The Soccer Thread

Zagor

Sparrow
US is rubbish at soccer because it doesn't have soccer culture, simple as that. In these smaller countries that are football superpowers, you have kids playing football every day after school in back alleys with improvised goalposts made of two stones, aspiring to be the next Messi or Cristiano. When you will have that in US, you'll be a football superpower. Same goes for China, India and other huge countries which can't compete on any level with Croatia or Uruguay , for example
 

rudebwoy

Peacock
Gold Member
USA doesn't have a strong soccer culture.

The women's team won the World Cup because their style of play lacks finesse. Watching them play, resembles little boys that play rep soccer in my local park.

I was watching a few English games yesterday on American TV, endless commercials about women's soccer. That is another topic I don't want to get into.

The men's team lacks the skill level, hence why they didn't make the World Cup. Even if you got the top athlete's, they still wouldn't be able to get near a World Cup.

Croatia and Uruguay are great examples of small countries that exceed in the sport.

Please spare me the would of and could of.
 

perros

Woodpecker
^^^^

I'm not sure if its exclusively just culture though.

Peru, Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Central American countries have strong soccer cultures and traditions and it doesn't necessarily correlate to winning a world cup.

Portugal, strong soccer culture, never won a world cup.

Spain, strong soccer culture and barely won it in 2010.

If you ask me, I think its corruption and the powers that be want mainly Western European countries to win and all resources are geared towards that.
 

rudebwoy

Peacock
Gold Member
The World Cup is set up for certain countries to win, yes there is corruption in the sport.

The Latin America countries you mentioned regularly make the tournament.

USA has spent millions on the sport, which makes it more laughable that they couldn't make the last World Cup.

Money isn't always the answer.
 

Rocha

Ostrich
Gold Member
perros said:
^^^^

I'm not sure if its exclusively just culture though.

Peru, Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Central American countries have strong soccer cultures and traditions and it doesn't necessarily correlate to winning a world cup.

Portugal, strong soccer culture, never won a world cup.

Spain, strong soccer culture and barely won it in 2010.

If you ask me, I think its corruption and the powers that be want mainly Western European countries to win and all resources are geared towards that.
Another nonsense. Those countries never won because they never got a group of players good enough to win, and many time matches are decided by details, and tactics from the coaches.

Also, as I can recall the biggest scandal so far was South Korea making it to the semi finals in 2002 (when they where the home team) with scandalous refereeing in all matches, and against European powerhouses like Italy, and even Spain and Portugal.

Portugal might never have won a world cup, but was robbed against England in the semis in 66, and is the current European and European League Champion. Also in clubs I remind all that Porto and Benfica have won both twice the Champions League or European Cup as it was called before, and both times with mostly Portuguese players, also Porto has other numerous continental and inter continental accolades. Not even worth mentioning Real Madrid, Barcelona and some others clubs in the Spanish case.

Also appart from the 80s, when Portugal had a 4 or 5 top class strikers, Fernando Gomes, Nené, Jordao, Manuel Fernandes or Rui Aguas...the lack of this kind of player is the detail that has made us come short in some competitions, which now with Ronaldo evolving into playing on that position, has bringed the aforementioned results.
 

Bienvenuto

Pelican
Gold Member
perros said:
^^^^

I'm not sure if its exclusively just culture though.

Peru, Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Central American countries have strong soccer cultures and traditions and it doesn't necessarily correlate to winning a world cup.

Portugal, strong soccer culture, never won a world cup.

Spain, strong soccer culture and barely won it in 2010.

If you ask me, I think its corruption and the powers that be want mainly Western European countries to win and all resources are geared towards that.
The perennial Latin American complaint.

All European final a la 2010? Wayyyy-cism!

Look no further than the Argentinians in 2014 and 2018. A very talented side.

They could have won that 2014 final but they devoted too much energy to niggling, preening, complaining, fouling, rolling around on the floor, swearing at the ref. The most negative display.. and they lost.

2018 they took their negativity and histrionics to new levels. I remember seeing one of their players losing his shit and swearing away at a linesman right in front of the cameras.

If you ask lots of Latin Americans they are the toughest of the tough, so badass, no-one should mess with them. Fair enough.

They go to a World Cup where in a game of fitness and skill all they have to do is score more goals than the other side and they can win the whole thing: what happens?

They act like fricking toddlers and lose to sides that are arguably less talented than them - but who display much better focus, discipline and teamwork.

Whattt?

Rayyyy-cism!!!

Well how does that work?
Its the same amount of players on the pitch.
Both goals are the same size.
Its all televised around the world in real time.

As for pro-Western Europe bias well, Spain and Portugal are Western European.

