Taglit-Birthright Israel participants from Argentina watched their country’s soccer team lose to Germany in the World Cup final Sunday night.
They watched the Sunday night match at Taglit Village at Chan Hashayarot in the central Negev, joined by other Taglit participants from the United States and Panama during the game aired live from Brazil at 10 p.m. Israel time.
One participant, Harnan Freiderg, said it was interesting to watch the game from Israel, particularly with commentary from the Hebrew-speaking announcers.
“There was a lot of singing, excitement, and tension in the room,” he said. “There were many different feelings.”
Chan Hashayarot, about 60 kilometers from Gaza, was a great location for watching the game, said Freiderg, and fortunately, there were no sirens warning of incoming rockets during the game.
“We missed four chances to score a goal,” said Augustin Kanter, 21, another of the Argentinian participants. “At the end we were very disappointed, but we were still very proud of our country.”
The group of 350 Argentinian participants is here on an educational 10-day trip to Israel despite the current barrage of rocket attacks, said Gidi Mark, CEO of Taglit-Birthright Israel.
Argentina’s last victory in the FIFA World Cup dates back to 1986, when the South American team beat Germany in Mexico. This year, the Argentinian soccer team was defeated by the four-time champion Germany.
The Taglit participants did miss out on one of the ultimate Argentinian World Cup traditions – the gigantic barbecues held during the games, a must for the soccer experience in Argentina.
Maybe next time.