“That’s how the gauchos walk. The gauchos walk like this,” several German soccer players sang as they celebrated on Tuesday in Berlin. Toni Kroos, Miroslav Klose, André Schürrle, Mario Götze, Benedikt Höwedes and Germany’s substitute goalkeeper, Roman Weidenfeller, were chanting this song at an event in front of the Brandenburg Gate as they walked with their heads hanging low, in an imitation of Lionel Messi after the game. The Germans beat Argentina in this year’s final World Cup match 1-0.
The Germans sang: “This is how Germany walks. Germany walks like this.” And they stood up straight and walked proudly as a crowd of people chanted the new lyrics.
“It was not very nice. In their festive euphoria, some internationally known German players made fun of their defeated rival, Argentina. Apparently the party did not sit well with some,” Der Spiegel magazine wrote online. The publication also noted that Bastian Schweinsteiger, Manuel Neuer and Höwedes walked on stage in single file, each with one hand on the shoulder of the man before him, as the players of the host country, Brazil, did before every game of the tournament including before that 7-1 loss to Germany in the semi-finals.
Some internationally known German players made fun of their defeated rival”
CNN en Español wrote: “German players’ victory song causes controversy.” “Apparently the Germans have their own way of asking the Argentineans “how does it feel?,” the American network said in reference to a chant some Argentinean fans and players has been singing to Brazil, their traditional rival, since the beginning of the World Cup to remind the Canarinha of its 1-0 defeat in Italy in 1990.
The German song eventually ended up on social media platforms, where some have said it is a show of disrespect, while others argue Argentina could not get offended over the joke.
Most Argentinean media outlets called the joke “a controversy.” Clarín wrote: “The Germans celebrated with a victory song dedicated to Argentina.” But the rest of the press criticized the winning team. The sports newspaper Olé, a Clarín publication, chose the title: “Controversial joke,” and ended its article on this note: “Germans think they are superior. A different race…”
The Germans have their own way of asking the Argentineans, ‘How does it feel?’”
La Nación titled its piece “Germans make controversial joke about Argentina at Berlin celebrations.” “German champions hold provocative anti-Argentina festivities,” was the way Infobae put it. “A controversial victory party,” wrote Página/12. The Uruguayan-Argentinean journalist Víctor Hugo Morales was the most critical.
“Thinking about how those players killed six million,” he said on his radio show on Radio Continental. “With that same mentality, that same belief in superiority and that same imbecility. Their attitude seems contemptuous to me. These people have done little for Germany, those who try to erase the image of a country that discriminates believe themselves to be a superior race and so committed mass killings for it.” He called the jokester players “disgusting Nazis” and said: “If they can do this, it’s because there are still Germans who applaud them for it. There is still a very sick part of Germany.”
On the other hand, Enrique Martínez, a leader in Argentinean President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s party, the Front for Victory, shared a different perspective on Twitter: “The Germans make fun of us after winning because they were really scared of losing. Just like we were with Brazil.”
Translation: Dyane Jean François