How the beautiful game has lost it's beauty

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Eivindo
Ali
vivabarca38
windkick
Serge Gnabry
justdoit_
Ganso
nichabr
Lord Awesome
Lord Spencer
Magricos
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How the beautiful game has lost it's beauty Empty How the beautiful game has lost it's beauty

Post by M99 Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:35 pm

Lord Spencer created a thread in the Milan section about the decline of football. In that thread I posted my view on how and why football is declined but since it is the Milan section, don't think a lot of people will see it so I decided to post it on the General Section to get a much wider view on my opinion about this matter.

milanista99 wrote:I have been meaning to make a thread about this for over two years, ever since Goal.com lithium. But somehow I never created it, but now another person has created it and here's my chance to give my humble opinion on this matter.

My hero Gianni Rivera in 1998: "There is a strong risk that we will be overcome by too much money, in our society materialism has won. This is the football of financiers"

Boy, oh boy how right he was but more on that later.

The quality of football has decreased significantly, the last great international tournament was 1998. It was full of magical moments, Croatia 3 - 0 Germany quarter finals, The beginning of Italy vs France rivalry in the quarter finals, Bergkamp's goal vs Argentina, Davids goal vs Yugoslavia, Denmark close to upset Brazil, so many good matches. 98 WC was the last truly great WC, the quality of football dropped from that time. 2002 was exciting because of underdogs upsetting the favourites, and two of the upsets are because of South Korea being disgustingly favoured by the referee. 2006 was a tournament dominated by drab horizontal play, only Italy matches (ironically) were the ones which put you on the edge of your seat and 2010 was ruined by ultra defensive football, abysmal refereeing, persistent fouling and a disgraceful beach ball.

And it's not just international touraments but club leagues and competitions too. Remember a time when AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus, Roma, Lazio and Parma would fight over the league for the entire season? When Real and Barca wouldn't destroy every team 8-0 in the La Liga and the gap between second and third was 1 point except for 27 points? When La Liga had the likes of Valencia, Atletic Bilbao and Super Depor competing for the title instead of a two horse race consisting of Real Madrid and Barcelona? Remeber when footballing powerhouses (Marseille, Ajax, Red Star Belgrade, Borussia Dortmund) existed outside of Italy, Spain and England and Bayern Munich? A match between 1st place and 6th place used to be highly competitive and nowadays it is labelled as warmups. And the quality of those matches, compare them to the quality of matches nowadays. It's like comparing The Godfather to Max Payne. Compare UEFA Champions League 2003 to UEFA Champions League 2011. The difference in the quality of the matches is vast. Money has destroyed competiton in football, plastic balls have destroyed quality.

How often do you see a perfect through ball which Zico, Platini, Mazzola and Mardaona used to with their eyes closed? How often do you see some chip the ball over 4 defenders to the path of a running striker which Baggio, Totti, Socrates and Rivera would do with a bored expression on their face? How often do you see someone bend it like Beckham? How often do you see a a curling free which Roberto Carlos,Beckham, Juninho and our beloved metronome Pirlo would do every time they too a free kick. What has chaged. Quite literally football has changed. Before it was a simple pure leather Adidas Tango ball now it is a flashy colourful plastic synthetic ball, a minor change surely that will have little to no effect on the game. But far from that. The balls nowadays travel too fast, they are very light and bounce a lot. These attributes of synthetic footballs have made trequatistas, registas and fantasisti endangered species just like poaching has made tigers endangered species. We all laugh at Cristiano Ronaldo for blastic the ball at aeroplanes but is it really his fault? The synthetic balls travel so fast and are so unpredictable that all long range screamers are hit and hope instead of pure skill, placement and power. Synthetic balls have also affected long range passes and the first touch of a player, these plastic football are ruining the beautiful things of the beautiful game.

Another vital factor which has changed football is unavoidable and was beyond anyone's control is that football has evolved. The God With The Ponytail Roberto Baggio said it perfectly, nowadays skill is the secondary factor. Strength, athleticism and other physical attributes come first. Compare Carlos Tevez in Corinthians to Carlos Tevez in Manchester City. Compare Cristiano Ronaldo in his early Manchester United days to the Real Madrid Cristiano Ronaldo. Compare our golden boy Alexandre Pato 2007 to Alexandre Pato 2011. Compare Alessandro Del Piero 90s to Alessandro Del Piero 2000s. Compare Ronaldo O Fenomeno pre injury to Ronaldo O Fenomeno post injury. These are just a few examples on how footballer have evloved their physical attributes to catch up to the modern game. Before the top defenders in the world relied on game reading interception, nowadays most of the top defenders rely on their reactive senses and athleticism. Evolution has made footballers uglier but more effective.