Spain have always been the sleeping giants of world football but there have always been issues in the national squad. Players like Raoul were so rated but watching him in the national jersey was embarrassing at times.

They finally woke up and won European Cup-World Cup-European Cup 2008-2010-2012 .. a feat never achieved before.

Its hard to win a World Cup.

If a European team wins it then straight away the Africans and Latinos start complaining.

But then.. when the spotlight is applied to their own team selection, issues in their governing bodies, inability to handle pressure, negative negative tactics, the way they went about playing specific games then..
surprise, surprise, they have no one but themselves to blame.

And then their press gives their most preening, pathetic, sweary, (albeit talented) primadonnas titles like El General!/ El Supremo! and say that he is big rough, tough enforcer! and midfield general/ defensive stalwart.
No. He's a dickhead. And he played like one. And because he played that badly his team lost.

The rest of the world can see this.

But there seems to be a special kind of hamstering that goes on in the minds of Brazilians/ Cameroonians/ Mexicans/ Argentinians/ Uruguayans etc. after each World Cup.
 

rudebwoy

Peacock
Gold Member
Not sure why you put the Cameroonians in with the South American teams, most Africans I talk too know the issue with their national teams.

Argentina are the biggest chokers in World Football, tied with the Dutch.
 

Rocha

Ostrich
Gold Member
rudebwoy said:
Not sure why you put the Cameroonians in with the South American teams, most Africans I talk too know the issue with their national teams.

Argentina are the biggest chokers in World Football, tied with the Dutch.
Biggest chokers until 2008 in Football history where Yugoslavia, Soviet Union and Spain. Both Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union disbanded, and Spain had the great 2008-2012 era.... I am speaking from cheer talent of the players, related to the overall results.

Argentina won twice the world cup and lost 2 or 3 finals....somebody has to win...same with Netherlands, lost 3 WC finals (one against Argentina), won an European cup... I would not call them a choker nation, like I said previously, somebody has to win the finals, and details many times win those matches...

Some examples, Arconada was the best GK in the world, and he gave an enormous blunder that gave France the european cup in 84, Van Basten scores from impossible angle in the EC finals against Soviet Union in 88, Oliver Bierhoff golden goal in 1996...the hand of god from Maradona in 1986... or Baggio who was the best player in the world, and shot his penalty kick to the clouds in 1994, Thuram strikes 2 against Croatia in the semis (he probably scored 5 goals in his entire career) in and led France to the final in 1998, and then to Ronaldo was sick and choked as all the brazilian team in that year final, Fabio Grosso (a left back) late strike against Germany in 2006, then penaties to Italy to win the 4th. Ronaldo got injured early in the game...then barely talented Eder that everybody disliked, strikes from outside the box to give Portugal the EC in 2016....

The only World Cup final that I recall that was clear from the beggining that one team could not stand a chance was Germany against Brazil in 2002.
 

pk9090

Robin
perros said:
^^^^

I'm not sure if its exclusively just culture though.

Peru, Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Central American countries have strong soccer cultures and traditions and it doesn't necessarily correlate to winning a world cup.

Portugal, strong soccer culture, never won a world cup.

Spain, strong soccer culture and barely won it in 2010.

If you ask me, I think its corruption and the powers that be want mainly Western European countries to win and all resources are geared towards that.
Portugal managed to get 2 times to the semis and won a European cup.

Spain won 3 European cups and a world cup.

Winning a competition that happens from 4 in 4 years it's never a easy task and as Rocha said, if you want to talk about corruption you should talk about South Korea 2002, worst corruption case ever.

Football at these events its not a straight science, a lot of things happen...
 

Teedub

Crow
Gold Member
A lot of football, particularly cup competitions, is luck. Jose Mourinho, as phenomenally successfully as he is, and having a career as built around European cup competitions as it is, has admitted as much. There's also a myth that top class, even 'best ever'-level players can win entire competitions on their own. It's nonsense.

Players with egos as large as Messi and Ronaldo's must be, would simply sign on a sponsor-financed deal with Bournmouth and win them the Champions League to prove their own greatness if that was the case. It doesn't happen because they themselves know it isn't possible. They simply wouldn't have the defence behind them, nor the build-up play capable of servicing their finishing, in order to win anything. There's a mythos surrounding Maradona at Napoli that simply doesn't match the facts. That team had one absolutely brilliant player (him), several very good players, several good players, and several above average players. But that doesn't tell a good yarn.

Messi, at his peak a few years ago, wouldn't take Stockport County to the FA Cup Final. Nor would a great manager like 2000-2010 Mourinho. It's sensationalised silliness that pretends otherwise. A fantastic player can win a few games 'sort of' single-handedly, not entire league competitions of 30+ games.

