Monday, 12 July 2010

The World Cup

Well, as I'm sure you are all aware, the World Cup drew to a close last night. It was a surprisingly unsurprising result, given the unpredictable nature of this year's tournament, as Spain (favourites alongside Brazil) took the title for the first time in history. The 2010 World Cup has been a strange one. It was the first World Cup in which the hosts (South Africa in this tournament's case) did not make it out of the group stages. It was also the first World Cup in which the two teams in the previous competition's final (France and Italy) did not make it out of the group stages (Italy were beaten by Slovakia fot Christ's sake. Slovakia.) It was also the first competition in which neither Brazil, Italy, Germany nor Argentina played in the final.

But why this peculiarity?

I think, perhaps, that it stems from the success of league football. The Premiership and the Champions League earn players so much money that they're just not interested in playing for their countries anymore, and are much more willing to put in the effort where big money is involved; the consequences of the transformation of football from a sport into a business. An enormous seven players on the Spanish side we saw yesterday play for Barcelona, and there were very few occasions in the tournament when the total number of different clubs from which the Spanish players originated exceeded four.

Maybe it's a consequence of globalisation. As communications and transport improve, the borders of your own individual country become less important, and people feel less attached to their countries specifically.

I'm not complaining - I think the standard of football is improving massively (the sublime play we saw in the Champions League this year for example) - I am merely wondering what the cause of this change in superior football (from International football to Club football) is. If anyone else has any thoughts, I'd love to hear them and discuss them in the comments section below.

Until next time,

Callum MacRae
Website Manager - Painter's Chronicle E-Magazine

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