Quality of players over the year have also decreased. Andrea Rannochia and Leonardo Bonucci are touted as Italy's new Nesta/Cannavaro partnership. At Bonnuci's age, Cannavaro didn't let Alan Shearer (who some say is the greatest player of the Premier League Era) have a sniff at the ball and Nesta at Rannochia's age became one of the best defenders in the world while Rannochia concedes 5 goals against Schalke 04 and Bonucci is the defender of a team which finished 7th. While Maldini at Santon's age was a starter at one of the greatest teams in football history, Santos struggles to gain starts at relegation battlers Cesena. Is Alessandro Matri even comparable to Christian Vieri? Can Alberto Aquillani hold a candle to Andrea Pirlo? Is Salavtore Sirigu fit to don Buffon's gloves. And it's not like these players were one in a million. Before them there was Dino Zoff, Roberto Baggio, Franco Baresi, Gaetano Scirea, Claudio Gentile, Gianni Rivera etc. And it's not like Italy is the only country lacking in talent. Is De Jong even half the player Edgar Davids was? Is Mexes comparable to Lilian Thuram? Is Dani Alves, Maicon and Marcelo who only know how to attack and is average at defending equal to Cafu and Roberto Carlos? Does Ever Banega have 1/4th the creativity of Juan Roman Riquelme?

In the start of my post, I quoted Gianni Rivera who said there is danger that football will be overcome by too much money. Money has destroyed competition in football. For a small club to be a big club without a massive takeover nowadays is only possible in Football Manager, not in the real world. Whenever a small club rise due to a successful youth academy, a good manager, shrewd bargains etc they are just cruelly bought down back to earth. Either their prized assets are taken away from them (BOTH players and managers) or they are drowned in debt. And with 50 million world class superstars arriving in big clubs every Sunday, how do you possibly beat them? Football is the most popular sport in the world, and this has caused foreigners to invest in football. Clubs which do not have billionaire oil barons as owners have to take loans just to save themselves from relegation and as a result drown in debt. There are a few exceptions but mostly newly promoted clubs manage to stay at top flight for only a mere season or two. Money has destroyed competition in football.

So in conclusion, football has changed and for the worse. This is majorly due to lack of player quality, plastic footballs, evolution of game and money. The beautiful game has lost a lot of it's beauty, but that doesn't mean all is lost. Look at Germany vs Italy 2006 World Cup Semi Final and you'll see at some points it is still beautiful. And no matter what, it will forever remain my religion.
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Post by Lex Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:42 pm

milanista99 wrote:How often do you see some chip the ball over 4 defenders to the path of a running striker which Baggio, Totti, Socrates and Rivera would do with a bored expression on their face?



0:50

But that's Fabregas for you
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Post by Adit Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:46 pm

Only parts i agree are,use of plastic balls and over influence of athletism in modern game.I dont agree with the talent part,spain has just produced their most talented crop of players.Just because italian player production is shit atm doesnt mean whole world is not producing enough talents.
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Post by Magricos Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:49 pm

You seem to focus a lot on the Italian NT when other countries quality have improved.

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Post by Lord Spencer Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:03 pm

The current crop of Spanish talent was produced 10 and more years ago, not today. Just because Spain and Germany are being exceptional in the production of talent, it does not mean that the talent pool is not dry.

I don't want to get into a name game, but under 2006, every year's Ballon'dr was a contest between more than 7 players. Italian player production was used as an example. And Italy being a great football nation makes the example very relevant. Of course there will be always talent, but there is a major difference in the focus of the game, which rewards headless running over intelligent movement.
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Post by Lord Awesome Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:07 pm

Too much focus on Serie A really.
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Post by Magricos Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:07 pm

So was the current group of Italian talent produced today ?

