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#70713 - 07/03/10 01:00 AM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: cech]
AndyBarney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 1686
I just edited all of the discussion from my new book on stance and how great passers must first become great deceptive dribblers. Here it is consolidated as best I can at 1 o'clock on Saturday morning.

smile Andy

The mistake most coaches make is to view coaching as age based instead of stage based. What I mean by this is that any player with no serious exposure to an intense deceptive dribbling curriculum will not have the 1 v 1 skills needed at the highest level but also won't have the ability to prepare the ball under pressure to make a great pass or shot. The key to Brazilian passing success is their ability to adopt the right "stance" when shooting or passing. When you factor in that penetrative passing excellence depends heavily on being able to commit defenders it becomes obvious that a deceptive dribbling curriculum is the best way to create the foundation for effective passing. It's one of the conundrums of coaching that it is the selfish part of the game (Deceptive dribbling) that leads to success in the unselfish part (passing). It is first the ability to dribble the ball to the defensive point of no return and squeeze a pass by the 1st defender that determines whether a "Wall Pass" will be successful. Without this dribbling ability the defender remains "uncommitted" and can track the passer goal side thereby denying penetration. The Brazilian national team has achieved its success based upon the foundation of deceptive dribbling because this teaches a full repertoire of body positions under pressure at speed and trains the ability to set up defenders, then follow this "Set Up" with a quick pass under pressure.

The ultimate goal is to create that great penetrating passer who can decide games with the sheer brilliance of his/her tactical choice; plus the accuracy and touch needed to lay the ball in front of the onrushing striker for the winning goal. It's in how to maximize that ability that the Legends club differs from the norm.

In the Legends we believe that we can train the best passing technique by teaching the widest repertoire of finishing techniques while gradually increasing defensive pressure as the player gains skill and confidence. In this way we develop great scoring and passing technique simultaneously.

We also believe that in most cases the moment the ball is received is usually the wrong moment to make the pass and that by forcing our players to play 1 and 2 touch before their teammate can get open, lessens their effectiveness. This dictates that we need to teach our players how to hold the ball until the right moment to pass and often how to create that opportunity by moving the defender out of the desired penetrating avenue. This demands deceptive dribbling (fakes and moves).

The Brazilians are fantastic passers. This has been a decisive quality in their ability to win 5 World cups. This quality is often made possible by the ability to put the ball and defender in exactly the right position at the right moment to allow the best pass to be made. This is a function of "stance control". Stance control is the ability to coordinate all body parts in a split second to maximize the percentage chance of the desired outcome. Top coaches in all individual sports know that stance training is the core of technical brilliance. Stance control in soccer is best trained by deceptive dribbling because the neuromuscular actions inherent to deceptive dribbling, under extreme defensive pressure, are the most challenging physical skills of soccer.

For example, an attacker choosing to “Wall Pass” as the penetrating tactic needs to be able to keep close ball control at speed and commit the defender at precisely the right moment. This maximizes the chance of receiving the return pass goal side of the opponent. The whole sequence involves many crucial stance points…all of which are best and quickest learned while dribbling deceptively under pressure at speed.

Therefore, In a logical yet strangely contradictory twist of coaching we have to train the very best deceptive dribblers in order to develop world class passers. In a continuing twist on logic, training the most effective goal scorers also trains the best passers. This is because great shooting skill transfers into the easier skill of passing to the maximum possible degree.

As a further bonus the great striker, dribbler and passer is usually very confident and willing to take on team leadership roles and responsibilities. Because of the combination of skills and confidence this usually earns the respect of teammates and coaches.

