This week’s topic follows the Copa America which is the South American men’s tournament as well as Messi and his role in the Argentine football team and the country’s national identity crisis. To dive further into this week’s discussion we were asked to read an article about the 2016 Copa America which took place in the US as well as watch a documentary on the setbacks and victories of the Argentina Soccer team. The documentary dives deep into what a World Cup victory would mean for the Argentine team as they had suffered many losses before 2021 and made it clear that the win wasn’t only for the players, but to bring pride to the country and to unite the people through their win. 

As somebody who does not follow soccer/football as much as some other people, this week’s readings and videos have opened my eyes to lots of new information and a new respect for the sport. Although I could talk about the documentary as what I didn’t know, I would have to talk about the whole thing except for the fact that I knew that Argentina won or that I knew who Messi was. I found more balance within the article “America’s (Soccer) Cup: 100 Years of Copa America” written by Rwany Sibaja, especially because I had taken a history class on Latin America before. In the article, under the section “The Centenario” Sibaja discusses the history of Soccer as well as why the 2016 Copa America is so important as well as the reasons it may be taking place in the US, and the controversies surrounding it. From my earlier history class and the show Narcos (it does explain some history other than Escobar) I knew about Argentina’s independence from Spain which was led by Simon Bolivar, although I did not know that the 2016 Copa America was in honor of this feat or that it was the 100th anniversary of it. Another topic I knew about from this article was the struggle between the United States and South America. The United States had sought to exploit South American countries for resources for centuries so it makes sense that the Copa America being held in the US would be considered strange since there is a lot of tension between the two countries. 

What I did not know was the FIFA scandal that landed American officials in prison and European ones out of a job. I decided to click on the ESPN article that talked about the scandal and found out that the top guys of the organization were involved in fraud and bribing for Copa America to bring in tons of money (as Sibaja explains that the ticket prices skyrocketed). Again, I am not someone who follows sports or history so I also did not know that Copa America was a thing, only that the World Cup existed. I would like to possibly learn more about Copa America and what it means to South America culturally.