The modern game of soccer is diluted. In many of my blogs, I’ve talked about my frustration with the path the game has taken. Rather than developing the game to embody its purist form, the focus has been on developing bigger, faster and stronger players. As the French National head coach put it, when referring to his French domestic league, players are relying on brute strength.
What is soccer’s purist form?
Soccer’s purist form is playing the game with a wonderful understanding and materializing that into beautiful technique. And for years, most legitimate organizations have faught tirelessly in their pursuit of this type of soccer.
Don’t take my word for it.
Current French national head coach, Laurent Blanc, feels very strongly about this. In fact, he feels so strongly that he has instigated worldwide discomfort. Joe O’Connor explains, “Laurent Blanc, was first accused and then exonerated of racism this week for arguing that French soccer was no longer French enough. Many of the players in the country’s development ranks are black or Arab, possess dual citizenship and play a game Mr. Blanc bemoaned as relying on brute strength.”
Racism?! This is considered racism? Give your head a shake. This has nothing to do with racism and everything to do with Mr. Blanc fighting for what he believes in. Is that so wrong?
He is worried about the direction the French are taking their domestic soccer league, and more importantly, he is worried about the intent of organizations, coaches and players world wide. He is fighting for a classic style of soccer, one that is the “sacred marriage of technical skill and intelligence.” None of this racism bolony.
Brazilian soccer is feeling a similar angst. The “beautiful game”, as the brazilians have labelled it, has historically been tied closely with a carnival spirit of free-flowing samba. This has progessively been watered down as the brazilian game has also evolved into one depending on speed and strength. Any player that show’s glimpses of that beautiful soccer spirit is picked up and flown to Europe for a lucrative contract.
Many will argue that speed and strength trump knowledge and technique. My answer: Barcalona. They have neither speed nor strength, but depend entirely on the classic style of soccer I described above. And guess what, they’re the best club team in the world. Do the math.
We need change and we need it now. If we continue down this path of depending on players brute strength, sooner rather than later we’ll be giving player’s 2 minute penalty’s for body checks.