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梅西是明星 但马斯切拉诺才是场上灵魂

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ONDON — Less than half an hour into the marathon semifinal between the Netherlands and Argentina, there was a fearful cracking of heads between Georginio Wijnaldum and Javier Mascherano.

伦敦——在荷兰与阿根廷马拉松似的半决赛开始不到半小时时,吉奥吉尼奥·维纳尔杜姆(Georginio Wijnaldum)和哈维尔·马斯切拉诺(Javier Mascherano)的头部猛烈相撞。
Neither was to blame. They went for the ball and did not see the collision coming. The side of Mascherano’s head hit the back of Wijnaldum’s shaven skull. Mascherano stumbled for a moment, his eyes wide open but apparently seeing nothing around him.
两人都没错。他们都冲着球过去,并未料到会发生碰撞。马斯切拉诺头部的侧面撞到了维纳尔杜姆刚理过发的头盖骨后方。马斯切拉诺蹒跚了几步,眼睛圆睁,但似乎看不到周围的任何东西。
Then he sagged to the turf and a doctor and other medical workers rushed to him. After all that has been said and written about concussions in sports, this was another moment to stop the play and be very, very circumspect about allowing a player to continue, even if he wanted to.
然后,他瘫倒在草坪上,一名医生和其他几名医护人员立即来到他身边。虽然有各种关于体育中发生脑震荡的说法,但是这一次,又到了暂停比赛并慎重决定是否允许运动员继续参赛的时候——即便运动员自己想继续参赛。
Mascherano did eventually continue. He succeeded not only in persuading the medical staff that he knew what he was doing; he became arguably the most important and impressive player in the hour that followed, in the 30 minutes of extra time, and then in the dreaded shootout that decided the outcome of the most important contest of Mascherano’s career.
马斯切拉诺最终还是决定继续比赛。他不仅成功说服医护人员他知道自己在做什么,他或许还成了接下来的一小时、30分钟的加时赛,以及随后令人提心吊胆的点球大战中最重要且最令人印象深刻的球员。点球大战决定了马斯切拉诺职业生涯中最重要的一场比赛的结果。
Argentina’s penalty takers kept a clear head and a clear aim for each of their kicks. Sergio Romero — the Argentine goalkeeper who has spent the past 12 months in limbo, loaned out by his Italian club Sampdoria and virtually unused by Monaco in the French league — became the headline hero with two agile penalty stops, low to his left and high to the right.
阿根廷的罚球队员头脑清醒,每一脚都有明确的目标。塞尔吉奥·罗梅罗(Sergio Romero)——过去一年被人遗忘的阿根廷门将,由意大利俱乐部桑普多利亚(Sampdoria)租给摩纳哥(Monaco),但他基本上也没有在法国联赛中上场——身手敏捷地拦住两球,从而出现在报纸头条,成了英雄。其中一球在左下方,一球在右上方。
But for Romero to get those chances, someone had to ensure that Argentina was still in the game after 120-plus minutes. And for once it wasn’t Lionel Messi who was his national team’s savior. Messi is the captain, but Mascherano is the leader of Argentina on the field.
不过,如果罗梅罗要得到这些机会,就必须保证阿根廷在120多分钟后,仍未被淘汰。这一次,阿根廷国家队的救世主不再是利昂内尔·梅西(Lionel Messi)。梅西是队长,但马斯切拉诺却是阿根廷赛场上的领袖。
They play together on the same club, Barcelona. Messi, again, is usually the story there, and rightly so, given that he is so many times not just the game-winner, but an artist and a compelling sight for sore eyes.
他们同样在为巴塞罗那(Barcelona)足球俱乐部效力。在那里,梅西同样总是故事的主角,而且这也无可非议,因为他不仅是球队获胜的关键人物,而且还是一名艺术家,能让观众疲惫的双眼为之一亮。
Not this time, however. Not during this tight, at times numbing match in the teeming rain of São Paulo. Messi had his moments, but it was a defenders’ night, a contest of stubborn resilience and of one team’s doing all it could to cancel out the strengths of the other while still playing within the rules of the game.
不过,这次并非如此。在这场紧张却时而令人麻木的比赛中不是这样。比赛过程中,圣保罗正淅淅沥沥地下着雨。梅西数度成为众人的焦点,但是,这个晚上属于防守球员。在这场比赛中,球队表现出了顽强的毅力,每支队伍都在比赛规则允许的范围内竭尽全力地冲抵对方球队的力量。
In that type of contest, Mascherano’s warrior-like mentality, his selfless running, covering, tackling and tenacity come to the forefront. For his national team, he plays as a shield to the defense in a midfield role that calls for vision, constant vigilance and the courage at times to put his body (and yes, his head) in the way of opposing attacks.
在这种比赛当中,马斯切拉诺勇士般的精神,他无私的奔跑、掩护、拦截和韧劲都突显了出来。为了自己的国家队,他作为中场,成为防线的盾牌,这个角色需要预见能力、高度的警觉性,有时还需使用自己的身体(对,他的脑袋)来抵挡进攻的勇气。
The block tackle that Mascherano made to deprive Arjen Robben of a scoring chance in the final seconds of the first 90 minutes was arguably the interception of the entire tournament, which, so far, has run to 62 games.