At first glance the Legends method of training only the deceptive dribbler and goal scorer seems to ignore the more common or core skills of the game, i.e. passing and finishing. However, the reality is a completely different story. Great goal scorers are always excellent passers. Great deceptive dribblers are inevitably able to beat players or create space for the pass under pressure. These two facets of the Legends approach were covered in depth in my first book but what comes next wasn’t. Over the past two years the importance of “Stance” in the development of the “open sport” athlete has become dramatically evident to me. Stance is the focus of much racquet sport coaching. I have coaching licenses in tennis, squash and badminton. All three are by comparison with soccer relatively “closed” sports. The licensing courses in all three racquet sports contained a tremendous focus on developing perfect stance at the moment of racquet and ball impact. By comparison soccer licensing courses have a much broader focus. Stance is emphasized rarely because the situations in which technical actions are performed are so varied and diverse that any discussion of the perfect “stance” is rendered useless by the massive menu of stances the game gives us to choose from. This is not surprising because soccer is the most “open” world sport. Due to the wide and ever changing nature of its demands soccer is very difficult to coach. There are thousands of different coaching theories leading to the inevitable confusion and conflicting methods that permeate the worldwide soccer coaching community. As a consequence there is possibly more disagreement and confusion between soccer coaches than any other sports coaching fraternity.

Bearing in mind that variations on technique are so incredibly numerous, it is beyond the capacity of a traditional coach to train every skill involved in the game to an elite level during a youth career. With this in mind the Legends have developed an approach that teaches the young player how to assume the thousands critical but less complicated stances needed to pass and receive, by focusing of the significantly more difficult skills of deceptive dribbling and finishing.

For over five decades the Brazilians have been hailed for their incredible passing ability. It is the Legends hypothesis that their passing excellence is built around the challenges to stance that their talented deceptive dribblers and finishers had to endure within the more difficult neuromuscular demands of those two “margin of greatness” skills.

Legends players are taught the thirteen best fakes and moves soccer. These moves give each player two options for every 1 v 1 situation they will encounter in the game. These involve some the most complicated & difficult neuromuscular patterns in soccer. Legends players are also taught to score by powering, swerving, chipping, volleying & half-volleying the ball. These teach the most difficult release skill patterns of the game; patterns many times more pressured and difficult than those of passing. Inherent within the teaching and constant escalating pressures of deceptive dribbling and goal scoring are thousands of stance points.

Let’s elaborate on the wall pass as a perfect example of the practical relevance of stance to a key tactical/technical passing component of successful team play. A successful wall pass play involves the build up to the pass; the execution of the initial pass and a good return pass. Throughout the sequence there are many stance points, however, the first and crucial stance point is exactly when the initial ball carrier passes to his teammate. The dribble at the first defender must occur at optimum speed and the pass must be delivered exactly when the attacker is close enough to the defender to make him hesitate just enough to allow the attacker to pass and win the race into the space between him and the goal.

At the crucial moment a well trained deceptive dribbler and finisher will have the honed ability to adapt his stance to the demands of the passing situation. This ability to assume the correct stance under extreme pressure is best honed in the more difficult dribble and shoot environment close to the opposition goal.

The “Talent Code” (Great book by Daniel Coyle) hypothesis is that only consistent, escalating challenges involving ever greater degrees of difficulty will lay down enough myelin insulation to guarantee exceptional mental and physical performance.

It makes perfect sense that the two most difficult and rarest of soccer’s skills i.e. deceptive dribbling and finishing, if conquered to a superior level, will carry over into a wide range of soccer’s other skills and situations and by developing the very best players help them to lead their teams in brave and creative ways. As Daniel Coyle so rightly states, “Greatness isn’t born. It’s grown!” Deceptive dribbling and finishing is the quickest way to soccer greatness!

While watching the Brazil vs Ivory Coast in the 2010 World Cup the British commentator made an observation that “The Brazilians are such good passers because they caress the ball.” He perhaps didn’t realize the degree to which his observation rings true, or just how perceptive it was. What the world’s soccer coaching community still fails to recognize despite all the evidence is that the Brazilians are such great passers because they are great deceptive dribblers and goal scorers. The goal scoring part of the equation is obvious because passing and shooting share so many common components and shooting is many times harder. What is not so obvious is the role that deceptive dribbling plays in developing the greatest passers.

When I was a physical education student in my early twenties I took coaching qualifications in many sports. Three of these sports were: Olympic Weightlifting; Tennis and Squash. In all three the lecturers continually emphasized the vital importance of “stance”. Soccer coaches refer to technique but rarely refer to specific stance points. This is probably because soccer is so diverse that it involves thousands of different stance points. If indeed stance is as vitally important in soccer as in other sports, it is so in a very flexible way because it is the world’s premier sport for technical and tactical diversity.