All that aside, a team containing the names I've mentioned plus Zidane and the 'other' Ronaldo would be fucking awesome. You could have Jones and Smalling as the centre back partnership and I'd still back them to win, a lot. But I'm probably wrong in actuality. As Alex Ferguson said, attackers win you games, but defence and goalkeepers win you leagues. So stick Beckenbauer, Maldini, and Buffon in there too for good measure. Oh, and Ronaldinho haha.
 

Foolsgo1d

Peacock
I wonder how long Chelski will give Lamps before kicking his ass out of the job. He left a good gig at Derby to be rolled by a fucking Russian moron with too much $$$ and a temper tantrum.
 

911

Peacock
Gold Member
perros said:
^^^^

I'm not sure if its exclusively just culture though.

Peru, Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Central American countries have strong soccer cultures and traditions and it doesn't necessarily correlate to winning a world cup.

Portugal, strong soccer culture, never won a world cup.

Spain, strong soccer culture and barely won it in 2010.

If you ask me, I think its corruption and the powers that be want mainly Western European countries to win and all resources are geared towards that.
Soccer popularity alone doesn't make a country, that's why I used the term "soccer culture", it's not just about how popular the sport is, but more about the particular style national practiced, which is a direct reflection of the national character.

Brazilian soccer culture is about samba, capoeira, fluid motions, jogo bonito flourish and high technical skill. It is a superior soccer culture.

German football culture is about organization, technique, strong mindset and efficiency. Also a superior combination.

Italian football culture is about street smarts in combination with flourish, translating into the catenaccio defensive efficiency and results. The top Italian footballers of all time were mostly defenders like Maldini, Gentile, Cannavaro, Nesta etc.

Countries like Peru and Mexico have a dysfunctional quixotic mestizo national culture, so they've historically underperformed despite the sport being hugely popular and occasionaly having some great stars like Cubillas.
 

rudebwoy

Peacock
Gold Member
Teedub said:
A lot of football, particularly cup competitions, is luck. Jose Mourinho, as phenomenally successfully as he is, and having a career as built around European cup competitions as it is, has admitted as much. There's also a myth that top class, even 'best ever'-level players can win entire competitions on their own. It's nonsense.

Players with egos as large as Messi and Ronaldo's must be, would simply sign on a sponsor-financed deal with Bournmouth and win them the Champions League to prove their own greatness if that was the case. It doesn't happen because they themselves know it isn't possible. They simply wouldn't have the defence behind them, nor the build-up play capable of servicing their finishing, in order to win anything. There's a mythos surrounding Maradona at Napoli that simply doesn't match the facts. That team had one absolutely brilliant player (him), several very good players, several good players, and several above average players. But that doesn't tell a good yarn.

Messi, at his peak a few years ago, wouldn't take Stockport County to the FA Cup Final. Nor would a great manager like 2000-2010 Mourinho. It's sensationalised silliness that pretends otherwise. A fantastic player can win a few games 'sort of' single-handedly, not entire league competitions of 30+ games.

All that aside, a team containing the names I've mentioned plus Zidane and the 'other' Ronaldo would be fucking awesome. You could have Jones and Smalling as the centre back partnership and I'd still back them to win, a lot. But I'm probably wrong in actuality. As Alex Ferguson said, attackers win you games, but defence and goalkeepers win you leagues. So stick Beckenbauer, Maldini, and Buffon in there too for good measure. Oh, and Ronaldinho haha.
This is complete hogwash and we have been down this road before.

Napoli won nothing, before Maradona and nothing after.

https://economictimes.indiatimes.co...anted peace and the,a World Cup for Argentina.

Messi and Ronaldo are great players, but they have always been surrounded by great players.
 

Teedub

Crow
Gold Member
We have indeed been down this road before, no point arguing with a self-proclaimed Maradona worshipper. I didn't single him out, I singled out the argument that football players are able to win things on their own.

Edit: notable that you didn't further embolden my statement to include when I stated that he was an amazing player. Also notable that nothing else in my four-paragraph post irritated you, apart from the bit about Maradona.
 

Harem Scarem

Sparrow
Gold Member
pk9090 said:
perros said:
^^^^

I'm not sure if its exclusively just culture though.

Peru, Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Central American countries have strong soccer cultures and traditions and it doesn't necessarily correlate to winning a world cup.

Portugal, strong soccer culture, never won a world cup.

Spain, strong soccer culture and barely won it in 2010.

If you ask me, I think its corruption and the powers that be want mainly Western European countries to win and all resources are geared towards that.
Portugal managed to get 2 times to the semis and won a European cup.

Spain won 3 European cups and a world cup.

Winning a competition that happens from 4 in 4 years it's never a easy task and as Rocha said, if you want to talk about corruption you should talk about South Korea 2002, worst corruption case ever.

