian league.

the brazilian league didn't exist back then
pelé played in sao paulo's league, a regional league, which was considered one of the best in brazil, but there was also the teams from rio that were huge
in his regional league there were some decent teams, but also totally amateurish teams
he used to score like 7 goals in a match against these teams, it's useless and doesn't say much about the player who scores these goals

frederic said...

here are pelé's world cups:

*1958: he was a young and promising player, but far from being important for his team, and was not even close to being the best player of the tournament (unlike what FIFA tried to pretend with their "world cup golden ball" which was created more than 20 years after the tournament)

according to the experts of the time, kopa was the best player of the tournament (FIFA claim that pelé was the "best young player of the tournament" but this award didn't exist back then)
kopa played for the best european club after having played for the second best european club right before

pelé scored 3 goals against france in semi-final, but it only hapened because the brazilians injuried one of the french players (on purpose, according to the french players) and back then there were no substitutions, so when pelé scored his 3 goals, france had 1 player less than brazil


*1962: pelé was injuried, brazil won without him

*1966: brazil was disapointing in this tournament, and went out of the tournament early

*1970: pelé was far from his peak
was he brazil's best player?
i don't think so
first, because he was far from his peak, he didn't scored as much as he used to do by this time in brazil

and more importantly, because i am french and unlike the non-french people i can have access to the best experts in the world, "france football", the ones who created the most prestigious award, the "ballon d'or"
it's the only way i can judge because i wasn't born yet in 1970
immediatly after the 1970 world cup, they discussed pelé's influence in brazil's victory, and they said that they "did not agree" with the assessment that pelé was very important in brazil's victory

here's the cover of the magazine:

http://journaux-collection.com/phototag.php?ref=258992-1.jpg

overall, he has never been top scorer of a world cup, has never been the best player of his team either

one of the various reasons why the FIFA hype pelé as the best player ever is because he is mostly known for the world cups he won, and the world cup is very important for FIFA, they want it to be the world's best competition, so the man who has won 3 world cups has to be the best player ever

but it's not true
the best players are in the champions league