Page 5 of 27 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 LastLast
Results 61 to 75 of 392

Thread: Sports discussion

          
   
    Bookmark and Share
  1. #61
    Schigolch
    Guest
    I think the problem is simply Brazil don't have the players and the managers to win the World Cup, and this is very difficult to fix in one year. A World Cup is a long competition, there are up to three elimination games plus the final, and I can't see Brazil winning all of them.

    The Confederations Cup is only a glorified (by FIFA) set of friendlies, and it doesn't matter if Brazil win the final on Sunday, or not. When real competition start, I find difficult to believe this team could really win. Of course, this is football, and anything is possible (even Greece won once an European Cup, and Denmark another, without preparation, after the dismissal of Serbia&Montenegro during the Balkan wars), but I will put my money on other horses next year.

  2. #62
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    9,311
    Post Thanks / Like
    You know, often Europeans say that this and that competition doesn't matter, "nobody cares." They say it of the FIFA Club World Cup, of the Confederations Cup... we have the impression that short of the FIFA World Cup, the Europeans think that only the Euro and the Champions League count for something.

    On the pitch, what we always see is different. These teams do try to win. We can see European players crying true tears of desperation and collapsing to the ground when they lose the FIFA Club Word Cup - so much for all the fan talk that it doesn't matter. That's what happened, for example, when Liverpool lost to São Paulo, or when Chelsea lost to Corinthians, or Barcelona to Internacional. I was at the time participating in a football message board and the Europeans kept saying all the time that the tournament didn't matter. I watched those games. Given the faces of the European players when they lost, it was very hard to believe that it didn't matter to them. By the way, if it truly didn't matter to the players, this would have been an utter disgrace. What professional player wouldn't like to tell his grandchildren after retirement, that he got to be part of a team that won the FIFA Club World Cup? What kind of lousy professional player doesn't care for being the world champion of his sport??? It would be utterly unprofessional to not care for such a thing, and in spite of what the *fans* say, it is pretty clear to me that it matters to the players.

    So, the Confederations Cup, while being a minor tournament as compared to the WC, is still an official FIFA tournament involving the champions of all continents. Make no mistake, both Italy and Spain are in this to win, and want to win. These games are not friendlies. They all had fierce competition so far, hard fouls, confrontations... We got to semifinals featuring four world champions. It can't get much better than this (except for the WC). This competition does matter.

    If Brazil wins this competition against the current World Champions, the vice-champions of Europe, and the current South American champions, at the very least, people will have to take them more seriously as true contenders for the 2014 World Cup, not to forget that they will continue to have the home advantage.

    Do you really think Spain will play soft, uninterested football tomorrow and Sunday? No, these are not friendlies. Another evidence of the same: Italy has played this as hard as to get three of their main players injured: Balotelli, Abate, and Pirlo. That's not what you typically see in friendlies.

    I don't doubt that fans in Spain don't care for the Confederations Cup and are more attentive to the U-20 in Turkey. Sure, they are fans, and they are European fans. They are in the habit of despising everything that is not European, except for the FIFA World Cup (well, it would be a bit too much to pretend that *that* doesn't matter). But I'm quite sure that to the players and the manager, it does matter, and they are not about to play this semi-final against Italy and the final against Brazil as if these were glorified friendly games.

    As for how much harder the WC is, sure, of course. But it's not like this edition of the Confederations Cup was that much softer, at least for Brazil in terms of group match-ups. They had Japan, Mexico, and Italy. In any World Cup, these three would make worthy opponents for the group stage (it would be considered as one of the toughest groups). So, they had the usual three group stage games (and they won them all, convincingly - and also beat France convincingly just a week prior as part of the preparation), and then two elimination games against the likes of the current South American champions and 4th placed World Cup team, and either the current World and Euro champions, or the vice-champions of Europe. These are not small peanuts. Sometimes in the elimination phase of the World Cup teams get paired with much inferior opponents than Uruguay, Spain, and Italy. Yes, the World Cup is two games longer, but like I said, not always those extra games will be played against teams with this kind of caliber, and some teams in the WC end up in groups that are softer than this one made of Brazil, Italy, Mexico, and Japan.

    Yes, if Brazil wins this, it is a good test for their strength.

    So, yes, they had a bad game today, I said as much. I'd say that if they beat either Spain or Italy in the final on Sunday, it does show that their are a force to be reckoned with, for the World Cup. (Maybe they will take their preparation more seriously if they don't win, but still, it's a valid test).

    Remember, even Japan and South Korea did well when they hosted a World Cup. South Korea got to the semis! You know, if South Korea can do it... what about Brazil?

    The country hosting the next one is none less than Brazil. It can't get any more traditional than this, they are the winiest nation, and they play at home.

    Think of the recent World Cups since 1966, every time a major powerhouse was hosting the tournament:

    England at home = champions.
    Argentina at home = champions.
    France at home = champions.
    Germany at home (2006, with a seemingly very mediocre team and a mediocre manager) = 3rd place
    West Germany at home = champions
    Italy at home = 3rd place

    The only exception was Spain in 1982 - but then at that time Spain wasn't dominant yet like they are now.
    Other than that, every time in recent World Cup history a major football powerhouse hosted the tournament, they either won or reached the semi-final and won the third-place game.

    So, dismissing Brazil in 2014 as not being real contenders goes against history.

    OK, you say, either Argentina or an European nation. Like you said yourself, the Europeans have never won the WC in Latin America. Never. It's not just the game. It's the heat, the pressure, even the refereeing (remember how the refs were partial for South Korea? Remember how the Argentinians even pressed their opponents politically in 1978?). You know, the crowds usually stalk the hotel where the main opponents are, and dance and sing all night long to destabilize the opponents and disrupt their sleep. It gets very wild, down there, during the WC. No, it's not easy for the Europeans to win a WC in Latin America (there is a reason why they've never done it: exactly because it's not easy).

    And Argentina? My friend, Argentina vs. Brazil, no matter what the status of Brazil is, will *always* be a tough match.

    The previous edition of the South American cup (the one before the last one), Argentina went with full force, with all the best players they could gather. They were highly motivated to win it, given that they have been having a long drought of major tournament wins.

    Brazil practically sent the C team. Argentina got crushing wins all the way to the final, and arrived at the final as overwhelming favorites while a C-team Brazil barely got there, limping. Guess what? Brazil won the final.

