Bastien Schweinsteiger looks like a stereotypical German. He also, apparently, has the sensibilities of one. Germany meets Argentina in the World Cup quarterfinals on Saturday and the Mannschaft star stirred the pot with perhaps the gravest insult in German culture. He criticized them for not following the rules.
Schweinsteiger disparaged the Argentine players.
“You could see their behavior at halftime of the game against Mexico. When you look at their body language and gesticulations, the way they try to influence the referees, they have no respect. It’s their mentality and character and we’ll have to adjust.”
Implying that this discourtesy is inherent in Argentine culture. He fingered the Argentine fans.
“We have already seen how the Argentine fans sit together in spite of the fact that those are not their proper seats, and they stop other spectators with the correct tickets from enjoying the game.”
Maradona, in characteristic Maradona fashion, responded by feigning a German accent in a press conference and asking if Schweinsteiger was “nervoussh” before the match. Almost as funny as him mistaking Thomas Muller for the ball boy in March.
There is probably some lingering bitterness after the brawl in 2006 that occurred after the Germans won on penalties, but it’s really a bit of Phil Jackson-style gamesmanship. Germany want to predispose the referee to thinking Argentina are disrespectful, to increase the chances Javier Mascherano gets sent off. It’s the same reason Maradona has called for “fair play” before matches to protect Lionel Messi.
Though, not even Argentina could arouse the disdain the Germans have for England. Captain Philipp Lahm said the team was looking forward to beating Argentina, so they could say they “had beaten a big team.”
[Photo via Getty]