Sunday, August 9, 2020

Lionel Messi and Joe Biden

Lionel Messi, to my mind the most extraordinary athlete of our time, was brilliant again against Napoli this week – if you're curious why people worship him, see the goal at 2:58 of this video. He is also Barcelona's team captain, a role he shunned for most of his career because he would rather play than talk. But reporters listening in the tunnel heard him say this to his teammates as they went in for halftime:

Tenemos dos goles de ventaja, no seamos pelotudos. Juguemos tranquilos.

Which might be translated,

We have a two goal lead, let's not be jackasses. Play calmly.

Which, it struck me, is exactly the motto of the Joe Biden campaign.


David said...

Just a bit more accurate might be: We have a two goal lead, let's not be jackasses. Let's play calmly.

It's a tiny difference, but it *may* (I stress that) convey a slightly different spirit to the man.

G. Verloren said...


I take bigger issue with the translation of "pelotudos" - as I understand it, it's a lot more vulgar than "dumbass" is these days, something more like "fuckwit" or "dipshit".

That in turn also suggests the spirit is not quite what you may be thinking, and that it was probably not a "let us" suggestion, so much as a brusque "don't" command.

Anonymous said...

Yes, that's the depth of thought that you can get from Messi, and from almost all absurdly paid people that run behind a ball in shorts... It's pure porn

David said...

Well, I had never heard of Lionel Messi until John wrote that post. Y'all (G. and Anonymous) may be more right about him as a person than I am. But the verbs are in the first person plural, not the second person. And I do like to imagine successful leaders who eschew the voice of command-scorn.

David said...

I would add that the profanity itself isn't the issue. "Let's not be fuckwits" still might, depending on the tone, convey a sense of team and common interest.

G. Verloren said...


I don't really have an opinion either way. My understanding of the linguistics is second hand, and I know nothing about Messi as a person at all.

Really, it could go either way, but I'd like to think you're right - although I expect we'd need someone else to confirm who has first hand linguistic experience and knows Messi's personality / style.