    There is no way to predict who will win, regardless of relative strength at the time, when it's Brazil vs. Argentina in a decisive game of a FIFA tournament. The heart and the tradition get to the players' head and everybody plays the game of their lives.

    So, don't discount Brazil so easily in 2014. They can perfectly win the tournament.

    I agree with you that they won't be the best team. But the best team doesn't always win, and factors like having the home advantage with all the wild crowds not only rooting for them during the game but also disrupting opponents' sleep, factors like playing in hot tropical cities while Europeans are not used to the heat (Spain complained a lot of their game in the Northeast of Brazil against Nigeria by crushing heat) do make a difference.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); June 26th, 2013 at 10:46 PM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  3. #63
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    9,311
    Post Thanks / Like
    Some numbers:

    Possession - Brazil 64%, Uruguay 36%
    Shots - Brazil 19, Uruguay 7
    Completed passes - Brazil 425, Uruguay 250
    Fouls - Brazil 12, Uruguay 24

    Looks like Brazil deserved the victory after all.

    However, I didn't like this part:

    Neymar's disgraceful simulation

    http://www.mg.superesportes.com.br/a...r-em-gif.shtml
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); June 27th, 2013 at 03:01 AM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  4. #64
    Schigolch
    Guest
    Spain already lost in the Confederation Cup four years ago. And not to Italy, or to Brazil. To the US. Do you think anyone in Spain, that was by then the current European champion, really cared?. No, no one did. If this defeat to the US would have been in the World Cup the manager would have been sacked immediately, and quite a few of the players would never have returned to the team. But this same defeat in the Confederation Cup was taken very ligthly, and only as a valuable experience for the World Cup next year (what it really was).

    Exactly the same now. If Spain wins, so much the better. If we lost with Italy, or with Brazil in the final, short of a disaster like receiving 6 or 7 goals, no one will really care. No one. Our important games this year are not those friendlies in Brazil, but the games versus Finland, Belarus and Georgia, that we need to win, in order to be in Brazil next year, when defeats and wins *really* count. Yes, Spain is not even classified for the World Cup next year yet.

    Today Spain plays a friendly vs. Italy in Brazil, and a real competitive game vs. France, in the U20 category, in Turkey. I don't really care about the result of the friendly. Of course, I prefer to win, but it's a small matter. I care much about the *real* game in Turkey.

    And yes, also most people don't really care about the World Club competition. Those games were interesting many, many years ago when they started as the Intercontinental Cup in the 1960s. Not anymore, since quite a few years. The *real* competition, for the major European clubs, is the Champions League, where the *real* action is. Again, if you win the FIFA Club World Cup, well, that's fine, but try to sell to a Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern, United,... fan, that, if this is the only silverware for your club season, it has been a success. No way.

    About Brazil next year.... it's what I think. The team is playing badly. True, they were not playing much better in 2002, when they won their last World Cup, and they even have the same manager... but there were some great, great players in the team: Cafú. Lucio, Roberto Carlos, Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho,... even the young Kaká was there. Look at the Brazilian team now!. There is a lack of talent. Home court advantage can help a lot, true, but based only on home court advantage Brazil can mimic Germany in 2006, or Italy in 1990, but I don't think they can win a title, with this team, and this manager.

    In any case, we will see next year.

  5. #65
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    9,311
    Post Thanks / Like
    Well, the first four paragraphs of your response have just confirmed what I have said. You, the *public*, don't care (therefore you don't require the sacking of the losing manager, etc.). I knew this much (it still surprises me that you guys call an official FIFA tournament involving the champions of all continents, a "friendly." Ask the players who are committing hard fouls on each other, how "friendly" they think this is - e.g., producing now an injured Balotelli, days before AC Milan has the important task of surviving the CL play-in). You know, in friendlies teams often are not in full force and do not try hard. That's not what is being seen in this edition of the Confederations Cup. Besides, like I said, it is sufficient to watch on TV the faces and the desperation of the losing players and managers (and the celebrations of the winning ones) to know that *they* care. Unlike you, Europeans, the public elsewhere also does care. I see football culture in Europe extremely Euro-centric. You know, there is a vast world out there.

    And while the Brazilian team doesn't have stars of the magnitude they once had, they do have some solidly good players, and like I said, not always the best team wins (remember Brazil in 1982? Best = lost. 2002: not best = won), and home advantage in South America counts for a lot.

    If Brazil in 2014 does any worse than reaching the semis, I'll be surprised.

    And my friend, once the home team of a major football powerhouse reaches the semis in its own land, anything is possible. It all becomes very unpredictable and even less related to the quality of each of the four teams. Football is a team sport, and while individual talent does count, mass psychology and momentum do as well.

    So, dismiss Brazil at your own risk. By the way, this is a mistake that I'm sure the other teams' managers won't make. I'm sure they'll take the threat of a winning Brazil in its own land *very* seriously.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  6. #66
    Schigolch
    Guest
    The players, and the manager, know better than you. It's the same manager, and many of the same players, that lost to the US back in 2009. I can tell you no one of them gave the matter a second thought. Del Bosque, who has spent almost all of his life at Real Madrid, and I know him quite well, is much more worried about Finland, now, than about Italy or Brazil. That's the real world, Eurocentric or not.

    Europe is where the real action in football is. For sure, there are many good American players from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay,... but 95% of them are playing in Europe. The same for African players, and the very few Asian players that are at that level. Again, that's the real world, Eurocentric or not.

    About Brazil, they had the best players in 2002. Now, they don't have many world class players. Of this team, how many would play for Spain?. Or for Germany?. Neymar it's the only real jewel of the team. Then, some really good guys like Marcelo (but, then again, compare Marcelo to Roberto Carlos. I've watched both of them playing every week, every game. There is no comparison!), Alves (good, but compare with Cafú!), Thiago,... Even Lucas Moura, if he finally convinces his manager.

    Of course, Brazil lost in 1982, with a wonderful team. This happens. It also happened to Hungary in 1954, to the Netherlands in 1974,... That's life, that's football. Then again, with a rather poor team, Brazil won in 1994. Basically with two very good strikers: Bebeto and Romario, plus the huge defensive talent of Mauro Silva (Ronaldo was part of the team, but at 17 he didn't play a single game). That team was not much better than the current team. But the level of the competition (Spain, Germany, Argentina with Messi,...) is also much higher now than in 1994.