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Post by nichabr Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:08 pm

Magricos wrote: You seem to focus a lot on the Italian NT when other countries quality have improved.

really which ones?
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Post by Magricos Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:09 pm

nichabr wrote:
Magricos wrote: You seem to focus a lot on the Italian NT when other countries quality have improved.

really which ones?

Spain, Germany Uruguay Japan.

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Post by Lord Spencer Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:14 pm

No, they were produced 5 years ago or less.

I concede that the current Spain U-21 class is indeed talented, but the competition it had to face is laughable. Germany and Spain re moving in the right track when it comes to raising talent, and other countries should make note.

Still, talent coming from two countries while drying up in some other countries is less than before. So the point stands.

Please argue the individual points instead of accusing the guy of crying doom over the game just because of Seria A. You watched the 2010 world cup and this Copa America, didn't you. Also, funny how this amazingly talented Spain team couldn't win the WC in a more convincing manner.
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Post by nichabr Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:18 pm

spain....you think those players are more talented than some of their past players? spain only real change has to do with tactics they play horribly boring yet effective football....

germany....their still germany they compete even with horrible players....

uruguay....i can admit they have improved.

japan i havent watched in a while to comment.

now those 4 you named compare to the fall of italy, france, brazil and others..the thing is aswell this whole thing has nothing to do with the talent being produced it all has to do with the type of football being played nowadays.
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Post by Ganso Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:21 pm

i think its the same as before,problem is that the generation of players like R9,Zidane,Ronaldinho,the italian veterans etc died off and now were moving to a new generation of players.
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Post by Lord Awesome Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:21 pm

Lord Spencer wrote:Also, funny how this amazingly talented Spain team couldn't win the WC in a more convincing manner.

Well, take a look at who made it that way. Mind you it was the only way to defeat Spain as the Swiss proved, but sadly, the rest that were left in Spains wake wern't as organized as the Swiss, at the back.



Last edited by Lord Hispano on Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Lord Awesome Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:25 pm

I'll list the countries who have improved in the last 5 years.

Cote D' Ivoire
Japan
U.S.A
Uruguay
Algeria
Ghana
Egypt
Mexico
Paraguay
Chile
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Post by Lord Spencer Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:26 pm

If I remember correctly, both Paraguay and Chile were offensive against Spain, with Paraguay being narrowly defeated.

@Ganso, the dying veterans of today were already recognized as great talent at tender ages. While this new generation is laboring to carry the fire.
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Post by Lord Awesome Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:28 pm

Lord Spencer wrote:If I remember correctly, both Paraguay and Chile were offensive against Spain, with Paraguay being narrowly defeated.

Only intervals where they managed keep the ball and actually attack them.
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Post by Lord Spencer Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:34 pm

Lord Hispano wrote:I'll list the countries who have improved in the last 5 years.

Cote D' Ivoire
Japan
U.S.A
Uruguay
Algeria
Ghana
Egypt
Mexico
Paraguay
Chile

The only teams that you can say to have improved are : Japan and the U.S.A and Ghana

Mexico always had the potential.
Egypt are yet to reach a consistent performance.
Lol Algeria
Uruguay were always a powerhouse, the current class is simply an upward cycle. (Muslera takes more credit for their success than the outfield players by the way)
Paraguay and Chile were also good sides in SA

Cote D' Ivore are like Cameroon and Nigeria, showing us that they are one year wonders.

The irony, most of these teams improved simply because they raised their fitness and play defensive football.

And for each of these teams, I can name teams that were once feared and now are meh.
The point, do not look at single teams, but the overall trend. Look at the World Player awards, no real contenders outside of Messi and CR7 exist. Some take this as a signal of their dominance, while taking it as a signal of the lack of competition is the more logical approach.
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Post by Lord Spencer Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:40 pm

Lord Hispano wrote:
Lord Spencer wrote:If I remember correctly, both Paraguay and Chile were offensive against Spain, with Paraguay being narrowly defeated.

Only intervals where they managed keep the ball and actually attack them.

So would hogging the ball be considered talent, or a tactic. I am not one of those people who would criticize Barca for "Pazzing d ball 100000000000 timez to d defense", but I question your judgment here. Paraguay attacked when they could, because Spain would try to pass the ball to the goal. The problem, Paraguay is a team with high fitness, and although they just played a tiring game vs. Japan, they managed to stop the Spanish team from making any meaningful passes to the forwards. Spain had more possession, but most of that was in their own half.

