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Long read: To understand Argentina's failure on the field, if it even was that, you need to comprehend the utter dysfunction those players had to overcome to get this far

Long read:
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Why Argentina’s road to World Cup failure is long, complicated and paved with greed and corruption

" Angara Pear Teardrop Peridot and Diamond Halo Vintage Pendant in Platinum 7JWNQTCjF9
was not the sickness,he is merely a symptom."

Sebastian Fest's line in La Nación on the day of Angara Oval Blue Sapphire Halo Vintage Stud Earrings in Rose Gold zHAgOeMeP
's World Cup 2018 elimination this weekend was so starkly poignant because it gets straight to the crux of the matter, cutting through every excuse offered and pointing straightto the institutional rot that is fundamentally to blame for Argentina's ills.

Thatbumpyroad that Zales Oval Blue Sapphire Five Stone Band in 10K White Gold 52iES8
is our current waypoint but this path truly began all the way back in the mid-winter of Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1978 on the day that the Albiceleste won their first-ever Angara Double Claw Oval Peridot Halo Ring in 14k Yellow Gold CwKJAuqdB
.

Stood on the pitch at the Monumental as the host nation’s captain, Daniel Passarella, lifted the trophy, was a rising star in the Argentinean FA, Angara BezelSet Morganite Pendant with Diamond Halo bkCN4rEkL
. Within a year he had been elected president of the associationbut little did this country know - still cheered from a World Cup win which history has remembered less fondly -thatfrom this pointnearly 40 years of corruption would take hold or thedevastating effect it would eventually have on their beloved national game.

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AFP/Getty Images
Could do nothing for Di Maria’s wonder goal, and a cruel deflection on Messi’s strike.
Getty Images
At just 22, he showed plenty of experience and kept Di Maria quiet, for the goal Di Maria went into the middle, getting no joy from Pavard down the left. Scored a screamer to equalise, and brought France back into the match.
FIFA via Getty Images
Could do little for Di Maria’s individual goal, and played out well from the back.
FIFA via Getty Images
With only Messi to contend with in a false nine role in the first half, had little to do, with the only goal coming from range.
Getty Images
Dealt well with most he encountered, but against an inform player could be a weakness in the quarter finals.
Getty Images
After a slow start, he grew into the game and sprayed some wonderful passes out to Griezmann and Mbappe. Finally showed his massive potential.
AFP/Getty Images
Calm and composed in possession, looks to have time on the ball even in a crowded midfield.
Corbis via Getty Images
His experience and reading of the game prevented Banega and Messi combining as they did against Nigeria, and he’ll be a big miss in the quarters after picking up his second yellow of the tournament.
Getty Images
The star of the first half show, his pace and power earnt the penalty, and left Otamendi and Rojo in his wake, before adding two goals of his own.
AFP/Getty Images
A quiet showing from the frontman. Struggled to connect with Griezmann, and inches away from connecting with a Pavard cross. Fought to the end and gave everything.
Getty Images
Calm from the penalty spot for the opener and caused problems with his pace. Struggled to combine with Giroud with his final ball, but performed well overall.
AFP/Getty Images
Getty
Committed too early for Griezmann’s penalty, rooted to the spot for his free kick that hit the bar, should’ve done better for Mbappe’s second. Adjudged to be the best of a poor three Argentinian goalkeepers – not on this showing.
Sergei Savostyanov/TASS
Lucky to escape a yellow card for a challenge on Kante, and one of many to look uncomfortable against French pace in attack, lost his discipline towards the end.
Getty Images
Dealt well with Giroud, but looked vulnerable with the pace and power of Mbappe and trickery of Griezmann.
Getty Images
From hero to villain, at fault for the French penalty, and looked out of his depth against the flying Frenchman Mbappe withdrawn at half-time.
Getty Images
One of the better Argentinian defenders despite his inexperience, also tried to get forward wherever he could.
Getty Images
One of the players that shouldered the burden of trying to support Messi, but the combination of a French defence and Kante sitting in front left little space for him.
Getty Images
A yard short of the pace, and his midfield passes that once looked genius, now just take too much time and go backwards.
AFP/Getty Images
A quiet first half, and replaced by Aguero early in the second half.
AFP/Getty Images
Everything he has been for quite a while now, inconsistent but has the talent to change a game, and his strike will be up there for goal of the tournament.
AFP/Getty Images
Struggled to link up with Messi as he did against Nigeria, but worked hard and tried to help in defence too.
Getty Images
A quiet first half in a false nine position with team mates that left him to dig deeper and deeper for the ball, needed a striker to work with and Aguero’s introduction was too late for him.
Yegor Aleyev/TASS
AFP/Getty Images
Could do nothing for Di Maria’s wonder goal, and a cruel deflection on Messi’s strike.
Getty Images
At just 22, he showed plenty of experience and kept Di Maria quiet, for the goal Di Maria went into the middle, getting no joy from Pavard down the left. Scored a screamer to equalise, and brought France back into the match.
FIFA via Getty Images
Could do little for Di Maria’s individual goal, and played out well from the back.
FIFA via Getty Images
With only Messi to contend with in a false nine role in the first half, had little to do, with the only goal coming from range.
Getty Images
Dealt well with most he encountered, but against an inform player could be a weakness in the quarter finals.
Getty Images
After a slow start, he grew into the game and sprayed some wonderful passes out to Griezmann and Mbappe. Finally showed his massive potential.
AFP/Getty Images
Calm and composed in possession, looks to have time on the ball even in a crowded midfield.
Corbis via Getty Images
His experience and reading of the game prevented Banega and Messi combining as they did against Nigeria, and he’ll be a big miss in the quarters after picking up his second yellow of the tournament.
Getty Images
The star of the first half show, his pace and power earnt the penalty, and left Otamendi and Rojo in his wake, before adding two goals of his own.
AFP/Getty Images
A quiet showing from the frontman. Struggled to connect with Griezmann, and inches away from connecting with a Pavard cross. Fought to the end and gave everything.
Getty Images
Calm from the penalty spot for the opener and caused problems with his pace. Struggled to combine with Giroud with his final ball, but performed well overall.
AFP/Getty Images
Getty
Committed too early for Griezmann’s penalty, rooted to the spot for his free kick that hit the bar, should’ve done better for Mbappe’s second. Adjudged to be the best of a poor three Argentinian goalkeepers – not on this showing.
Sergei Savostyanov/TASS
Lucky to escape a yellow card for a challenge on Kante, and one of many to look uncomfortable against French pace in attack, lost his discipline towards the end.
Getty Images
Dealt well with Giroud, but looked vulnerable with the pace and power of Mbappe and trickery of Griezmann.
Getty Images
From hero to villain, at fault for the French penalty, and looked out of his depth against the flying Frenchman Mbappe withdrawn at half-time.
Getty Images
One of the better Argentinian defenders despite his inexperience, also tried to get forward wherever he could.
Getty Images
One of the players that shouldered the burden of trying to support Messi, but the combination of a French defence and Kante sitting in front left little space for him.
Getty Images
A yard short of the pace, and his midfield passes that once looked genius, now just take too much time and go backwards.
AFP/Getty Images
A quiet first half, and replaced by Aguero early in the second half.
AFP/Getty Images
Everything he has been for quite a while now, inconsistent but has the talent to change a game, and his strike will be up there for goal of the tournament.
AFP/Getty Images
Struggled to link up with Messi as he did against Nigeria, but worked hard and tried to help in defence too.
Getty Images
A quiet first half in a false nine position with team mates that left him to dig deeper and deeper for the ball, needed a striker to work with and Aguero’s introduction was too late for him.
Yegor Aleyev/TASS

