There was a moment during the Colombia-Uruguay game when James Rodriguez suddenly metamorphosed into Caravaggio. He was about to paint the Contarelli Chapel in the church of San Luigi dei Francesin his own ‘special’ way. His artwork will be told and retold by many generations to come: Finding himself surrounded by four players in the tightest impossible kernel of space, James had only his dexterity, courage, beauty, muscle power and coordination and his innocence of ‘all is actually possible’ to guide him though the travails of this most decisive moment. He controlled the ball in a hop on his chest (really no time to think), but this hop was the key that demanded a push upwards so the ‘planet’ ball could keep floating and levitate in the air, and then, in a yogic like twist he pulverized it with his left foot in a such a way that the kinetics of the shot determined that the ball would actually loop up by down and spiral behind the back of the goal. Like the British commentator (Steve Mcmanaman) said, ‘oh that volley wow beauty’. The Guardian wrote the kindest words in celebration of this momentous time in soccer history and heritage. I quote:  “Rodriguez glides with such menace, his touch sublime and awareness almost unnatural for one gracing these finals for the first time.” End of quote. An addendum to this rare feat of beauty is the way the Uruguayan keeper Muslera was left spider-like in space floating in spatial air. ‘Spider’ could not catch the ‘insect’ ball. There would be no way to stop this ball no way to keep this great work of Art hidden and tied up in the deepest recesses of darkness. James Rodriguez enters eternity and the pantheon of great artistic goals and is now the creator Zeus (at least for a small blip in eternity).
 
This world cup presented us with eternal moments like the above. Moments that seem to unashamedly transcend barriers of human nationality, ‘appartenance’ and so-called race boundaries and correctness, to enter the realm of the ephemeral bliss, the realm of ‘du grand Art’. I have used Caravaggio`s name above, and everyone who has studied him knows that as a person he had a tumultuous and restless character, a brawler and a bully, but his work, then and now, transcends the gross ugliness of life (yes that we know exists). Similarly this world cup at times assumed moments of extreme and intense beauty (and abject biting ugliness which we will pass over in this note), and these moments persist in our minds and are what remind us of the mystery and sheer beauty of humanity. The Greeks (not the soccer team) would have had a few things to say about that.  
 
Well other moments of Beauty exist and remain doggedly unforgotten. Vibes of these great moments still dissipate from the fields of Bela Horizonte and Salvador.  The ball is crossed from afar and Van Persie runs as if Yama is behind to snatch his soul, intercepts it. At that specific moment there comes a time where body physiology takes over, or better, runs in perfect unison with the mind. Da Vinci if alive would have noted and studied this and produced a second Mona Lisa in its honor. The angle of Van Persie’s neck, must be pitch perfect, with the speed at this very moment, as well as a natural push or jolt that he initiated from within must be exactly, precisely, accurately of the very right intensity.  And at the same time the human eyes (his eyes) kept scanning the trajectory, and against all odds, great Art was born to be triumphant. The ball is at the back of the net to everyone`s shock and Spain`s lonely despair and Van Persie is now an Albatross-God crashing to the ground. A touch so sublime, a feat of such rare impossibility that at that same instant, that same moment, eternity registered a blip and Van Persie became a God. A God for one millisecond. Of course moments later, he reabsorbed himself into being an ordinary being and ordinary player full of flaws, impatience and regular near misses. The gifts of soccer, Galeano says, and I quote his words, are as follows:Even though professional soccer has become more about business and less about the game itself, I still believe football is a party for the legs that play it and for the eyes that watch it”. What we Amateurs think Galeano meant, is that great artistic moments in soccer are very much like the works of the Cave paintings at Lascaux in France. They are so primitive, so wild and misunderstood, that ‘modern’ man looks at it with a distant incomprehensible awe (did this just happen?). In a way, soccer is Art and long live Camus! Now that the beauty is over, we are now all well focused on the madness of another ‘field’, a place called Gaza. I pass. I despair.  I die.