    So, I stand by my prediction, and will bet my money on that. And then we will see.

  7. #67
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    9,311
    Post Thanks / Like
    Oops, I meant 1994. I was thinking of Dunga's team when I said not best = won, and I mistyped 2002. Yes, the 2002 team did have the best players.

    Yes, the phenomenon of Euro-centrism is fed by the fact that the most prominent world players are in Europe now, so you guys are being spoiled and progressively pay less attention to the rest of the world. It is telling, however, that for all this alleged superiority, South America has *always* matched the European accomplishments in terms of number of Intercontinental Cups, FIFA Club World Cups, and FIFA World Cups won, making of it all an almost even 50-50 split. Planet football is not just Europe, you know? There is a vast continent over there, down south, that has always matched what you guys were able to do. And now the Cup is over there again, in a place where you guys have never won it, so, it is prudent not to be too overconfident.

    As for Spain losing to the USA, of course nobody there could *afford* to give the matter a second thought or else they'd have to admit to the shame involved in it. So, it's safer, psychologically speaking, to dismiss it and pretend it doesn't matter.

    And my example of players' faces and all was specifically given in the context of all the talk by European fans that the FIFA World Cup didn't matter, contrasting with images of the losing players at the final whistle collapsing to the ground with their hands on their faces literally crying real tears, while the winners wildly celebrated, piling up on top of each other. Yeah, right, players don't care.

    OK, the players know better than I do? So, let's listen to a player. Please read Balotelli's current interviews, how he is crushed and feeling, in his own words, "like a loser" (rather strong language for a professional athlete to be issuing) for not being able to play in the Confeds Cup semi-final against Spain due to his injury. It does seem to me that he does care, thus invalidating your thesis.

    As for Argentina with Messi, the poor guy hasn't done much for their national team (with a few exceptions in a few good games, Messi is usually a zero when he plays for Argentina). Brazil with teams worse than this one has won convincingly many games against Argentina in spite of Messi's presence. In my opinion, Messi is a genius but needs a team built around him and for him (that is, Barcelona) to be at his top game, and has never matched his national team performances to his club performances, when, for the former, he needs to compete with a bunch of narcissistic stars and conflicting interests rather than having everybody serve his style. Messi is the best club player in the world, and a lousy national team player. When you compare Messi to the likes of Pelé and Maradona who could single-handedly win tournaments, he pales in comparison. Messi is not a leader like these two were, and very rarely can carry a team on his own - he is highly dependent on support, unlike Maradona who pretty much won the 1986 Cup on his own, and unlike Pelé who was the maestro of the 1970 team, actually taking over strategy duties from a mediocre manager (Zagallo). Yes, the sheer presence of these players could decide a tournament. I don't see Messi doing the same.

    Yep, you'll bet your money on Brazil not being competitive in 2014... and I'm afraid you'll lose your bet.

    But you're right, only time will tell, so, if we're still around one year from now, I'm sure these posts above will be bumped.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  8. #68
    Schigolch
    Guest
    Well, being European and having passed all my life watching games of the best team of the 20th century (as awarded by FIFA), and many other games, I can safely guess I'm just a little bit more familiar with the game itself, with the players, with the managers,... than you are. So, you can whine all that you want about it, it won't make any difference. Here, in Spain, in Europe, no one gives a damn about the Confederations Cup. Not the players, not the manager, not the fans. As simple as that.

    If you think a guy like Balotelli represents the average view of any European player, manager or fan... well, you are in for a surprise too. Balotelli is a fringe guy, everyone discounts him as crazy people here.

    I think you sorely need to review your football history knowledge, my friend.

    Pelé winning in a single-hand fashion *anything*?. Come on... The guy won in 1958 with one of the best teams in history. This *same* team, with Pelé injured in the first game and not being able to play a single game more in the World Cup, and replaced by that big star, Amarildo, won again easily in 1962, without caring for Pelé's absence. Then, in 1970 (not to mention 1966, when he and Brazil were literally kicked out of competition, using unfair violence, but the game was different then), if *I* have replaced Pelé in the starting eleven, Brazil would have won the title anyway. Hey, this was a strong candidate to the best team of all times.

    About Maradona, it's true that he was fundamental to the victory in 1986. There is no one that can believe Argentina would have won without him. Then again, what Maradona did for Argentina before that Cup?. In 1982, he played very badly, and was even showed a red card. Messi will be around the same age in Brazil 2014 than Maradona was in Mexico 1986. So, the jury is still out. We will see next year.

    Most probably we (at least, I) won't be around here next year, but, if I'm healthy, for sure I will watch the games, and will bet, as I always do. The likelihood of Brazil to win it's still pretty slim to me. We will see.

  9. #69
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    9,311
    Post Thanks / Like
    Yes, I'm perfectly aware of the 1958 and 1962 teams (and the 1966 fiasco, the first WC I watched on black-and-white TV). And I may be more familiar with the game than you think. For one thing, I've seen Pelé live in the stadium a few times. I've been a soccer fan since age 7, I'm now 56, so, it's been 49 years. I don't dispute that you have more knowledge of the game than I do, but it's going a bit too far, to imply that I'm not familiar with it.

    And I specifically talked about how Pelé rescued the Brazilian team in 1970 from Zagallo's bad strategic decisions, pretty much taking over in a meeting at their hotel, with Zagallo explicitly giving up control and abiding by Pelé's advice not only in terms of who should start, but also how the team should go about playing each opponent. This was of course not publicized at the time, but is a well known fact in Brazil. Pelé was the de facto manager of the 1970 team. Of course he had around him arguably the best team that has ever played the game - better than your FIFA-recognized "best team of the 20th century" - but do you remember how that 1970 team was doing in the qualifiers, before Pelé took over the strategic duties? You can put the 11 best players in the world together but if you don't have a common bond and a strategy and true leadership, what you get is a disorganized bunch of egos. That's what I meant by leadership and the ability to carry a team to victory, which I don't see Messi doing. Maybe he will... like you said he's still young. But I remind you that at his age Pelé had won a lot more than Messi ever has - Pelé was already the World Champion at the age of 17. If you compare favorably Messi's career to Pelé's especially in terms of national team performance (although Santos was no small peanut either), then it's my turn to doubt your football history credentials. You want to compare Maradona to Pelé? Be my guest, although I still prefer the latter (and don't even start with the Euro-centric idea that Pelé should be dismissed because he never played club football in Europe - at the time of Pelé, the Brazilian league *was* the best one in the world, with 13 competitive teams, unlike the usual European league with 2 to 4 competitive teams - Pelé notoriously refused to accept an offer from Real Madrid because he said he didn't want to play for an inferior league - again, it wasn't publicized but is a well known fact in Brazil). But sure, I do see Maradona as having similar stature although I do think that his personal problems and substance abuse messed up his legacy and still tip the balance in favor of Pelé. But Messi? Give me a break!

