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Dublin: 12 °C Monday 22 December, 2014

The defining song of the 2014 World Cup is…

Since Thursday morning, Rio has been humming with Argentinians.

Image: AP/Press Association Images

MIKEY STAFFORD reports from Rio de Janeiro

FORGET CARLOS SANTANA, Wyclef Jean, Shakira and that whole “closing ceremony” malarkey. Come to think of it, you probably already have. No, this World Cup final’s defining musical moment arrived in Friday’s Buenos Aires Herald.

“It is a fabulous and a great honour that our song has become the soundtrack of the Argentine wins in Brazil. I thank the fans and wish you the best,” Creedance Clearwater Revival drummer Doug “Cosmo” Clifford was quoted as saying.

“Argentine Creedence fans know that Bad Moon Rising scares their opponents off when they sing it in the cup, and that is a very good thing,” added Stuy Cook, the folk-rock group’s bass player.

The American group’s karaoke classic has been adapted for the past few seasons by San Lorenzo de Almagro and also River Plate to taunt opponents and in Brazil it has become the unofficial anthem for fans of the Albiceleste.

Think “Who’s your Daddy?” on the bayous.

“Brazil tell me how it feels to have your father at home,” it begins. “I swear to you that even though years go by we will never forget that Diego [Maradona] dribbled you, then Cani [Caniggia] scored against you.

“You’re crying since Italy and you’ll see Messi. He will bring us the Cup. Maradona is greater than Pelé.”

The last line is obviously just for kicks, whereas the rest refers to, of course, Argentina’s glorious 1-0 win over a poor Brazil team in the second round of Italia ’90.

Like all football chants it is selective in its recollection of history and here the reference to Brazil “crying since 1990″ conveniently glosses over the two World Cups the country have won in the interim, bringing them to a record five, compared to Argentina’s two.

The Maracana will bear witness to this little ditty at some point today and the many, many Brazilians in attendance will just have to grin and bear it, as they have done since Wednesday, when their southern rivals won through to a final to which Brazil were emphatically, viciously, denied access 24 hours earlier.

“The nightmare continues,” ran the headline on O Dia’s online edition as 100,000 Argentina fans descended upon Rio in the wake of Alejandro Sabella’s side’s penalty shootout win over the Netherlands.

Brazil WCup Soccer Argentina

Source: AP/Press Association Images

(A soccer fan poses for a photo, raising the sleeve of his jersey to show off his his tattoo of Argentina’s former soccer star Diego Maradona)

The Score.ie witnessed the migration first hand. At São Paulo’s Tiete bus terminal, the second largest in the world, hundreds of gleeful and well-lubricated Argentina fans queued for burgers, sandwiches and pau de queijo.

The overnight bus back to Rio was packed with flag-draped Argentina fans, chanting, cheering and generally making merry to such a point that we feared sleep may not be a viable option. Thankfully, a day’s drinking and the emotional torment of a penalty shootout meant that as soon as the lights went out the bus fell into an alcohol-fuelled slumber.

Since Thursday morning, Rio has been humming with Argentinians. Conservative estimates put their numbers at 100,000, the equivalent of 10% of the annual tourist visitors from Argentina arriving en masse in less than a week.

Copacabana has been transformed into an Argentinian enclave and camper vans are dotted around the city — to the delight of the locals, naturally.

That the visitors are less than sensitive to the feelings of their hosts merely adds to the sense of loathing, which so far has found peaceful outlets via television and other media. There is the beer advertisement featuring a house full of partying Argentinians being lifted by crane and dumped back over the border, with one straggler threatened with transportation by cannon.

Another advertisement for flip flops shows Romario putting on the right one, signifying good luck, and then sending the left one to Diego Maradona in Buenos Aires.


Less subtle was the comedy show where two Brazilian jokers spending a day in an Argentinian campsite dressed as Claudio Caniggia and Maradona, winding up the campers. The sketch opened with the Maradona character’s face covered in white powder and concluded with the two lying together in a tiny campervan bed.

“Mil gols, so Pele; Maradona cheirador” (A thousand goals, Pele only. Maradona snorts) is a Brazilian’s standard response to the ubiquitous Bad Moon Rising — a nod to the distant and not so distant pass that only serves to confirm the current lie of the land. Argentina is home to the greatest player in the world at present and Lionel Messi could today lift the World Cup on Brazilian soil.

This is a nightmare scenario for Brazilians and the reason why they are all supporting Germany, the team who beat the Selecao 7-1 in Tuesday’s harrowing semi-final.

The enemy of my enemy is every Brazilian’s friend today because they can see a bad moon rising, and it is sky blue and white.

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