I Love That Guy A Lot
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie and Zoe
11 December 2013
It´s very late and I don´t care. Nobody sleeps, nobody sleeps here. La Lepra [tr. note: Newell´s nickname] and Arsenal half blew it, go San Lorenzo, go San Lore! I´m far from San Juan and far from Boedo but the two intersect in me because tomorrow I could be a champion. Tonight I have danced non-stop - even though I hardly ever dance - and I´ve cried like I cry, sung like I sing.
© Viggo Mortensen.
Now the sun has risen and the birds on my roof begin to shake their feathers. I don´t know how much wine or how many songs I had yesterday, but today I´m rowing with the current and all the flowers have already greeted me. Yesterday they gave us rope and we are going to use it to tie Pincha´s hands [tr. note: Estudiantes' nickname]. To those who until recently didn´t give a red cent for Ciclón, we've already shut their traps. It seems to me that the only one that can give us a scare is Lanús. If Granate [tr. note: Lanús' nickname] wins today - and I think that the Twins team [tr. note: one of the brothers is the coach, the other part of the coaching team] is ready to give a thrashing to Virrey´s [tr. note: Carlos Bianchi, the nickname of Boca´s coach] - we´ll have to wait until next week to see who is champion.
I wish I could be on the field with you and your old man this afternoon to experience up close the excitement of the match against Estudiantes, and later go together to Boedo to celebrate all night. I suppose you´ll try to go together, right? It could be a nice opportunity to see CASLA live becoming champion. If the thing doesn´t turn out as it should against La Bruja [tr. note: nickname of Estudiantes´ Sports Director, Juan Sebastián Verón] and company, I´ve already booked the flight the day we finish shooting here so I won´t miss the last performance in Liniers.
I´ll try to call you on the cell in a few hours time when you are in the Nuevo Gasómetro, partner, to see if you can tell me something. Enjoy, Cuervo!
In Africa, with Jean-Roch, workmate of Loin des ….
© Viggo Mortensen.
It´s eleven in the morning and I´m on my way to get my old man so we can go to the field. You´ll be with us today, as usual. Go champions!
Wonderful! I hope you have a great time in Bajo Flores [tr. note: a neighbourhood in BA]. If I can´t catch images from the match, I´ll listen on the radio, as I´ve been doing here. I´m sending you a photo before the match from the place where the whole crew is washing their hands before lunch during the days of the shoot. Have you noticed that when they do, everybody - including David, the director - has to bow their heads before our emblem?
© Viggo Mortensen.
Hey, I watched the match. I could do it through Skype, thanks to my girlfriend. She´s in Madrid and since they were showing the match in Spain, she put her laptop in front of the TV so I could watch it.
© Viggo Mortensen.
I think it was the worst match San Lorenzo played in the whole tournament, well actually, the worst after the Copa Argentina final against Arsenal. How many gifts are they going to offer us in this tournament? Yesterday Newell´s and Arsenal lost. Today Lanús tied... with a single goal against Estudiantes, we would be champions right now. Incredible what we wasted. Today Gentiletti, Mercier, Romagnoli, Piatti, Torrico and a few others did rise to the occasion. The flamboyant attacking game so emblematic of Ciclón in this tournament was not visible during the 98 minutes played. Several of Pizzi´s players had little individual plays, but San Lorenzo was never able to move with good rhythm and with collective understanding. It´s true that the always mediocre referee Lunati didn´t give us the obvious penalty against Cavallaro in the second half, when he was run over by Verón and Silva in the area, but CASLA should have got hold of the championship today. I don't understand their timidity. Initial nerves, yes, but the lack of energy from midfield forward was noticeable and incomprehensible. That is not the team that we've been seeing lately. Now the championship will be decided in the Fortín [tr. note: nickname of Vélez stadium]. We win and we are champions. We tie and we could stay tied with whoever wins between Newell's and Lanús in Rosario. If they tie there, a tie with Vélez would give us the championship. I want CASLA to play well and win like a true champion, scoring goals in the Amalfitani [tr. note: the real name of Vélez stadium]. Enough of these little side passes and waiting fearfully for the results of other matches. Like Pichi Mercier said after the match, "Today we weren't at the level to end up as champions. We failed the people."
What Pipi wants but can't do alone.
Viggo: As you might imagine, we are cooking over a slow fire. We spent a long day with my old man at the sports complex, from 12 until 8 at night or more. It was like Joyce's Ulysses that lasts a single, long day.
San Lorenzo didn't play at all and Verón moved as if he were in his living room at home with a whisky in his hand and with that casualness that killed the game for us. I have several hypotheses: San Lorenzo is like those kids who study everything the last day in order to take the exam. I hope that's it and they crush it with Vélez. Another hypothesis: For now, CASLA can't stand the pressure of being champions. They play loose when they don't have [the ball] and they handcuff themselves when they have it. I want to warn you right here that if we don't end up champions, they're going to want to hold Pizzi responsible and the first thing that has to be done is to support him, because his idea of the game and the loyalty that this coach has is unique. I'm supporting Pizzi to the death, however we come out of this.
There´s a song from a great band called Tom y la Bestia Bebé. The song is called "Quiero mucho a ese muchacho" [I love that boy very much]. Look for it on the web. I´ve been listening to it in the car today, after the deranged match, when I was coming to work trying to find a different way of looking at what happened to us. It says "I love that boy very much/ I don´t care what they say about him/ I love that boy very much/ I´m going to stand up for him." Just like that, that´s how I support Pizzi. Now if we want to end up as champions we have to do it with all the honors, winning in Liniers, revenging the glorious team from Cappa that was stolen there and recovering the explosion that a championship CASLA must have. It will be played on December 15. I wish we could see it together.