    And like I said, this thing of "I don't give a damn" is unprofessional. If this is the true feeling of the Spaniards, I pity them. Real sportsmen are in *any* competition with their hearts and minds set on winning it, let alone an official FIFA competition with the whole world watching. Fans are spoiled, I can understand this behavior among fans. But if professionals like the Spain players and manager feel the same way, then it's a disgrace. And for all the craziness you're attributing to Balotelli, he's showing more respect for the game and for a competition than what you attribute to your own players. I'd support this kind of craziness any day, over this "I don't care" attitude.

    Well, if you like your national team to have disgraceful behaviors, again, be my guest. I'd rather support teams that respect a competition and try their best to win it, and do care about winning it. Italy does. Brazil does. If Spain doesn't, then, it's a pity, and it is shameful (I do give them enough credit to believe that they do care; it's you and your fellow fans who don't - if you can really prove otherwise, then, like I said, my respect for Spain will drop significantly - it's never a good sign when professionals couldn't care less for what they have the duty and the obligation to be serious about - one wonders if the rumors about wild parties with prostitutes may be true in spite of all the denials from Spain's federation). But like you said, you don't care. OK, I understand that and it's your right to not care. Me, I think that this edition of the Confeds Cup has been one of the most compelling to date (well, dammit, *the* most compelling to date), and it is relevant. I do care. Again, we'll have to agree to disagree.

    PS - After the end of the semifinal, I'm prepared to bet that all these people in Spain who "don't give a damn" were glued to their television until the end.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); June 27th, 2013 at 10:02 PM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  10. #70
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    9,311
    Post Thanks / Like
    Interesting. For all your talk that nobody cares in Spain, your main newspaper, El País, is calling in today's edition the idea of winning the Confederations Cup "un sueño colectivo," mentions that it's the title that Spain doesn't have yet, and Del Bosque underlines that “lo más importante es el estímulo que mantiene la plantilla por ganar, su inagotable espíritu competitivo.” They also say they are rather excited about playing in the Maracaná in the final if they get passed Italy. Huh... This is hardly what people who couldn't give a damn would say.

    Meanwhile, Casillas "afirmó que la Copa Confederaciones tiene "muchísima" importancia para la selección."

    So, is Casillas also crazy like Balotelli?

    On La Vanguardia's web site (the most important Catalan newspaper), the third most accessed news all things considered, not just sports, is the news that Brazil beat Uruguay 2-1, a game that didn't even involve Spain. Oops, I thought you said nobody cared?

    ABC.es, your third most important news source in terms of circulation numbers, says in its headline: "Italia, penúltimo obstáculo hacia il Olimpo" and calls the Confederations Cup a "torneo de campeones."

    Hacia il Olimpo, huh? Yeah, nobody cares.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); June 27th, 2013 at 07:49 PM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  11. #71
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    9,311
    Post Thanks / Like
    Spain vs. Italy, half-time. 0-0.

    Italy playing better, having created more goal opportunities (while also conceding a few to Spain), but unable to capitalize which is dangerous when you play against Spain (they wear you down, they are very patient and precise, always waiting for your mistake). Italy is adopting a game plan that unlike what Prandelli had been doing, is more in touch with its traditional style - solid defense, absorbing Spain's pressure, and counter-attacking. That's the right way to beat Spain, since you just can't play open and offensively against them; if you advance too much they will catch you off position and will exploit the space you left behind. Italy did not do this against Brazil; they went ahead too eagerly and were punished with four goals from the Brazilian offense. They seemed to have refocused and are much better today.

    Therefore, Italy does stand a chance if they stick with the plan, but they need better finishing, since they've wasted some 6 or 8 golden opportunities already. That's when Balotelli is missed - that powerful, explosive finishing is exactly what has not been there, so that Italy creates good chances but then fizzles. Like I was saying, Italy *can* beat Spain but it is hard to do it if you're not at your fullest force.

    I still think Spain will win. They will find an opening at some point in second half, like they always do.

    It was a good, exciting first half. The second half is probably going to be even more dynamic as things get more dramatic with the clock running down.

    Edit - end of regulation, 0-0. I gotta say it, Spain looked utterly unimpressive. Of course they can still win in overtime as both teams look exhausted and it's just a question of knowing who will make the first mistake (not to forget that Casillas is better at PKs than Buffon if it comes to that), but that's what I was saying about the trouble Europeans have in South America - by the tropical humid heat of Fortaleza, both teams got exhausted. Boring second half.

    Edit 2 - Wild overtime with both teams hitting the post; at the very end a tired Italy barely walking on the field had a lot of trouble to hold back Spain - the latter's wasted scoring opportunities in the second half of overtime kind of cancelled Italy's first half in regulation (and evened out the shots count). So these two teams went in equal grounds to PKs, and Spain prevailed 7-6. Neither goalie stopped any of the PKs - after impeccable tries by everybody involved, Italy's demise came at the 7th PK when Bonucci's ball went above the crossbar. Navas took his perfectly and put Spain in the final. The Azzurra paid the price of not having decided the game when they could in the first half of regulation, ultimately losing this war of attrition. Sad!

    PS - Del Bosque's trembling lower lip during the PKs and Spain's players' wild celebration after they won, especially Navas' (as well as Bonucci's desperation) put to rest any notion that this was a "friendly" for which "nobody gives a damn." Look at them. Do they look like people who don't care?

