Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Don't cry for me Argentina: Brazil mock rivals' World Cup upset

Don't cry for me Argentina: Brazil mock rivals' World Cup upset

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Argentina and their talisman Lionel Messi losing to Saudi Arabia at the Qatar 2022 World Cup was met with much mirth in Brazil. AFP

Don't cry for me Argentina: Brazil mock rivals' World Cup upset

Few experiences can compare to watching a World Cup in Brazil – the borderline-obsessive football passion; the explosion of pride around the national team. And the schadenfreude when rivals Argentina lose.

The latter was on full display Tuesday when Argentina, the neighbours Brazilians love to hate, opened their highly anticipated campaign in Qatar by suffering one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history, a 2-1 loss to 51st-ranked Saudi Arabia.

The result was met with mirth in Brazil, whose beloved "Selecao" lost the 2021 Copa America final at home to their continental rivals.

"Argentina" soon became the top trending topic on Twitter in Brazil – largely driven by mockery from the sort of fans who openly admit their second-favourite World Cup pleasure is seeing Lionel Messi and team lose.

"There are three things that bring joy to any Brazilian," tweeted one wag.
"1. Barbecues 2. Holidays 3. Argentines crying."

Another tweeted a picture of himself grinning happily in a yellow-and-green Brazil jersey, with the words: "Don't cry for me Argentina."

Some Brazilians reinvented the Argentine flag, replacing the sun in the centre with a yellow "sobbing" emoji.

Others were inspired to hatch new definitions of "schadenfreude," the German word often translated as pleasure derived from another person's misfortune.

"Does SCHADENFREUDE mean 'Argentina got screwed' in German?" wrote one social media wit.

Another strand of mockery employed Brazilians' own lingo – the word "zebra," which means upset.

"A 'zebra' at the World Cup is great, but a 'zebra' with Argentina IS SO INCREDIBLY GREAT," said one tweet.

"Argentina lost their invincibility in their World Cup opener in a 'zebra.' If that's not an excellent morning for any Brazilian football fan, I don't know what is!" said another.
But others in Brazil – arguably the only country more often cited as tournament favorites than Argentina – were all too aware that what goes around comes around.

"Let's calm down. Brazil play tomorrow, and they're favourites!" said one, as Neymar and team prepared to make their debut Thursday against Serbia.

Then there was the unmentionable memory of the Brazilians' own not-so-long-ago humiliation – the five-time champions' 7-1 loss to Germany at home in the 2014 World Cup semi-finals.

"Argentina's loss may have been a big 'zebra,' but unfortunately for us, better not to even remember our greatest shame, right?" tweeted one.


  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Knockout! Kun Khmer replaces ‘Muay’ for Phnom Penh Games

    Cambodia has decided to officially remove the word Muay from the programme of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2023 in May. “Kun Khmer” will instead be used to represent the Southeast Asian sport of kickboxing, in accordance with the wishes of the Cambodian people. Vath

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • New int’l airport nearly half complete as travel industry returns to life

    Construction of a new airport that is slated to serve the capital has passed the 43 per cent completion mark, raising prospects for a proper recovery in the civil aviation and tourism sectors as international travellers return to the Kingdom in increasingly large numbers. The figure

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,