World Cup: Adios Diego. Uruguay is out, so I'm cheering for Germany and its diverse team.

The Americas is out of the World Cup with Uruguay losing to the Netherlands in a dramatic 3-2 game. The hopes for a Latin American team in the final are dead. It will come down to two European teams.

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Diego Forlan photo from FIFA.com

One player who I will miss seeing is Uruguay's team captain Diego Forlán.

Not only is he an awesome player. Did you see how he kicked that first goal against the Netherlands?

He is nice to watch. As some of my girlfriends described him on Facebook, he's a "papi," or "papasote," or as I'd say "papi chulo." (All Spanish-language slang that basically translate into hot daddy.)

Seriously, though, the global diversity of the games has been breathtaking to watch.

But there are some critics of this diversity. France, which lost to South Africa and Mexico, has players of African and Arab descent. After that loss, some public officials and fans dared to blame the diversity of the team for France's horrible performance.

There was a racial backlash and some of the players were called "gang leaders," "hooligans," and "scum." Philosopher Alain Finkielkraut compared the players to the youth who rioted in France's suburban ghettos.

That's just wrong. Race or ethnicity had nothing to do with France's
loss. They had a nutty coach and the attitude of many of the players was
arrogant. Maybe they acted too French.

And it's ironic that the diversity is now criticized. When France won the World Cup in 1998, the diversity of the team was celebrated.

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German World Cup Team from FIFA.com

If diversity were a detractor, then how can you explain the success of the German team heading into the semi-final today against Spain?

Indeed almost half of the German team are immigrants or have a parent born outside Germany. That diversity includes Poland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Nigeria, Tunisia, Turkey and Brazil. I'm rooting for Germany.

I'll have my eye on Cacau, Brazilian by birth but who has lived in Germany many years, and became a German citizen.

I say this global melting pot makes the game stronger. This is what has kept me watching the games. And it's a bonus the players are nice to look at too.

From now I can definitely say fútbol is my favorite sport.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIDEO

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