    Name:  Spain.jpg
Views: 45
Size:  36.9 KB

    For people who don't care, the Spanish press looks rather proud:

    Name:  Spain2.jpg
Views: 45
Size:  40.8 KB

    Hm... so, these fans don't care?

    Name:  Spain3.jpg
Views: 43
Size:  90.0 KB

    Name:  Spain4.jpg
Views: 45
Size:  90.6 KB
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); June 28th, 2013 at 12:41 AM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  12. #72
    Schigolch
    Guest
    I apologize for the remark about your knowledge of the game. Clearly, I had no information about it, so it was just a groundless assumption on my part.

    Point is, if Pelé had never existed, Brazil would be still Champions in 1958, 1962 and 1970. I think no one can dispute this about 1962, after he was injured so early in the tournament. Difficult to dispute also in 1958, because it was exactly the same team than in 1962.

    About 1970, well, if I can join in a team Gerson, Rivelinho, Tostao, Carlos Alberto, Clodoaldo, Jairzinho,... and let's them play in Mexico, where they could get the most of their great football technique, they have a very good chance to win, with or without Pelé. The great insight was to let all those wonderful talents, all playing the '10' spot in their clubs, to play together in the national team.

    If Pelé would have been able to carry Brazil to the title in 1966, in England, this would have been indeed a great achievement... that never happened.

    What Maradona did in 1986, it was a miracle. Even if Messi wins with Argentina in 2014, it won't feel exactly the same, barring a legendary performance by Messi, like scoring 15 goals in the championship, or a hat-trick in the final game.... Just because the Argentinian team today is much stronger than in 1986. Or in 1990, when an ailing Maradona, already almost spent at only 29 years old due to his irregular personal life, was also able to carry Argentina to the final game.

    The Argentinian and Brazilian leagues were quite strong up to the 1960s. However, the founding of the European Cup in the 1950s, and the much better organization of the football in Europe, that started to attract all the talent from America (with players like Di Stéfano), completely turned the tables. By 1970, the club competition in Europe was already much better than in America. Today, simply there is no comparison.

    And, over here, people watched the game yesterday, and was entertained. But very few guys really care that much. I don't see why this is so difficult to understand for you. Most people in Spain (and in Italy, too. Not to speak about the rest of Europe) think this Cup is a set of friendlies. Of course, we always want to win, even the friendlies. But it's not a big deal. I can safely guarantee that, if Spain plays the WC semifinal next year with Italy, the whole country will stop to watch the game. Of course, the fans in the stalls are happy to be there, but I'm 100% certain most of them are either Spanish living in Brazil or Brazilian's fans of Spain. Very, very few people have travelled to Brazil to watch those games. To South Africa, more than 30,000 fans travelled to the final, and more than 20,000 to the semifinal. The Spanish press, and the Spanish Television (that has paid some serious money for the TV rights) are trying to sell the games, but so far with little success.

    This year, the real benefit for Spain is to adapt to the local conditions: the heat, the humidity, the hostility of the crowd and the Brazilian press ... All this is very valuable. As it is the experiment of Del Bosque, that has always played with two holding midfielders, and here is using only one.

    About yesterday's game, it was indeed a very close thing. Italy played much better during the first half, while the second half was even. In the extra time, Spain was clearly the best team. Then a very good penalty series, and the Spanish victory. The players were clearly very happy, that's normal after such a difficult game. About Del Bosque, he always has the same face, no matter what. He was, however, rather tired and worn down by the heat and the humidity, and the long game, so he left his second to organize everything about the penalties. This was a good decision. To take a step back, if you don't feel in good condition.

    It will be a nice game next Sunday. I myself will receive at home (it will be late in the night here) several friends, so we will watch it together, and enjoy, without caring that much about the final result, either. You can imagine, three years ago, we were more or less the same group of friends, how intense and how nervous was every one of us, watching the World Cup Final. Or last year, watching the Euro Final (well, in this case not really very nervous, as it was an easy game for Spain).

    But we all agree the most important game for Spain this year, it's not next one against Brazil, but the game coming September in Helsinki.

  13. #73
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    9,311
    Post Thanks / Like
    Thanks, apology accepted.

    I do disagree with you about 1970. Brazil with all the talent was in dire shape in the qualifiers, barely made it, and there was even interference from the military dictator at the time who wanted one of his favorites in the team, and the CBF didn't want Tostao. Pelé rescued the team and it was his strong leadership that warranted the benching of the dictator's favorite, Tostao being reinstated, and like you said all those number 10s being allowed to play together. He also had words of wisdom for the style of every other team that faced Brazil and directed his companions around the field. He would say to Zagallo who to sub and when. It's not just what he did on the pitch (which was a lot) but his leadership role. A more mature Pelé at the time knew it all about the game, being notoriously able to play well in any position including goalie. Yes, Brazil had all that amazing talent in 1970 but Pelé was the glue that made it all work. All that I'm saying is that Messi is not this kind of person, doesn't have this kind of personality, and I can't imagine Messi taking over the entire Argentinian team if the manager fails to deliver the goods (it actually hasn't happened; Argentina has had bad managers with Messi being a part of the team and he didn't do anything about it - it's not in his nature).

    About Maradona in 1990, I know. I was there, by the way. I attended that WC in Italy - again, you may have underestimated my familiarity with the game - I've been following it attentively for decades - which doesn't mean I'm sophisticated in the understanding of strategy - my son is much more knowledgeable than I am - but definitely I'm not unfamiliar with the game. Since the WC of 1966 which was the first one I followed with my father on TV at age 9 (I was already a fan since age 7 and used to play as a rather decent goalie), I've followed them all, either in person when I could, or on TV, and after the technology evolved first to VHS then to allow for DVR simultaneous recording, I've followed *every single game* for the last several WCs, even the most minor and boring ones (I would fast-forward through these, but still). Also, I follow every year the entire AC Milan season on satellite TV, follow the entire Cruzeiro season in the Brazilian league plus many Brazilian games with other clubs, and while lately I got tired of it, in the past I used to follow the entire Arsenal season plus several other Premiership games. I've followed the Spanish league less often (mostly just the main Barcelona and Real Madrid clashes) and the Bundesliga occasionally. I also follow a lot of the Champions League especially in the final rounds, and many Libertadores games. I attend in person the local games of our pitiful division 2 soccer club in my metropolitan area just to show support, and sometimes I follow MLS on TV where I support DC United - although the level of play, while much improved over the years, is miles away from the European leagues.