I am sure that if the ball was not as plastic as it was, then the game would have been much more interesting.
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Post by Lex Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:44 pm

Where do people place Holland in terms of "top national teams"? Are they in decline, or are they still considered formidable opponents?
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Post by Lord Awesome Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:48 pm

Lord Spencer wrote:The irony, most of these teams improved simply because they raised their fitness and play defensive football.

You got it. And that's what makes it competitive.

Lord Spencer wrote:
And for each of these teams, I can name teams that were once feared and now are meh.
The point, do not look at single teams, but the overall trend. Look at the World Player awards, no real contenders outside of Messi and CR7 exist. Some take this as a signal of their dominance, while taking it as a signal of the lack of competition is the more logical approach.
You're forgeting Xavi and Iniesta. Either of them should have had one by now.


Last edited by Lord Hispano on Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Adit Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:54 pm

Only italy has gone down in player production.

England-remains the same or even better talents are coming instead of hoof the ball older generation.

spain-are going throw their golden era.Fabregas,Borja Valero,Mata,Llorente,Jesus navas are bench players for spain.This is one of the best spanish sides ever.And their future is looking even better.


Germany-very young but talented footballers,also i beg to note down the quality difference between germany 2002 (shit) and germany 2010 ( cheers ).

France-definitely slowed down a bit but its temporary,you are always gona miss players like zidane and thuram.

Holland-Remains the same imo.They just made WC final ,enough said.


Portugal-arguabily they are in their golden era if we consider their history.

Uruguay-improved alotttttttt


Mexico--same as uruguay


Brazil-Always produces talents,no doubt they are strong as always


Argentina-Has just produced arguablily top 10 player of all time. Enough said.



Italy-shittest state evaaaa,and their future looks even worser.

pirat

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Post by Lord Awesome Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:55 pm

Lord Spencer wrote:
Lord Hispano wrote:

Only intervals where they managed keep the ball and actually attack them.

So would hogging the ball be considered talent, or a tactic. I am not one of those people who would criticize Barca for "Pazzing d ball 100000000000 timez to d defense", but I question your judgment here. Paraguay attacked when they could, because Spain would try to pass the ball to the goal. The problem, Paraguay is a team with high fitness, and although they just played a tiring game vs. Japan, they managed to stop the Spanish team from making any meaningful passes to the forwards. Spain had more possession, but most of that was in their own half.

I am sure that if the ball was not as plastic as it was, then the game would have been much more interesting.

I consider it both a talent and a Tactic as I see it almost eveywhere here in the Americas. Not a Tactic I'm to fond (I'm into Defensive Football) of but nonetheless a useful way of minimize the opposing team's talent. The reason Spain didn't make any of the critical passes is because Paraguay, as you may have also noticed in this Copa America, are, historically, a Defensive minded team but also have the Latin Technical ability to be able to keep the ball, which explains why Spain struggled the most against them.
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Post by justdoit_ Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:56 pm

Lex wrote:Where do people place Holland in terms of "top national teams"? Are they in decline, or are they still considered formidable opponents?
They have a good a chance as anyone to win Euro's next year.

After that, I don't know, Holland's young generation coming of age right now is very uninspiring in my eyes.
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Post by Lord Awesome Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:59 pm

justdoit_ wrote:
Lex wrote:Where do people place Holland in terms of "top national teams"? Are they in decline, or are they still considered formidable opponents?
They have a good a chance as anyone to win Euro's next year.

After that, I don't know, Holland's young generation coming of age right now is very uninspiring in my eyes.

That's how the Dutch always start for some reason.
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Post by Serge Gnabry Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:00 pm

Well, imo football has become even more professional and competitive with more well educated and developed players than ever before and that's why it's not that easy to shine anymore.

I just watched a few Bundesliga games from a few years ago and the league and the ball that is being played nowadays has improved so much.

More pressing, more tactics, less long balls, less playing back to the keeper, less high uncoordinated clearings straight into the air.

Same with the EPL. Not a lot kick & rush there.

So yes, I disagree with what you are saying. The fact that event he small clubs are so professional and extremely well coached these days and constantly press and press and press neutralized many things and makes it harder to dominate (except Barca Wink).
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