After watching quite a few games this weekend, I was reminded of how annoyed I am with players that dive and simulate fouls. In many of the blogs Goalden’s author’s have posted, we continuously talk about the importance of staying on your feet. For whatever reason, though, players have become experts in diving. Players are falling all to easily in order to win their team a foul. The dramatic falls and cries have become old…in fact I don’t think they were ever in. This is a game built on respect, skill, intelligence and fair play; not whining, diving and faking.
Lionel Messi of FC Barcalona and Argentina has been awarded the 2010 FIFA Ballon D’Or award. This is the second time, and second year in a row, that Messi has won the award. The three nominees for the award were (1) Xavi Hernandez, (2) Andres Iniesta and (3) Lionel Messi. The reason this is such a special year is because all three players play for the same club team: FC Barcalona. What’s even more special is that all three players were brought up in the Barcalona youth system. If you ask me, this is incredible and speaks volumes about Barcalona’s entire program.
There are soccer players who affect more games more often than any other players. These players are refered to as playmakers. The likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Cesc Fabergas, Luka Modric and Xavi Hernandes have the ability to make incredible passes and create magical plays that win their team many games. So where do you even begin when trying to figure out a way to stop these players?
Everyone, at one point or another, has been introduced to the magical skill of some of the best soccer players ever to grace the game. The 1986 World Cup saw Maradona take on an entire team from half field and score a goal for the ages. Barcelona’s Lionel Messi essentially copy & pasted Maradona’s effort and went through an entire team to score an almost identical goal. Ronaldinho has pranced through so many players and teams that its difficult to pinpoint just one effort. But where my girls at?
When you ask someone who they think the best players of all time are you will often get answers like Pele, Zinedine Zidane, Diego Maradona, or from the modern crowd you will get answers like Ronaldinho, Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi – and rightfully so! But what about players like Marco Van Basten and Johan Cruyff? Do you even know who these players are? Unfortunately, the modern day soccer player does not have these players on their radar. These soccer legends had just as much skill and talent as did Pele, Maradona, Zidane and etc. The soccer legends of today had to look up to someone as we look up to them, and it is these players that they looked up to. These are the players they mimicked; these are the players they learned from.
While watching the FIFA 2010 World Cup, teams and players are committing errors that they would normally not do at club level. There are moments of brilliance followed by moments of complete mental lapse and selfishness. The problem at the top level is that good teams will punish you for your errors and often times it is the smallest detail that will determine whether you win or lose. No matter your level of play, whether you’re playing in the world cup or college level, each of us can take away from this and learn not to make the same errors.
More than ever, you can watch soccer games on tv and see the excessive diving and acting involved in the game. With slow motion replays and hundreds of camera angles, every instant is caught and replayed over and over. For the people live at a game, it might not be as apparent as events unravel very quickly and do not allow for much observation to occur. However, the tv allows people to dissect a situation ten times over. With the internet, plays can be cut out and made into a video for the whole world to see and process (i.e. YouTube).
“I don’t believe there is such a thing as a ‘born’ soccer player. Perhaps you are born with certain skills and talents, but quite frankly it seems impossible to me that one is actually born to be an ace soccer player.” – Pele
So you think you’ve got the dribbling skills to nutmeg the best? Your bicycle kick wows all of your friends? Think of yourself as the second coming of Lionel Messi? All these showboat moves mean nothing unless you know the basics fundamentals of soccer.