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足球小国的狂欢日,魅力褪色的世界杯

更新时间:2017-10-13 11:25:38 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

A Day of World Cup Magic, Around the World
足球小国的狂欢日,魅力褪色的世界杯

MANCHESTER, England — It started in San José, Costa Rica, late Saturday night, with a goal from Kendall Waston, the Costa Rica striker, and a scream from Kristian Mora, commentating on his nation’s game with Honduras for Teletica Deportes. “El Mundial, el Mundial, el Mundial,” he bellowed, over and over again, as Waston raced toward the fans in the Estadio Nacional and thousands more spilled out onto the streets to celebrate. “That’s what the country is shouting.”

英格兰曼彻斯特——一切始于周六深夜的哥斯达黎加圣何塞,哥斯达黎加前锋肯德尔·沃斯顿(Kendall Waston)在同洪都拉斯的比赛中进了一个球,现场为Teletica Deportes电视台解说比赛的哥斯达黎加人克里斯蒂安·莫拉(Kristian Mora)不禁发出尖叫,“进了,进了,进了,”他一遍又一遍地喊着。与此同时,沃斯顿冲向国家体育馆的球迷,还有成千上万人涌上街头庆祝。“这就是整个国家此时的呼唤。”

It swept into Alexandria, Egypt, a day later: Mohamed Salah’s nerveless penalty, again in the 95th minute, giving the hosts a nerve-shredding victory against Congo and a place in the World Cup for the first time in 28 years. Salah, carried aloft on his teammates’ shoulders, described it as a “childhood dream.” So many fans packed the streets of Cairo that, at one point, an army helicopter appeared, dropping Egyptian flags from the air.

一天后,这股浪潮席卷了埃及的亚历山大。在埃及对阵刚果的比赛中,穆罕默德·萨拉赫(Mohamed Salah)在第95分钟冷静地主罚点球命中,为主队取得了比赛的胜利,也令埃及28年来首次跻身世界杯。萨拉赫被队友们抬在肩膀上,他说这是自己的“童年梦想”。无数球迷挤满了开罗的街道,后来空中出现一架军用直升机,从空中抛下一面面埃及国旗。

On Monday, on the cusp of the Arctic Circle, it was Iceland with a victory over Kosovo, enough to make it the smallest country ever to have qualified for a World Cup. On the field in Reykjavik, Iceland’s players led their fans in the now-traditional thunderclap. The noise traveled around the world.

周一,北极圈边缘的冰岛战胜了科索沃,成为有史以来取得世界杯参赛资格的最小的国家。在雷克雅维克的球场上,冰岛球员们带领球迷发出如今已经成为传统的战吼。洪亮的声音传遍世界。

And then came the climax, on Tuesday: in Quito, Ecuador, and Couvo, Trinidad; in Lima, Peru, and Lisbon, Portugal; in Panama City and Sydney, and San Pedro Sula, Honduras. At the end of four days of the most exquisite tension, the coup de grâce, on arguably the most remarkable day of international soccer for a generation.

然后高潮在周二到来:从厄瓜多尔的基多,到特立尼达的库沃;从秘鲁的利马,到葡萄牙的里斯本;从巴拿马城和悉尼,到洪都拉斯的圣佩德罗苏拉。经历了极度紧张的四天,眼前是最关键的时刻,可以说是这一代国家足球队中最为引人瞩目的一天。

Argentina, so troubled for so long, made it, thanks to a hat trick from Lionel Messi against Ecuador; so did his peer, rival and existential counterweight, Cristiano Ronaldo, as Portugal edged out Switzerland at the last.

阿根廷经历了长期的困难,终于在对阵厄瓜多尔一役中,因利昂内尔·梅西(Lionel Messi)上演的帽子戏法得以成功打入世界杯。和梅西齐名的球星、竞争对手与生死大敌克里斯蒂亚诺·罗纳尔多(Cristiano Ronaldo)也带领葡萄牙在最后一场比赛中淘汰了瑞士。

So great is the lure of Europe’s club competitions and so compelling are the endless soap operas around their teams, that it is easy for those in the countries that have appointed themselves the sport’s heartlands to be dismissive of international soccer.

欧洲足球俱乐部赛事充满极大诱惑,无穷无尽的肥皂剧总在俱乐部球队之间上演,令人目不暇接。那些身在自认是足球运动中心地带的人,比较容易对国家队比赛不屑一顾。

Panama, a victor against Costa Rica, will be there for the first time — thanks, in part, to a goal that did not happen. It was such an auspicious occasion for the country that the next day was immediately declared a national holiday. The United States, beaten by Trinidad and Tobago, will not be there, the shining brilliance of Christian Pulisic not enough to prevent the country from missing its first finals since 1986.

