Tag Archives: Santiago Solari

Santiago Solari & Facundo Sava – Great Budgies

At home, though, there’s a dearth of such folk: Diego Simeone should be one of the luminaries but his glib, blind bumbling at Racing, forever haughtily sniping at the short-sightedness of the pueblo whilst ignoring his own shortcomings, is but a blueprint for despair. Simeone’s the Man Who isn’t Here. The very title of Solari’s blog, El Charco (‘The Pond’), on the other hand, implies a connection to the auld country, that he’s not an eternal ex-pat; it reveals a sense of commitment, of duty. Likewise Sava, who keeps an even lower profile far from the fanfare of Olé. Nationalism is such a dirty concept, but we’ve come to believe that some of its cleaner qualities, namely a sense of solidarity, far from cheap xenophobia or base self-congratulation, ought to be rehabilitated – especially in such an outward-looking, insecure nation such as Argentina (or Ireland, for that matter). Continue reading

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Celui-ci n’est plus un pibe – Higuaín, Messi & Santiago Solari

Someone who can tell you far more about Higuaín, about contingency, about football and beauty, however, is the subject of our newest man crush, Santiago Solari. He has a new blog in El País called El charco (‘the Pond’), referring to the Atlantic, and it’s amazing. We had to doublecheck when we saw the name attached to such a fantastic piece of prose. Is that..? Could it be… the Santiago Solari who delighted us so ten years ago dancing up the left wing for that awesome, hard-working, downright loveable Real Madrid team? It was, and, dear tired, harassed, perpetually titillated but never rewarded reader, it made the reading all the sweeter.

It’s quite simply the best thing we’ve come across in ages and it’s written by one of the players we have only slightly less of a thing for than Pablito Aimar. It’s an ideal version of pegamequemegusta, without our halfway house wit, our verbosity, and, dear lord, the sheer tediousness of 5,000 word posts. His first article was titled Function and Form. A discussion of aesthetics and football, it includes lines like:

Football is not art as art is neither its goal nor its essence. Nor is beauty.

and

It is wholly frivolous to try and treat a football match as if it were a Flemish masterpiece.

You’ll have noticed the tone, the eccentric, starchy register, the assurance, the perspicacity. In many ways he reminds us of his compatriot and fellow Real Madrid man, Jorge ‘Vincent Price’ Valdano, who’s also given to mystical ramblings about time and space, and a slightly odd vocabulary. While a treat, it makes it harder to translate, but we’ve given it a go. Continue reading

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