在头90分钟比赛的最后关头,马斯切拉诺对阿尔扬·罗本(Arjen Robben)进行封堵,使罗本失去了一个进球机会。这也许是本次世界杯最出色的一次拦截。目前,本届世界杯已经进行了62场比赛。
Robben’s speed had carried him beyond Argentina’s defense on the left. He was about to pull the trigger and shoot from close range. As he lifted his leg to make that shot, Mascherano dashed across from Robben’s right, made up the two or three yards and slid in to get his own foot to the ball first, diverting it away from the Dutchman in the nick of time.
罗本速度很快,从左侧突破阿根廷防线。他当时正准备起脚近距离射门。正当他抬腿射门之时,马斯切拉诺突然从他右后侧两三米的地方冲过来,用滑铲抢先碰到球,及时把球踢出了荷兰人的控制范围。
Clearly, Mascherano was seeing things well enough. His judgment could not be faltered. His defenders had lost sight of Robben, his goalkeeper was frozen to his line, and everything depended on Mascherano’s timing that interception to perfection. A fraction either way, and he risked making contact with the Dutchman, who is known for his, shall we say, unsure footing in the penalty box.
很明显,马斯切拉诺具有非常好的预见能力。他的判断不会出错。他的防守队员没有看紧罗本,门将则呆站在门线附近,一切都因为马斯切拉诺对封堵时机的精准把握而达到完美。不论哪个方向稍有偏差,他都可能会碰到罗本。而我们可以这样说,罗本可是以在禁区内身形不稳而闻名的。
There were times during that long, drawn-out stalemate that concentration was the key to everything. And who was the most concentrated Argentine, who was making sure every colleague was alert and awake to the danger of switching off? Javier Mascherano, the man Argentines know as “El Jefecito,” or The Little Chief.
在这个漫长、持久的僵局中,注意力有时是一切的关键。那么谁是注意力最集中的阿根廷球员,谁又能保证每名队员都保持警觉,清醒地认识到松懈的危险?哈维尔·马斯切拉诺。阿根廷人称他为“El Jefecito”,即“小首领”(The Little Chief)。
He isn’t any longer the designated captain, because Messi, leading by example, is entitled to that honor. Messi, however, is truly a passive example on the field, a player who is tackled rather than the one doing the tackling, a man whose antenna is tuned to producing moments of imagination, beauty and decisive goal scoring.
他不再是官方指定的队长,因为以身作则的梅西的确有资格拥有这份荣誉。然而,梅西在赛场上的表现实在被动。他总是被拦截的对象,而不会去拦截别人。他的天线总是需要别人调好,才能带来充满想象力、美丽和果断进球的时刻。
Argentina depends upon him, perhaps too much so. When the goals dry up, when the opposing team is as concentrated on stopping him as the Netherlands was on Wednesday, he can become as isolated as any other player, almost impotent, which is not something we say about Messi very often.
阿根廷很依赖他,或许这种依赖有些过分。当进球无望,对方球队像周三的荷兰队那样专心拦截他时,他就会变得与其他球员一样孤立,甚至会无能为力,这可不是我们经常对梅西作出的评价。
When that does happen, others are required to step to the plate. A keeper like Romero who guesses right two times out of four in the penalty decider. Defenders like Pablo Zabaleta, another who shook off head injury, though in his case a bloodied mouth. Zabaleta stuck like glue to the Dutch wingers, except in the crucial 90th minute when Robben danced free.
当这种情况出现时,其他人就需要挺身而出。在点球决胜中),门将罗梅罗四次射门中猜中两次。还有巴勃罗·萨巴莱塔(Pablo Zabaleta)等防守队员。他也撞到了头部,不过他是嘴部出血。萨巴莱塔像胶水一样粘住荷兰边锋不放,不过在关键的第90分钟时,罗本灵活地摆脱了防守队员。
At that moment came the timely intervention of Mascherano. Seeing him at the heart of Argentina’s defiance this week takes me back to October 2008, when Diego Maradona began his brief and ultimately failed attempt to manage the national team to victory at the last World Cup.
就在此时,马斯切拉诺及时插手干预。看到他成为阿根廷本周反击战的核心球员时,我仿佛又回到了2008年10月。当时,迭戈·马拉多纳(Diego Maradona)试图带领阿根廷国家队获得上一届世界杯(World Cup)冠军,他的尝试时间短暂,而且最终失败。
“My team,” Maradona said when he accepted the challenge, “is Mascherano and 10 others.”
“我的队伍,”马拉多纳在接受这项挑战时说,“是马斯切拉诺与其他10名队员。”
The 10 included Messi, whom Maradona saw as the individual superstar (in Diego’s own image). Whatever else Maradona got right or wrong in his 20 months in charge, his instinct was right about Mascherano. A team can be built around a special player, but there are times when it needs leadership to gut out the contest.
这10名队员中也包括梅西。在马拉多纳看来,他只是一个独立的超级明星(与他自己并无二致)。在马拉多纳接管球队的一年零8个月里,不管他的是非对错,他对马斯切拉诺的直觉都正确无误。我们可以围绕一名特殊球员建立一支球队,但有时候球队需要领导力,才能杀出重围。

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