    Yes, you are right about the shift of club football quality to Europe. But it went a bit further than the 60's (in any case, Pelé's comment about not going to Real Madrid was still in the 60's, and remember, Santos at the time was bi-champion of the world and was beating thoroughly every single European club they faced in mini-exhibition tournaments - at the time, Pelé was right in his comment since the Brazilian league was much better than any European league). The exodus started slowly and intensified around the mid-70's, but all these people you mentioned (you misspelled Rivelino's name), remember, played for Brazilian clubs in the early 70's.

    Now, the notion that "today there simply is no comparison" while mostly true, is a bit exaggerated and Euro-centric, in my opinion, because there's been a revival in South America. I follow regularly the Brazilian league, and the Libertadores. Oh boy, some of these games are simply extraordinary. With the economic boom in Brazil, clubs are profitable again, the crowds are back, clubs are retaining good players for longer (see, Santos resisted for a couple of years before selling Neymar to Europe - it finally happened, but in the recent past, it would have happened even sooner), the modern stadiums are allowing teams to capitalize in terms of fidelity programs and season tickets, and generally things have been better. Of course, Brazil's boom has stalled - which is what is causing the protests over there - but should resume as the pre-salt petroleum kicks in.

    So, while yes, the European leagues are currently much better, the gap is not at its widest point any longer, and the South Americans are slowly working their way into narrowing it again, with some visible results already noticeable. I know, because I used to follow the Brazilian league as force of habit and was dismayed with the low quality, but lately it's been a lot more entertaining, again.

    What happens in South America is that the team on top changes a lot, according to the transfer windows in Europe. A team develops good youth-based categories, good players emerge, they go on to win the national championship, and then oops, they're yanked out. So by the time they get to the Libertadores and the FIFA Club World Cup, teams are often a shadow of what they used to be when they qualified for these competitions. Still, some notable efforts have happened, with some significant victories of Brazilian and Argentinian teams over European teams in that competition. Most likely if those same squads were members of those European leagues and had to play against those teams over and over they wouldn't resist... but they are still able to produce a good game plan and match the Europeans, on occasion (especially given the format of the FIFA Club World Cup which doesn't reward endurance, and the fact that the Europeans are often tired and inattentive to it when they get there, yanked out of their tough league competition to travel to a distant location for a week). While for instance Sao Paulo's win over Liverpool was a fluke with the latter pounding on the door repeatedly and the former getting a fortuitous goal (it's telling that the player of the game was Sao Paulo's goalie), Corinthians win over Chelsea in 2012 was no fluke (they actually did play better), and Internacional's triumph over no one less than Barcelona in 2006 was no fluke either (it was a hard fought game with Inter making some smart strategic decisions and prevailing). Also, the domination of Corinthians and Vasco over Real Madrid and Manchester United in the 2000 edition of the tournament was rather thorough and convincing, resulting in the final being played by the two Brazilian teams (Corinthians won) with Manchester United being eliminated before the semis and Real Madrid even losing third place to a Mexican team (Necaxa).

    So, the South Americans can still do well. What happens there is the amazing pool of talent. So yes, the top of that talent routinely goes to Europe (a situation that will change once Brazil really gets to be a rich country with all that oil coming up). But what happens is, statistically speaking, when you have a pool that is huge (there are some 10,000 professional players in Brazil's various legues), if you remove the top 1%, the top 2% is not that much worse than the top 1% that got yanked out.

    So, while the Brazilian league no longer has the world class players that are now playing in Europe, they still have some rather good slightly second-rate players who still make of the league, a compelling one to watch.

    Now, about our discussion above in terms of "friendlies" and "nobody gives a damn."

    I don't disagree with you entirely. I'm perfectly aware that the Confederations Cup is not the World Cup, and won't produce the same "entire-country-stopped-nobody-working-everybody-glued-to-tv-can't-talk-about-anything-else" phenomenon that we know happens in countries like Spain, Italy, and Brazil once the World Cup is on.

    I just found that you exaggerated a bit when calling these games "friendlies" and when saying *nobody* gives a damn.

    I think these games while of course not as important and as followed as those in the World Cup, where far from friendlies, and did attract significant international attention. WC-level attention? Of course not, what does? After all, the WC is *the* world sporting event, even above the Olympics, so it would be silly to compare anything to it, and it was never my intention to imply so. But the Confeds Cup wasn't some sort of Mickey Mouse meaningless tournament that nobody even takes the trouble of watching on TV or reading some newspaper account, as I think I was able to thoroughly demonstrate above.

    So, you said you know for a fact that the players don't care. I think not. A player was asked - Casillas - and said he does, and added that they all do. Their behavior on the field seems to endorse Casillas' version rather than yours. Who should we believe - you, whose opinion can at best be an educated guess about what these players feel, or one of the players themselves who was directly asked? OK, you'll say, he is saying what is politically correct. No, I think it goes beyond that. They could have said some neutral thing. They didn't need to say they were dreaming of a Maracaná final, and they certainly didn't look jaded or blasé at all during or after the semi-final game. So, I think we have enough reason to believe in Casillas rather than in you, on this - and I'm glad for your team, because if you were right on this, like I said, it would have been disgraceful. Fortunately for them, they do seem to have enough sportsmanship to care for these games and to be very excited about winning them.

    Now, regarding Brazil vs. Spain - the Brazilian press is indeed saying that the best thing for Brazil will be to lose the final. They are questioning, like me, what Fred is doing there over Jo, what David Luiz is doing there over Dante, and what Julio César is doing there over a number of better goalies in Brazil (like Cruzeiro's Fabio). They want to see Bernard with more opportunities. They want better defensive organization and tactical application. They question Hulk's ability to hold the starter position since his production is irregular. They believe that if Brazil beats Spain, Felipao will stick with his game plan and his current starters and will be in for a rude awakening during the World Cup, while if he loses, he'll have to rethink things a little bit.

    I think that on Sunday the Brazilians won't have the tactical application that the Italians showed yesterday (and they don't have Pirlo), and will be eager to score and therefore will be going forward too irresponsibly, so, they'll probably be caught with their pants down and Spain will score a few. Brazil may also score as well, since Spain has been very porous in defense and has only survived unscathed because of bad finishing by both Nigeria and Italy, and the Brazilian finishers are much more talented than the Nigerians and much more explosive than a Balotelli-less Italy. I predict a high-scoring game, much more exciting than yesterday's, but I predict a victory for Spain.