Postponing the last date until the 15th seems like quite an odd decision to me, although the regulations of the AFA permit it in the case of teams that have a date conflicting with the cup final. Changing everything to please only one club that has another tournament to win seems a little babyish to me. In Europe, they play all kinds of cup matches, including Champions, Europa League, anything, and don't postpone tournament matches for an entire week. This delay smells as bad as Lunati's refereeing, that little friend of Lanus' president. For the television and other media people, it's just perfect, of course. It's going to create more tension, more media coverage. I don't like this delay, but it doesn't matter. Like always, even if they set up all the obstacles they want, we're going to win in Liniers. That's the way to think; that's how they have to play on 15th of December. Besides, maybe the wait is good for Pizzi, so the team is revived and the injured players - Piatti among them, the leading figure during the last matches - can recover. What we Cuervos musn´t do is eat each other alive during the next two weeks. As is said in "Martín Fierro," [tr. note: epic poem by Argentine writer, José Fernández]
"Because that is the first law -
Having real unity
At any given time -
Because if they fight among themselves
Outsiders will devour them."
We have to unite our minds and hearts to help the team collectively confront the last challenge with strength.
Cuervo: They gave the players two free days to clear their heads. I don't see any other way but to win with class, that's the truth. If not, they are forgettable champions. I would like a little of the epic, like the one that Piatti had turning around the game in Santa Fe or the one that Romagnoli had when he pushed the team all by himself to save us from demotion. What's true is that Vélez is going to have to come out attacking; that's better than the two-lines-of-four barrier that Estudiantes used on us. It should be a game of team against team. Let´ s hope we win, but above all it´s necessary to play well, showing the breed of champions. If you play like equals, without fear, with power and joy, you can lose (you can always lose) but the feeling that stays in your soul is something else. This Sunday the visiting supporters were missing and the Azulgrana soul was missing. Hopefully we´ll soon be in a world where neither of those two things will ever be missing again.
During the night, in my slumber, in the in-between moments of the day, I think of plays that never were or that happened in the twilight zone. Have you listened to the song I sent you? I just quoted it in a column I wrote supporting Pizzi which came out in Perfil. Whatever happens, Pizzi must remain.
Sorry for the delay of several days in responding. We were finishing the shoot in the mountains of Morocco so I didn't have a good laptop connection. The last day was lovely. The technical crew insisted on flying my San Lorenzo championship flag on the summit during the last shots we were filming. They had gotten used to seeing it every day and for good luck, they wanted to finish with it on the heights for the battle scenes. Let's see if that gesture of my Moroccan and French companions brings us luck, but what's certain is that there are now fans of ours in the Atlas mountains.
© Viggo Mortensen.
The Bestia Bebé song is very nice, Fabián, and your homage and support for Pizzi in Perfil is outstanding. Simple and direct. I loved it. Pizzi has had to listen to a lot of insults, putting up with the Cuervos who were questioning his good family man style - humble, positive and patient. After being eliminated by River in the Copa Sudamericana and by Arsenal in the final of the Copa Argentina, he had to suffer a whole lot of blows to the head. As it says in the song you quote, "After what happened to you/ I know that it's very difficult to go on…"
Yesterday I had a discussion with a Madrid taxi driver. He told me he preferred Maradona to Messi as a player and I said to him, "OK, opinions are like raindrops. They are endless and end up falling to the ground in the end, but look: although I greatly admire the play and the achievements of Pelusa [Maradona], I go with La Pulga [Messi] because he seems more consistent, hard-working and more humble. And then the taxi driver tells me that it seems to him that Diego is more generous with the ball, with his teammates. Right there things heated up, because I couldn't agree with him at all. I told him that yes, at times - like with Claudio Caniggia and others in the 1990 World Cup in Italy, and with his teammates in Boca, Napoli and other teams - Maradona passed the ball well, but not always. He was not as reliable in that as Messi is.
Messi constantly looks for gaps in the defense, and finds them where they don't exist - same as Maradona did - but I think that for Lionel that always includes the possibility of making a good pass. Always. Give and receive, receive and give. The current Barca 10 is a great team player, much more of a "comandante" than Cristiano Ronaldo (that's what some people around here call the Portuguese after the somewhat negative comments of that jerk Blatter) with Real Madrid and the Portugal national team. Cristiano is, above all, a soloist who lives for individual praise while Messi is a team worker with a technical gift from another planet. What happens is that Messi, just like Pizzi, doesn't try to call attention to himself in the media and with the people. He's not vain and egotistical like CR7, Mourinho, Mini-Mou Lombardi, Ramón Díaz and so many others. Maradona, to me, was more a soloist than Messi, but I understand that there are people who disagree. There are different tastes for everything in this life. Diego is an institution, the indisputable hero of a heartbreaking tragedy. He's made us happy and he's scared us.
For those who don't know the Bestia Bebé song that you mentioned, here is the video link that was recorded at a radio station last year.
And I copied down the whole lyric; it's nice and short:
I don't know why I feel like this
although I think it's because of you.
After what happened to you,
I know it's very hard to go on.
It doesn't matter.
Everything is going to be fine.
Don't explain to me.
I love this guy a lot.
It doesn't matter what they say about him.
I love this guy a lot.
I'm going to stand up for him.
Here also is the link for your column about Pizzi ("Contra Chilavert") so that all the Cuervos who want to can read it:
I already have my reservation to fly to Buenos Aires. Will we see each other in Boedo? Since the Fortineros are so anti-sports and jealous, they won't let us see the match in Liniers. Hatred is for emotional and mental midgets. Very sad. We can watch the game at the bar if you want.
" The smaller the heart, the more hatred it harbors."
- Victor Hugo
© Viggo Mortensen.
"Hatred is the revenge of a frightened coward."
- George Bernard Shaw
Last edited: 7 January 2014 15:15:09