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2014巴西世界杯:小国家也能有大作为

最新订阅内容:英语爱好者摘要:据《外交政策》网站报道,在通往世界杯奖杯的漫漫征程中,比利时和乌拉圭是夺冠热门球队希望避开的两座冰山。在今年的世界杯赛场上,尽
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On the long voyage to World Cup triumph, Belgium and Uruguay are two icebergs that the favorites would rather avoid. Both nations, despite being underdogs in this year's tournament, have the ability and the nous to upset their bigger and brasher rivals. Yet it's remarkable, given their small size and history as geopolitical doormats, that they remain competitive at all.

据《外交政策》网站报道,在通往世界杯奖杯的漫漫征程中,比利时和乌拉圭是夺冠热门球队希望避开的两座冰山。在今年的世界杯赛场上,尽管比利时和乌拉圭都是不起眼的小角色,但它们有能力让比盲目自信的对手喝上一壶。虽然它们是历史上的小国,地缘政治上的出气筒,但很明显,他们在足球场上仍然极具竞争力。

Belgium, for example, has less than a tenth of the population of Russia, its rival in the group stage, but is regarded as a far greater threat. And then there is Uruguay, which despite fewer than 4 million citizens -- barely a sixth of the population of greater São Paulo -- is one of the teams Brazil would least like to meet on its way to the final. How is this so?

例如比利时,它的人口不到小组赛对手俄罗斯的1/10,但被认为是一个巨大的威胁。而乌拉圭尽管人口还不到400万——仅仅是大圣保罗人口的1/6——却是巴西在通往决赛之路上最不想碰到的球队之一。为何如此呢?

In Belgium's case, the reasons are more readily apparent. A nation sewn largely from a patchwork of three peoples, the Flemish, Walloons, and Germans, its football team nevertheless features several stars of African descent. Currently, Belgians of Moroccan descent -- including midfielder Marouane Fellaini and winger Nacer Chadli -- make up the biggest non-European group; for many Moroccans, French is a second language. Like France with its North African and Caribbean contingents and Germany with its Turks, Belgium's national team has benefited from multiple populations: one from Western Europe, one from Africa, and one from Eastern Europe.

拿比利时来说,理由更为显而易见。该国人口主要由弗拉芒人、瓦隆人和日耳曼人组成,但国家足球队中却有数名非洲裔球星。目前,摩洛哥裔比利时人,包括中场费莱尼和边锋查德利——组成了最大的非欧洲小团体。就像法国队内有北非和加勒比小分队、德国队中有土耳其裔球员一样,比利时国家队也从多元人口结构中受益:一个来自西欧,一个来自非洲,还有一个来自东欧。

Over time, this ethnic blend has led to an uncommon harmony among the current squad, whose young players -- notably Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku of Chelsea, and Adnan Januzaj 贾努扎伊of Manchester United -- are the envy of many of their competitors.

久而久之,这种民族融合给球队带了不同寻常的和谐。队中的年轻球员,尤其是切尔西的阿扎尔和卢卡库以及曼联的贾努扎伊,成了许多竞争对手羡慕的对象。

Uruguay represents a more curious case, in that its players are footballing aristocracy disguised as minnows. Like Belgium, it is a relatively young nation, yet on the field of play the Uruguayans are old hands. They have won the World Cup twice, first at the inaugural event in 1930, and then in 1950, when Brazil hosted the tournament. The latter occasion, when Brazil succumbed in front of a world-record 200,000 fans or more, is referred to there as the "Maracanazo", a national tragedy still felt today.

乌拉圭代表了一个更令人感到好奇的例子,国家队的球员是伪装成小人物的足球贵族。像比利时一样,这也是一个相对年轻的国家,但在赛场上它则是一名老手。他们曾两次赢得世界杯,第一次是1930年首届世界杯,第二次是在1950年,当时巴西是东道主。后来的那次被称为“马拉卡纳之殇”,一场人们在今天依然还记得的国家悲剧,当时巴西在创世界记录的20万(或许更多)球迷面前被压垮了。

Uruguay owes much of its success not just to its passion for football but also to the early inclusiveness of its culture. In that 1950 tournament, at a time when neighboring Brazil still regarded its black players with suspicion, Uruguay boasted a black captain, the brilliant Obdulio Varela. Moreover, Uruguay's victories in the World Cup's formative years established a pedigree that endures to this day, with many of its footballers -- such as Liverpool's Luis Suárez and Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani -- playing abroad for some of the world's biggest clubs.

乌拉圭之所以取得成功,不仅仅是因为它对足球的激情,还因为其早期文化的包容性。在1950年世界杯上,当时其邻国巴西仍然对黑人球员心存怀疑,乌拉圭队却以拥有一位黑人队长、杰出的巴雷拉而感到自豪。此外,乌拉圭在世界杯成型期的胜利造就了延续至今的血统,它的很多球员如今都在海外的一些世界豪门俱乐部踢球,如利物浦的苏亚雷斯和巴黎圣日耳曼的卡瓦尼。

Belgium and Uruguay are two diminutive countries that have maximized their advantages through inclusiveness, and of which Brazil, Argentina, Spain and Germany -- the quartet of forerunners for this year's title -- will rightly be wary. They, in the manner of Brazil's indigenous mosquitos and scorpions, are a useful reminder that small can often be deadly.

比利时和乌拉圭这两个袖珍之国因为包容性最大限度地增强了自己的实力,巴西、阿根廷、西班牙和德国这四个本届杯赛的夺冠大热门肯定会对他们特别小心。他们将会是有力的提醒,告诉世界小国家通常也能一击致命,就像巴西本土的小动物蚊子和蝎子一样。

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