巴拿马由于战胜了哥斯达黎加,将首次入围——这在某种程度上多亏了一个其实并没有进的进球。此事是如此喜庆,以至于该国立即宣布翌日为全国节日。美国被特立尼达和多巴哥击败而无缘世界杯,克里斯蒂安·普利西奇(Christian Pulisic)的出色发挥也未能阻止美国自1986年以来首次未能跻身决赛圈。

Honduras might yet qualify, thanks to a win against Mexico, but only if it can beat Australia, which edged past Syria, the decisive goal coming after 199 minutes of 210. That is one of the intercontinental playoffs for a place in Russia; the other features New Zealand and a Peru team indebted to David Ospina, the Colombia goalkeeper, and an eagle-eyed referee. Peru and Colombia tied, 1-1, in Lima. Peru’s goal came from Paolo Guerrero, scoring direct from an indirect free kick. Had Ospina not touched it, the ball would still have gone in, but Peru would be out. Such are the margins. In recent days, such has been the drama.

洪都拉斯仍有可能入围,因为它战胜了墨西哥;但只有在它战胜澳大利亚时才有这个可能,而澳大利亚在长达210分钟的比赛中的第199分才进了决胜的一球,险胜叙利亚。这只是得以入围俄罗斯世界杯的跨大洲附加赛的其中一场;在另一场中,与新西兰对阵的秘鲁队多亏了哥伦比亚队守门员大卫·奥斯皮纳(David Ospina)和眼光锐利的裁判。秘鲁在利玛举行的比赛中与哥伦比亚以1-1战平。秘鲁的进球来自于保罗·格雷罗(Paolo Guerrero)的间接任意球直接破门得分。如果奥斯皮纳没有碰这个球,球仍然会进,但秘鲁也将被淘汰。就是这么悬。最近几天,就是这么有戏剧性。

The Champions League, after all, is now the game’s gold standard, where greatness is achieved and contested. Pelé and Diego Maradona built their legends at World Cups, back when that was the only place where the very best assembled, and when it was the only time much of the rest of the world could see, and assess, them. Messi and Ronaldo, by contrast, meet their peers every other week in the Champions League, and do so in front of an audience of millions.

毕竟,欧洲冠军联赛才是当今足球运动的黄金标准;球员在这里成就伟业,也造就争议。贝利和迭戈·马拉多纳在世界杯上创下自己的传奇,那是因为在当时,世界杯是唯一一个可以让最佳球员同场竞技的赛事,也是唯一一个可以让世界的其它地方看到球员们、对他们品头评足的地方。相比之下,梅西和罗纳尔多在欧冠赛事中每周都可以见到旗鼓相当的对手,他们的比赛有数以百万计的观众收看。

Domestic competition, too, is so much more compelling now: the cut and thrust of the Premier League, awash with unimaginable sums of money, and the glamour of Barcelona and Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Juventus. Soccer’s rapid globalization in the last two decades has meant that these are the jerseys players dream of wearing, these are the competitions that they dream of winning, and these are the teams to whom fans lend their hearts, every week, every month, every year.

国内联赛也变得更加扣人心弦:英超赛场上的短兵相接背后,有难以想象的巨额金钱涌动;巴塞罗那、皇家马德里、拜仁慕尼黑和尤文图斯俱乐部的辉煌也是如此。在过去20年里,足球的快速全球化意味着,这些俱乐部的球衣是球员们梦寐以求的,这些俱乐部的比赛是他们梦想赢得的比赛,而这些俱乐部球队则是球迷们每星期、每个月、每一年都在全心关注的球队。

Internationals, by contrast, are an afterthought and an inconvenience. Attendances across Europe, even in Italy and Spain, suggest a lack of engagement: Games are regularly moved to smaller stadiums in a bid to generate atmosphere, but even that cannot always mitigate against the sight of vast swaths of empty seats. In England, which has the national team that regularly draws the largest crowd, the conviction has taken hold that it does not matter that much anymore, that the club game is the sport’s engine.

