There is something Jungian in this structure shared by the Creole and Bangladeshi collective unconscious. It’s crazy but there it is: the irrational euphoria, the flags held high on the roofs of houses and buildings, the obsession with Diego and Leo, the epistolary militancy of colors that are not their own but that they feel are their own. “We were also colonized”, this friendship could be called.
Some 17,050 kilometers separate Buenos Aires from Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, a country located in South Asia that borders India and Burma. One country is far from the other, yes. However, that accumulation of kilometers did not prevent our instincts, archetypes and representations from enthroning a common symbol. Therefore, Bangladesh has been echoing the sacred cry for a long time.
Bangladesh is the eighth most populous country in the world (some 151,125,000 inhabitants, according to the latest data of 2020) and Bengali is spoken there, the Koran is professed, rice is eaten and curry is also eaten. Over there, His soccer team stands as one of the worst on the continent (no, they never qualified for a World Cup) and the most popular sport (just above soccer) is cricket.
FOOTBALL AND NETWORKS
To the surprise of our 48 million inhabitants, it was the social networks (mainly Twitter) that showed us that in South Asia we have millions of other souls banking on the blue and white. Long banners, wild streets: Bangladesh fans for Argentina.
And the ball of this story was born far away and long ago, when India and Bangladesh were still part of the British Empire. The English regulated soccer in 1863 and are accused of “creators of the sport.” For this reason, soccer also became popular in all its colonies.
At that time there were matches between domestic teams and teams from the British army that metabolized a powerful idea: they had to be beaten, also, extra-sports, for carrying on a fight –by other means– against colonization. Soccer as a redemptive tool.
After the independence of Bangladesh, in 1947, soccer continued to be popular in the country, although without an economic force that could further develop its fanaticism. professionally, participated in some Olympic Games (although without too much significance) and the local leagues never managed to synthesize enough passion or prominence.
On a tangent, plunged into a peculiar historiography, there are those who say that the Platonic relationship of victoria ocampo with the Bangladeshi writer, poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore (Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913) could have added some beans. San Isidro as a cave of international love. Then, in addition, came the Argentine diplomatic support for the victory in the liberation war for the independence of Bangladesh. A myth is being born.
DIEGO, THE SAME LOVE
So things, It was the 1986 World Cup, with Diego Armando Maradona crowned with glory, which determined that they should bankroll the Argentine Republic. The tears running down the cheeks of the English, its settlers, were decisive in building loyalty to this idea. Argentina, which had just endured the attacks of Great Britain in the Malvinas Islands in 1982 and which knew how to defeat the British military expeditions of 1806 and 1807, expanded as a hero: sporting and of others.
That was the first World Cup that the Bangladeshis watched on television. It was the World Cup final with Germany, but more was the best goal in the history of the World Cup and the “hand of God”. The genius and the mischief. The fresh wound of the war conflict made everything more intense. In that sense, the Bangladeshis savored that victory as their own anointed in the desire to return some poison to those who made them suffer and, consequently, to bankroll their new friends.
It was the local media that made the narrative of Argentina grow as an allied country, as the people carrying that irrepressible force capable of fighting face to face against the powerful British Empire. It was Third World football defeating the traditional European dominance. It was the boy against the big one, it was David against Goliath. At the time, over time, the results of our football matched that harmony and, strictly speaking, that feeling of belonging still persists to this day.
On the other hand, it is because of Edson Arantes do Nascimento, Pelé, but fundamentally because of the 1994 World Cup in the United States, that the other half of Bangladesh banks Brazil. There are other reasons, also incredible, also beautiful: poor young people could become global soccer superstars. The favela as a mirror of its popular neighborhoods, the hope of getting out from below and reaching the top.
THE NEW HERO
And Messi landed, the best soccer player in history. Argentina added, once again, another pretext for the Bangladeshis to go crazy with our country. Trout t-shirts, cardboard totems: Leo fever raised the temperature of Bangladesh, and the World Cup in Qatar meant a new communicating vessel between the two nations.
These days, taking advantage of the push, A group of Argentine fans launched a petition on the Change.org platform to recognize Bangladesh, India and Pakistan as “official fans” of the Scaleneta. In fact, it is estimated that 70 percent of Bangladeshis bank for the Argentine National Team. “In Bangladesh they are happy to go out all the time on Argentine TV. They say: ‘Finally, so much effort was worth it. Get up early to watch the games. They finally listened to us,’” Roma, a Bangladeshi who has lived in Argentina for thirteen years, told IP Noticias.
Meanwhile, after Argentina’s 2-0 victory over Mexico, on local television, a journalist went on the air wearing the alternate jersey. And in the streets, at dawn, a popular party. There was noise, there were motorcycles, there were hugs, there were horns, there were invented songs. It had to be seen to be believed. In Qatar, the Bangladeshi fans joined the Creole team, still with a language away, united in the same sentiment: supporting La Scaloneta.
The bench of the Bangladeshis even reached the technical director of the Argentine National Team, Lionel Scaloni, who before the game with Australia referred to the subject: “The National Team shirt has transmitted for years a madness for colors and Argentine passion . Before with Diego and now with Leo. It is a pride that a country like Bangladesh fans for us. We will try to do our best. Thanks to the people of Bangladesh.”
Even on December 1, The official Twitter account of the National Team sent a tweet in this regard: Thank you for supporting our team! They are crazy like us!”, accompanied by three images full of pure albiceleste euphoria. A few days later, the AFA English account was dispatched with a photoshopped image of Lionel Messi holding the green and red flag of Bangladesh.
The common enemy. The antinomy. The overflowing passion Maradona’s goals, the existence of Messi. After each game in Argentina, the networks are flooded with videos with popular demonstrations full of bright colors, our colors. Someone is encouraged to suggest that it is necessary to strengthen diplomatic relations, to grow a gabled tourism, to continue cultivating this relationship with these brothers of different fathers and mothers. Bangladesh, the most Argentine country on the planet.
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Bangladesh, the other World Champion | UPR