To understand the successes and failures of the Argentina team, they must be viewed in the context of their team’s governing body, an organisation for so long one of the most corrupt in the game and in recent times, floundering since the death of Grondona, simply one of the most inept. It is a stain on a great country that he was in power for so long, acting with virtual impunity - but it is the ultimate disgrace that only his utterly corrupt direction of their FA could actually keep things going, as evidenced by the shambles ever since.

"What do you want?" Butler said, after the Rockets won 104-101 to take Game 1 of the playoffs. "A free throw? A 3-pointer? A layup? He got whatever he wanted in that game."

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Harden dropped 19 first-half points, but he guided a path to victory with outbursts at the end of the third and fourth quarters, giving him 44 for the night. He sank 15 of 26 shots, and seven of 12 from long-range.

His crossover cleared away Derrick Rose for an uncontested dunk. His magnetic power opened a lane for an alley-oop pass to Clint Capela. He stopped on a dime for a 3 that caught Jeff Teague on his heels and stepped back for another that baited Andrew Wiggins into a fruitless lunge.

His dominance left the Toyota Center crowd full-throated and the Timberwolves certain that Harden will be voted the league's Most Valuable Player.

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"You know why," Taj Gibson said. "Every time the game was mano y mano, he just took over."

Rose, a former MVP, respected the high-stakes takeover.

"That's when you have to pull up," Rose said. "That's when I want to see it. Play hard. I'm (going to) foul you. I want to see it all. Tonight he showed everything that he got."

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The Rockets had seemed headed for a nosedive at the start of the second half. A missed shot and two turnovers quieted Harden on offense. The Timberwolves retook the lead with a 13-4 run.

The Rockets needed someone to turn the game around. With 4 minutes, 41 seconds left in the quarter, Harden nailed a 3 to tie the game at 65. His dunk tied the score again at 70. His 3 put the Rockets ahead by one point.

"We did a good job with everybody else, but he got going," Gibson said of Harden. "We were trying to throw everything at him."

Harden abused Rose, in particular. Harden's crossover made Rose collide into a pick and tumble to the floor. As Harden hammered in the dunk, Rose sat on his backside and rubbed his face, trying to figure out what went wrong.

Rose explained later that he felt "an elbow or a smack to the face" on the play.

"I didn't get hurt or lose a tooth," he said. "So I'm fine."

