By Eric Beard, writing from Boston
Though Brazil will develop into the decade’s epicenter of South American sport thanks to the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Rio de Janeiro summer olympics, this summer the spotlight will be on Argentina at Copa América 2011, the continent’s prestigious quadrennial international tournament. Los Albicelestes did not live up to their expectations in South Africa 2010, however, this time around Argentina are on home turf and do not want to disappoint. Lionel Messi said, “2010 was a good year for me personally, but the World Cup didn’t go the way I wanted… Now I have the aim for Argentina to win the Copa America next year, as we’ll contest it at home.”
But beyond the battles on the pitch there is another fight going on in Argentina. CONMEBOL and the Argentine planners of Copa América have to accommodate for the tournament amidst the nation’s double-digit rate of inflation. 10 percent inflation would be disastrous in the economy of your average developed nation, yet the Argentine economy currently has an estimated inflation rate of 26 percent and it is predicted to rise to 30 percent over this next year.
In the United States, the value of a car depreciates by 20 percent a year. In Argentina, the value of a car does the same, however, due to a 26% rate of inflation, you can actually sell a car for more Argentinean Pesos the next year. Madness.