Football at these events its not a straight science, a lot of things happen...
I don't know if "winning cups" (in international, not club football) is a great measure anyway. We Dutchies never won a World Cup. We won the Euros in 1988, but with a 4-4-2 setup rather than some amazing Total Football that people love to talk about. While I don't want to belittle that result at all, I don't think it's even a contest when you ask which of our teams set the world on fire the most: the 1974 one or the 1988 one?

By the way, about Total Football: guys like Cruyff and Van Hanegem have often insisted that there was never an all-encompassing strategy derived from Michels or some other coach's magnificent brain. They would often talk about how they simply ignored his instructions and did their own thing. Of course this is very biased: the relationship between e.g. Cruyff and Michels soured later on, to the point where Michels blackballed Cruyff from becoming the coach of the national team for the 1990 World Cup, even though most of the squad wanted him. So Cruyff at least had a rather personal motivation in pushing the "anti-managerialist" narrative in the perpetual playerist vs managerialist debate when it comes to the question of "Who is responsible for the success?"

Whatever you want to believe about this, the existence of these competing narratives shows the role of ego and personality. Just compare the performances of the Dutch team in FIFA 1974 vs Euro 1976, Euro 1988 vs FIFA 1990, FIFA 2010 vs Euro 2012, etc. I could go on and on. Look at how the Dutch team of 1998-2000 (unluckily only reaching the semis) failed to even qualify for 2002, despite having one of the greatest generations under one of the greatest managers at the time, Louis van Gaal.

Another tangent: international cup finals are often cagey or even plainly boring affairs. Of course there are exceptions to this. But this is one other reason why the number of world cups is not a great metric. League football is easier to analyse: it's played every year, and you can see patterns emerging. You can clearly see the gulf in quality when, as in last season's English Premier League, the #1 ends up with 98 points and a +72 goal difference, and the #2 gets 97 points and +67. Players develop for up to 20 seasons, and while there are still massive elements of surprise, there are usually some patterns that can be analysed over times. A World Cup only comes along every 4 years, however, and is often subject to unexpected influences like favourites failing to qualify, or blatant manipulation like in 2002. Players get 1-4 world cups, generally, and then the window of opportunity is simply gone, so that a great player like Messi will always have this absence of success, while Cristiano Ronaldo can look back at his international career with some satisfaction.

It's the human factor and the surprises that make the game so interesting. This is now obviously under threat from increasing data-drivenness, increasing focus on physicality, VAR micromanagement, qualifying and seeding procedures that aim to get the same teams to the top every single time, etc. But it's still the hope for something like Ajax in the CL last season that is the icing on the cake and which keeps people watching. I hope the new season will be entertaining and competitive despite the best efforts of the corporate goons.
 

rudebwoy

Peacock
Gold Member
Teedub said:
We have indeed been down this road before, no point arguing with a self-proclaimed Maradona worshipper. I didn't single him out, I singled out the argument that football players are able to win things on their own.

Edit: notable that you didn't further embolden my statement to include when I stated that he was an amazing player. Also notable that nothing else in my four-paragraph post irritated you, apart from the bit about Maradona.
I don't worship anyone, I have great respect for the man and what he accomplished with Napoli.

Who do you rate?

Beckham lol
 

911

Peacock
Gold Member
Guys who are calling Portugal and Holland chokers are clearly clueless, those countries have some of the best football cultures in the world, punching way above their weight.

Holland's character is more open than Germany's, but also more individualistic and cliqueish. It's been a double-edged sword, pound for pound they have usually been better than Germany because of that extra national flair, but it comes with an organizational disadvantage.

The lack of unity and team discipline might have cost them two world cups. Had they had a more united team in 1974, when Cruijff blocked world class players from archrival club PSV Eindhoven, including Jan Van Beveren, they would have had a stronger team. Van Beveren was then clearly the top goalkeeper in Holland, one of the best in Europe, and a cut above Jongbloed, who performed poorly in the final.

Then in 1978 Cruijff went on to pout again and sat it out, Holland with him would have surely edged Argentina in the final, they came very close to winning the final against the home team.
 

Teedub

Crow
Gold Member
rudebwoy said:
Teedub said:
We have indeed been down this road before, no point arguing with a self-proclaimed Maradona worshipper. I didn't single him out, I singled out the argument that football players are able to win things on their own.

Edit: notable that you didn't further embolden my statement to include when I stated that he was an amazing player. Also notable that nothing else in my four-paragraph post irritated you, apart from the bit about Maradona.
I don't worship anyone, I have great respect for the man and what he accomplished with Napoli.

Who do you rate?

Beckham lol
Xavi and Scholes are my favourite players.
 
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