    But then, I also predict that Brazil will be much more competitive in the WC, and everything you've seen and mentioned - the heat, the pressure, the press, the attempts to destabilize the opponents, and even pressure on refs - you'll see multiplied by ten in the WC, and that's part of the reason why the Europeans have so much trouble down there.

    I believe that the 2014 Cup will *not* be won by an European team regardless of how good Spain, Germany, and to a lesser degree Italy will be, but rather by a South American team as tradition and history have always held true, and when it comes to that, it's only Brazil or Argentina, and while Argentina looks better on paper, it doesn't mean they can prevail in Brazilian soil, Messi or not.

    I'm quite sure you'll start to see the betting lines getting very heavy towards Brazil and Argentina as the WC approaches, and I think they'll be right about it. I know you want to place your money elsewhere... but like I said, I think you'll lose money if you do. There are too many intangibles favoring the South Americans, and if they were both horrible, which they aren't, then the Europeans would stand a chance, but with Argentina and Brazil fielding at least some rather decent teams, the odds are in their favor.

    But like you said, we'll only know it in July of 2014, so, we'll see.

    I hope with the concessions the government has been making, the population will calm down and will embrace the Cup. If they do, I'll be there. If there are indications that protests and riots will also happen during the WC, then I'll regretfully watch from TV. I think a pacified Brazil could be a fabulous host for a WC; it's a pity if the unrest spoils it (although I can entirely empathize with what the people in the streets are saying and asking for - minus the vandalism, of course). But a rioting Brazil is too much for me, at my age; I'll prefer the safety of my living room.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); June 28th, 2013 at 05:58 PM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  14. #74
    Schigolch
    Guest
    The best club team in the 20th century is, of course, Real Madrid, as awarded by FIFA. This is a fact.

    And the gap today is greater than ever. The best Brazilian or Argentinian club team, playing the Premier League, the Spanish League, the Bundesliga... would have a big challenge just not to be relegated to the Second Division. This is very simple to understand, just look at the money TVs are spending on those leagues, and the value of the Brazilian competitions. Or compare the Champions with Libertadores. We don't know what will happen 20 or 30 years for now, but in the near future this is not going to change. And nothing to do with "Euro-Centric". When I travel to Africa, or Asia, I see children wearing Real Madrid, Barcelona, United, Chelsea, Liverpool,... shirts, not Botafogo, Cruzeiro or River Plate. Again, this is just a fact. Football (club football, that is) is centered in the European clubs, but those clubs have a worldwide reach.

    The level of attention of the FIFA world cup for clubs in Europe is the same as the Confederations Cup. At best, if you win, a minor disruption to the calendar, and another cup to show in the club's museum. At worst, if you don't win or a player have a major injury, a meaningless competition that is only distracting you from the *real* competition in your league and in Champions. When Santos met Barcelona a couple of years ago, that was a very important game for Santos. Just a nuisance for Barcelona. Another fact.

    Playing in Maracaná can have a certain appeal for players, for sure. And they will try to win, this game and all games. They are professional. But it's not something that will make any difference to their careers, in victory or defeat. This is such a far cry from the World Cup or the European Championship that is not really worth to mention it again.

    If I were Brazil's manager, I would try and start playing real Brazilian football, instead of the disgusting brand of the game they have been playing for years, with few exceptions, and those due more to the quality of great players like Ronaldo, Ronaldinho or Rivaldo than to any tactical plan. But I wouldn't look at the Spanish team, or the German team, or any other team. I would look into myself, into the roots of Brazilian football, into the ideas of Tele Santana, into the essence of 'jogo bonito', of that 'beautiful game' that is no longer there. Then, you can win or you can lose. Hell, you can win or you can lose with *any* tactical approach to the game. But when you play the way you are supposed to be playing (and that is a different way for Brazil than for Spain, for Italy or for Germany), and you lose (because, if you are counting titles, *all* teams lose more than they win), you have something left. When you lose like Brazil lost in 1982, that's a beautiful way to lose. When you lost like Brazil did in 2010, you have nothing. Zero. Nada.

    As, like you said, I think Brazil's manager will stick to his plan, no matter what happens next Sunday, I will bet against Brazil in 2014. If, as I strongly suspect, I win, so much the better. If I lose (because, again, you can win even playing that miserable brand of football), then at least I will get the satisfaction of having bet against this corruption of Brazil's beautiful game, so long past and so sorely in need to be resurrected.

  15. #75
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    9,311
    Post Thanks / Like
    Hey, when you say "as awarded by FIFA" then it's not a fact, it's the opinion of some committee, and we know how corrupt FIFA committees are... LOL

    No, I'm kidding, I'm just trying to upset you because I know you're a Real Madrid fan - I don't really doubt Real's quality, but when one says 20th century this is all murky. I'd say that Real has prevailed in some decades... but one could perfectly make a compelling case for Pelé's Santos of the 60's.

    Besides, my point was that regardless of club or nation, in my opinion the best *team* to have ever played the game was Brazil 1970. One can make a case for Cruijff's Holland or for Zico's 1982 Brazil, but I'd still stick with the 1970 amazing team, in no small matter, because it actually won the Cup, unlike the other two. Granted that not always the best team wins, but in terms of thinking of the historically most amazing team, if we think of these very comparable quality teams, one would have to give the edge to the one that actually got the job done.

    You're confounding marketing with quality gap. I don't doubt that kids in Africa or Asia wear Real Madrid, Barcelona, United, etc., shirts. Hell, even in Brazil kids wear those shirts, and even here in the United States. What I'm saying is that while a few years back club football in South American was pitiful, now they've been rebounding, therefore the quality gap is slowly narrowing. I mean, have you been watching? I have. So, if you haven't been watching, your opinion is at best a guess. If you had been watching, you'd have noticed that they *are* slowly improving, therefore the quality gap can't be as wide as it once was - I don't think the European teams are changing that much (if anything, the Italian and the British clubs are becoming less prominent); they've been at the same level of high quality (or worsening, with a few exceptions - see how easily Bayern dominated everybody in the last CL), so, if the inferior league improves, the gap narrows.

