Gooo Goldman


Last Saturday night the Mexican national soccer team lost miserably, 2-1, against Salvador (a typically undistinguished group), during the qualifying games for next year's World Cup. Mexico has played so miserably lately that they may end up not playing in the World Cup at all, which would be a disgrace, given how much football is a national obsession here (and given the spectacular salaries that Mexican football players earn. They tend to make far more money than players in Latin America who are significantly better than they are, particularly Argentines).

I saw the game at a restaurant in the Colonia Condesa called Xel Ha, with Francisco Goldman, author of such books as the extraordinary novel The Ordinary Seaman and The Art of Political Murder, the true story of the assassination of Bishop Juan Gerardi in Guatemala, which has just been translated into Spanish.

Here's Frank under the hot lights, explaining to a television crew that strolled into the restaurant exactly what the problems are with the Mexican team. He was very diplomatic, wondering why with all their concentrated efforts they weren't able to come up with the brilliant players they need to win. After the TV crew left, he was a little more straightforward. "Son güevones," he said. (They're lazy bastards.) "They suck."