Good football is in mourning…

I was thinking of writing about the massacre of children in a

I was thinking of writing about the massacre of children in a school in Texas, but the bitterness of just remembering it prevented me from having the motivation to put together some emotional reflections.

I was thinking of writing about the massacre of children in a school in Texas, but the bitterness of just remembering it prevented me from having the motivation to put together some emotional reflections. The American right only needs to promote the use of the bulletproof vest as a school uniform and war weapons as an educational tool so that students assimilate, without disturbance, the teachings of teachers. Stupidity seems to have no limit in a society that puts power and money above the life and well-being of youth. I apologize, therefore, for using my Sunday column for trivial matters.

Soccer, for me, is the most exciting entertainment, although certainly an inconsequential banality among all the things that interest humanity. After 27 months of immersing myself in the covid-19 pandemic, I decided to take a short break from my academic vocation to ponder the most watched sport in the world. True lovers, regardless of their attachment to a certain shirt, will never be able to forget the beautiful game displayed by the Brazilian team in 1970, the Dutch clockwork orange in 1974 or, more recently, Guardiola’s Barça machine in 2009. The symphony of art, creativity and effectiveness carried out by these teams has been massively praised every time the sports newspaper library is used.

The Canarinha that conquered the World Cup in Mexico, in which players like Pelé, Tostao, Rivellino, Gerson, Jair, Clodoaldo, etc. shone. was considered the “Selection of national teams”. That team brought together solidity, inspiration and definition, a mixture of virtues nicknamed at the time as the “beautiful game”. There were 19 goals scored in six games. Above technical skills, With the clear exception of Edson Arantes do Nascimento, the team responded with solidarity and sacrifice, delighting, competing and winning.In the final match, Brazil brilliantly beat Italy 4-1, under the orders of their leader and charismatic strategist, Mario Jorge Lobo Zagallo.

In the World Cup in Germany, the new concept of “total football” emerged that would remain stuck in the memory of fans forever. The famous clockwork orange was a pioneer of a game system that consisted of no player having a fixed position, but instead they were occupied by another partner, depending on the events of the moment. The Dutch squad convincingly defeated Uruguay, Argentina, Germany and Brazil in the opening stages, scoring 14 goals and conceding just 1. Although they lost the final to Germany, the Netherlands were the team that wowed the crowds. The most emblematic figure was Johan Cruyff, but Johan Neeskens, Rob Rensenbrink and Johnny Rep, among others, also stood out.

For many connoisseurs, the FC Barcelona led by Guardiola has been the best football club in history, personal biases included. Pep managed to create a mentality and philosophy in the game that the coach himself claimed to have inherited from the ideas of the legendary Cruyff. Winning, but playing well, became part of the culé’s DNA, moving away from resultist thinking. The team had top-level players, the majority from the La Masía academy, in which the best midfielders in decades, Xavi and Iniesta, stood out, accompanied by a masterful Busquets. Puyol, Alves and Piqué stood out in defense, while an irrepressible Messi, escorted by Eto’o and Henry, made a difference up front. In 2009 they won all the titles that could be achieved in a single calendar year (League, Copa de Rey, Spanish and European Super Cups, Champions League and Club World Cup), a feat never previously achieved by any other team. A style in which control and possession of the ball prevailed above all else, maintaining speed and a quick touch, making it the rivals who ran numbly behind, which favored finding free spaces to take advantage of them and score goals. The tiqui taca, orchestrated by a Barça backbone, was later used by Spain to win its only World Cup in 2010.

year’s European Champions Cup is probably the most lopsided and unfair of all in football. Real Madrid, playing poorly, boosted by mistakes, favors or fortunes, and protected by the miraculous interventions of goalkeeper Courtois (the legitimate FIFA 2022 Golden Ball), won the title, despite being subjected to the anthological reviews of the PSG, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool in their last four challenges. The aesthetic essence of this sport has been severely damaged. In any collective sport, the team that tries the most, the one that risks the most, should win, not the one that defends, destroys, endures, speculates and leaves everything to the chances of specific occasions. The fine and demanding public comes to the stadium to enjoy, not to suffer. UEFA should consider a change of format, such as the NBA finals, to ensure that the most brilliant eleventh (City and Liverpool this year), reach the terminal duels. Rescue or requiem, with an eye on the recovery of football as a priority objective. It’s too late for tomorrow…

Physician and researcher