    And if you think it will take the South Americans 20 to 30 years to catch up, you've not been paying attention to economic data. Europe is in frank decline. The emerging nations are taking over. Money is all, like you've mentioned yourself. Once the money balance tips in favor of other countries, quality will follow.

    See, you continue to be Euro-centric with the notion that South American teams would be relegated, in the European leagues. Come on. Think of your own league. Who else do you have other than Barcelona and Real Madrid? It's always been a two-horse race. At times other teams pop up just a bit then fail.

    Like I said, the problem with South America is one of stability, not quality. By the time you see these teams pop up in the Libertadores and FIFA Club World Cup they are already in frank decline since given the calendar down South, it's the season before when they were good and won national championships, then, their teams get gutted after the next transfer window. That's why every year, it's a different team that wins the national championship, down there (it depends on what team is at the time revealing good players before they sell them - they alternate, doing that). It's actually very hard to win those domestic South American leagues back to back, unlike in your Spanish league where we always only see these eternal two on top.

    But if you stick in the Spanish league the top Brazilian team *in a given year* before you gut that team by selling out its main players, I'm quite sure that team would not be facing relegation. It probably wouldn't defeat Barcelona and Real Madrid, but it would at least seat comfortably mid-table. So, do you think that Corinthians when they managed very well Chelsea and won the FIFA Club World Cup, would be relegated in the EPL? I doubt it (provided that they kept the same players - which is the key factor). While the EPL is more competitive than La Liga, it still is not homogeneous with all 20 clubs at that same high level of the top teams. No, Corinthians, that Corinthians at the time (without a sell-out) would, again, sit comfortably there. Granted, Chelsea was in decline as well... but not to the point of being relegated. So, Corinthians, by showing they could do at least as well as Chelsea (they actually played better and deservedly won the game) should be given at least the same credit; there is no reason to believe that Corinthians would have been relegated. OK, if their win could only be attributed to a fluke, then, sure, everybody can have a good game any given Sunday. But it wasn't the case. Corinthians really did play better, no fluke. So there is no reason to suspect that they'd do much worse than Chelsea in league play. Oh, and don't say Chelsea was not interested. They were desperate to win that, since they were having a pretty bad year. If you followed that game, you saw how hard they tried and how discouraged they looked at the end.

    Prime example: the gorgeous Cruzeiro 2002/2003, in their historical Triple Crown season. They won the Brasileirao with 100 points, scoring 102 goals, after winning their regional championship, and the Brazilian Cup. By the time they got to the Libertadores next season they weren't the same, had sold players already, and lost. So you guys never got to see them in top form against one of your European clubs. If you picked *that* Cruzeiro of the 2002/2003 season complete will all players and stuck it into La Liga, while I'm not sure if they would beat Barcelona and Real although that wouldn't be excluded... I'm 100% sure that they wouldn't be relegated - might perfectly place third. The problem is, you guys don't ever get to see these Brazilian clubs at their prime, because their prime only lasts one short season (a semester). So, you underestimate their talent. Start following the Brazilian league on satellite TV if you get it in Spain (we do, here in the USA), and you'll see that they aren't as bad as you think. [You might even see some Jogo Bonito because these clubs still play with their national style, unlike the national team - more on this, next].

    I agree with what you said about the Brazilian "Jogo Bonito." But you know what killed it? The exodus. The Brazilian world class players no longer play for the local league given that they transfer to Europe since a young age. They can't form a national identity any longer.

    Once Brazil finishes its leap into the First World (it's inevitable, you'll see), that will change. Players will remain in the domestic league, will again soak into the national style, and the national team will improve.

    Things come and go... Brazil took 24 years to win again after 1970... If you count from 2002 and they need to get to 2026 to recover their style (by which time their economy will have benefited for years from being one of the top oil exporters in the world), it doesn't mean they will fade in sunset.

    And hey, for all your well-deserved pride regarding Spain's accomplishments, I should remind you that Spain has won the WC only once. *Once.* As compared to freaking *five* times by Brazil (it should have been six if not for the accident of Maracanazo). So, before you guys get too cocky over there, you still need a lot of leg work. Spain is the *current* dominant team. It doesn't mean it will remain so.

    You said "oh but we are doing well in the U-20 so there will be renovation!" Hm... not warranted. If we were to go by your logic, guess who won the latest edition of the U-20, right before this one in Turkey? Brazil! So, by your logic, Brazil should be dominant now... however, they aren't. This correlation is rarely valid. These young guys can be very good at one point, then, more often than not, they don't fulfill the promise. So don't be that confident in terms of renovation. You got a very special mix of players in the current Furia, and I'm not so sure you'll get a similar one in future generations. Brazil, on the other hand, has done it over and over. Five times (almost six). Brazil does have a wider and deeper pool of talent over the decades, which Spain has not matched, and I doubt it will ever match - that's mostly because of population gap - Brazil is a soccer-crazy country with 200 million inhabitants, in which social rise is very linked to soccer. Spain by comparison is much tinier. So, you guys got lucky with this generation. There is no guarantee that it will last.

    I think European domination has its days numbered, and that's not because of talent, it's because of economics.

    Think of the European leagues completely stripped of foreign players. Do you sincerely think they'd be the same?

    So, once the hemorrhage is stopped by the sheer economic fact that Europe is in economic decline while other parts of the world are in the upswing, things will change.

    So, my friend, enjoy it while it lasts. In our age group, we won't really see the change... but short of some world catastrophe and some profound shaking-up of world order, it's inevitable.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); June 29th, 2013 at 02:33 AM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

Page 5 of 27 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


free html visitor counters
hit counter




Official Media Partners of Opera Carolina

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of Opera Carolina

Official Media Partners of NC Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of North Carolina Opera

Official Media Partners of Greensboro Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of Greensboro Opera

Official Media Partners of The A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute and Piedmont Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of The A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute
of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Piedmont Opera

Official Media Partners of Asheville Lyric Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of Asheville Lyric Opera

Official Media Partners of UNC Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of UNC Opera
Dept. of Music, UNC-Chapel Hill College of Arts and Sciences

www.operalively.com

VISIT WWW.OPERALIVELY.COM FOR ALL YOUR OPERA NEEDS