Harden poured in eight consecutive points to finish the quarter and put the Rockets ahead. They outscored the Timberwolves by nine points when Rose was on the court, where he had to chase a rocket that no one could contain.

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"I mean, I'm doing the best I can, man," Rose said of guarding Harden. "He's the MVP right now. My job is just to irritate him. Try to get under his skin, pick him up full court, but at the same time, just compete."

Both of those starts were in Nationals Park.

Roark and the Nats were on the road in Citizens Bank Park tonight, but he was a little shaky once again in the first, giving up a one-out double and back-to-back, two-out walks to load the bases before a backwards K ended a 28-pitch inning.

Given a 1-0 lead to work with in the top of the second inning, Roark gave it back with Maikel Franco doubling to left to start the home-half of the frame and scoring on a single to center by Jorge Alfaro when Michael A. Taylor booted the grounder on the outfield grass, 1-1.

A hit-by-pitch on Odubel Herrera, fly to center by Carlos Santana , and single to center by Diamoire Jewels Nature Inspired Prong Set African Ruby and Diamond Pendant in 10kt Yellow Gold aPlZUglsE
put runners on the corners in the Philly third, and a sac fly to center field by Scott Kingery gave the Phillies a 2-1 lead.

1. Strike 'em out.2. Throw 'em out.

Roark held it there through five innings, and returned to the mound in the bottom of the sixth at 85 pitches and worked around a two-out double to right by Maikel Franco and an intentional walk to complete a 22-pitch frame that ended his outing.

Angara Pear Shaped Blue Sapphire Drop Pendant in Rose Gold WiRh7
’s Line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 Ks, 107 P, 62 S, 6/3 GO/FO.

Tanner Roark ’s Line:

Nola vs the Nationals: Phillies’ righty Lagos Silver Caviar Stackable Ring Size 7 DpjujVvJpf
gave up four hits, three walks, and a total of two earned runs in six innings when he faced the Nationals in the nation’s capital during the last series against Philadelphia’s NL East rivals.

Nola vs the Nationals:

That outing extended a six-start unbeaten streak for the righty, over which the 25-year-old, 2011 22nd Round pick had gone (3-0) with a 2.95 ERA, 15 walks, 42 Ks, and a .171/.260/.287 line against in 36 2 3 innings.

Dealin'

Nola fell behind early when he gave up a leadoff single by Zales Mens 60mm Comfort Fit Wedding Band in Sterling Silver 23 Characters QZjUfJDN9S
in the second tonight, and a one-out double to left by Zales 70mm PrincessCut LabCreated Blue Sapphire Swirl Drop Earrings in 10K White Gold I24Q4
, who lined an 1-1 fastball out to Rhys Hoskins to bring Turner in for a 1-0 lead early in the series opener.

The next eleven Nationals went down in order as Nola’s teammates tied it up and gave him a one-run lead.

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hit back-to-back singles in the first two at bats of the top of the sixth, but both runners were stranded three outs later as the right-hander kept the 2-1 lead intact.

Nola picked up two Ks (for seven total) in a 12-pitch seventh, and returned to the mound in the eighth at 95 pitches and gave up a leadoff single by Wilmer Difo and a two-out walk to Juan Soto before he was done for the night.

Aaron Nola ’s Line: 7.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 Ks, 114P, 78 S, 5/5 GO/FO.

Speak up. "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you” (Matt. 18:15 NIV). “God calls us to be peacemakers, not peacekeepers,” points out Vernick. She says pursuing peace might mean risking conflict in order to bring about a genuine peace (Ps. 34:14; Heb. 12:14 NIV). Speaking up is very different from venting, which can have negative consequences. We should speak the truth to someone in love after we have spent time praying and preparing for our time together. Approach that person in gentleness and with humility (Gal. 6:1 NIV).

Speak up.

Stand up. “But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses” (Matt. 18:16 NIV). God calls us to stand against sin, evil, deception, abuse and wickedness. When others are blind to their sin, God calls us to enlist the help of others. With a supportive person or church by your side, say, “I will not continue to live in fear,” “be lied to” or “be degraded.”

Stand up.

Step back. “If he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector (Matt. 18:17 NIV),” says Jesus. In biblical culture, Jews did not have close, personal relationships with pagans and tax collectors. Vernick says when someone refuses to respond to our concerns, the relationship changes. “You cannot have fellowship with someone who refuses to respect your feelings, doesn’t care about you, won’t respect you and who isn’t honest.” When we step back from the relationship, it helps minimize the damage and gives the other person time to reflect on his behavior and the relationship. It sends a message that a pattern of sinful, destructive behaviors is unacceptable to us and to God.

Step back.

She points out that even when we find it necessary to step back from a situation, God calls us to love. The apostle Paul says, “We bless those who curse us. We are patient with those who abuse us” (1 Cor. 4:12 NIV). And in Romans 13:10, “Love does no harm (NIV).”

As we learn to identify destructive conflict and apply God’s Word to our situations, we can minimize its damage in our lives. What’s more, we move from victim to victor, honoring God in even the most difficult of circumstances.

Copyright 2008 Mary J. Yerkes. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

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