相比之下,国家队赛事显得滞后而麻烦。在整个欧洲,甚至是意大利和西班牙,国家队赛事的上座率都表明人们缺乏兴趣:赛事经常被改在较小的体育场举行,以便制造气氛,但是即便如此也未必能缓解出现大量空座的情况。英格兰国家队通常能够吸引为数最多的拥趸,但是人们已经确信,俱乐部比赛才是这项运动的发动机,国家队已经不再那么重要了。

Such is the privilege of success. Europe’s superpowers qualified for Russia while barely breaking a sweat: England, Spain and Germany all finished the campaign unbeaten. Germany, the world champion, did not so much as drop a point. Portugal, France and Italy lost only once. It is not boring because it does not matter; it is boring because it is easy.

这是胜利者的特权。那些欧洲强队几乎不费吹灰之力就能够成功挺进俄罗斯:英格兰、西班牙和德国在资格赛中都保持了不败战绩。卫冕世界冠军德国队未失一球。葡萄牙、法国和意大利只是各失一球。这并不无聊,因为无关大局;这很无聊,因为胜利唾手可得。

To the people pouring out of their homes to celebrate in Iceland, in Egypt, in Panama; to Kristian Mora, screaming himself hoarse, international soccer matters, in a way that club games rarely, if ever, match. Millions tune in to the Premier League, or the Champions League, or a clásico, in all of those places. Very few national holidays are declared.

对于冰岛、埃及和巴拿马那些冲出家门庆祝的人们来说;对于喊哑了嗓子的克里斯蒂安·莫拉来说,国家足球队是很重要的,而且是俱乐部球赛无法相比的。在上述所有这些地方,都有数以百万计的人观看欧冠和英超赛事,抑或西甲的巅峰德比;但却鲜有为此而宣布全国庆典的。

And yet, it was impossible to watch all that joy without wondering if it might be for almost the last time. This is one of the last qualification cycles for a 32-team World Cup. In 2026, thanks to FIFA’s ruling earlier this year, 48 countries will qualify.

然而,看到这些人如此喜悦,你不禁会想:这会不会成为最后一次?由32个国家队参赛的世界杯很快就要成为历史,这些比赛是最后的几次资格赛之一。根据国际足联今年早些时候的宣布,到2026年,将有48个国家获得世界杯的参赛资格。

The rationale is clear. The emotion of qualifying is international soccer’s appeal, its unique selling point, and yet it can be lost. Australia’s late winner and the United States’ eventual defeat were 14 hours apart, and yet few could have taken in both games and all the nail-biting sport in between. The kickoff times were too diffuse; the distances too great; work and sleep and time got in the way.

他们的理由很明确。世界杯参赛资格所激发的情感是国家队足球的魅力所在,也是它的独特卖点,但这个卖点也有可能失去。比如,澳大利亚的最终胜利与美国的最终落败之间相隔14个小时,但是几乎没有人可以观看这两场比赛,以及两场比赛之间所有令人紧张的赛事。开球时间太分散了;比赛场地之间相隔遥远;工作和睡眠时间夹在其中。

Far better, then, for all of that drama to be bottled and stored and released in a concentrated form, as part of the finals themselves. That way more people can watch; that way, more people will pay. To FIFA, drama only counts if it can be monetized.

更好的办法是让这些激情洋溢的比赛成为决赛的一部分,把它们集中打包发行。这样就会有更多人观看,也会有更多人为之付费。 对于国际足联来说,只有能够带来利润的激情才算得上真正的激情。

There is a fundamental misunderstanding here. Costa Rica did not explode with joy, or Panama declare a national holiday, or Egyptians flood the streets because they expect to win the World Cup. It was an outpouring of joy simply for being there, for achieving something rare and wonderful.

然而这里有一个根本性的误解。哥斯达黎加成了欢乐的海洋、巴拿马宣布全国放假、埃及人涌上街头,这一切并不是因为他们期待自己的国家能够赢得世界杯;这只是因为能够跻身世界杯本身便足以带来极大的欢乐,只是因为他们取得了某些珍贵而又美好的成就。

As soon as being there becomes an expectation, an obligation, that joy disappears. That is when international soccer does become boring. FIFA set out to transform the World Cup because — officially — it felt that the more people invited, the better the party. It just forgot that part of the thrill, part of the appeal, is in receiving that exclusive invitation in the first place.

一旦成为期待与义务,这样的喜悦就消失了。届时,国家队足球将真的变得无聊起来。根据国际足联的官方说法,他们开始对世界杯进行改革,是因为他们觉得邀请的人越多,派对就越精彩。只不过他们忘记了,获得别人得不到的邀请函,也是刺激和诱惑力的一部分。

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