If stance is so unquestionably important and soccer involves thousands of stance points, how then is flexibility of stance taught by coaches and combined with shooting skill to develop talented players who can quickly create the perfect body position for the hardest of passes?

The answer is deceptively simple but completely counterintuitive…by deceptive dribbling. This is dribbling with fakes and moves under extremes of pressure. Dribbling under pressure in crowds builds incredible flexibility of stance. Moves and fakes under pressure are the neuromuscular rocket science skills of soccer. In tennis it’s the drop shot, in basketball the through the legs dribble, in gymnastics the double back somersault. Once an athlete can perform such difficult skills the easier ones involving simpler stance points are a breeze.

So there we have it!! Brazilians grow up in a culture of dribble and shoot. Where the Brits and Americans are encouraged to give it; they are encouraged to hog it!! The enjoyment and domination of the ball they learn as a result of ball hogging when younger, later makes them capable of greater flexibility and precision of body control, hence their incredible ability to set up the right pass.

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#70760 - 07/03/10 09:49 PM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: AndyBarney]
brazilfan Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 1365
Loc: Citizen of the World
Originally Posted By: AndyBarney

While watching the Brazil vs Ivory Coast in the 2010 World Cup the British commentator made an observation that “The Brazilians are such good passers because they caress the ball.” He perhaps didn’t realize the degree to which his observation rings true, or just how perceptive it was. What the world’s soccer coaching community still fails to recognize despite all the evidence is that the Brazilians are such great passers because they are great deceptive dribblers and goal scorers.


No. Not true.
Some are. Some aren't.
This is true even at the highest levels.
For example, Ronaldinho is. Lucio isn't.
Robinho is. Kaka is not.


Careful with grandiose generalizations. I know more than a few Brazilians and have played with them. Some are good dribblers. Some aren't.

Just to set the record straight.

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#70763 - 07/03/10 10:52 PM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: brazilfan]
AndyBarney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 1686
Brazilfan

Everything is relative.

Which of the central defenders in the World Cup is the best deceptive dribbler?

Answer: Lucio

In previous World Cups the whole Brazilian team has demonstrated wonderful deceptive dribbling capability. In relative terms this is the skill that has separated Brazil from the rest of the world. It's only a minor step from this realization to understanding how tremendous deceptive dribbling develops and hones the stance flexibility that has allowed previous Brazilian teams to be so successful.

smile Andy

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#70811 - 07/05/10 11:48 AM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: AndyBarney]
AndyBarney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 1686
From the English Guardian Monday July 5th 2010

Tom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro

Several weeks before the tournament started I visited Paulo Sérgio Gomes, a football coach in Rocinha, Rio's largest shantytown. As he put the 12-year-olds of Rocinha FC's youth team through their paces, he explained, to my surprise, that he would be supporting South Africa in the World Cup rather than Brazil. His logic? That under Dunga the beautiful game was temporarily off the menu. Brazil, he said, were no longer Brazil.

Paulo was not alone. In the days leading up to the World Cup I came across dozens of other Brazilians who claimed to have abandoned their beloved Seleção in favour of South Africa or Spain.

"I don't think Brazilians … ever really identified with the way that Dunga put the team together," says Humberto Peron, a football writer from Brazil's Folha de São Paulo newspaper. "Playing a defensive team that exploits counterattacks is not our style. Even today Brazilians are not madly in love with the 1994 team that won the Cup but didn't enchant anyone. Deep down every single supporter knew that as soon as Brazil faced a stronger team we would have problems. And that is what happened."

Of course, when their side took to the field in South Africa this was all forgotten and virtually every corner of South America's largest nation was overrun by football fever. Grown-up friends took to collecting World Cup stickers, convening on street corners every Saturday morning to ditch David James doubles for images of Robinho or Kaká. My neighbours plastered their apartments with giant Brazil flags. Street hawkers made a killing selling "semi-original" Brazil shirts from Paraguay. Schools and banks shut up shop. Even the city's police cars got a more friendly makeover, with my local cops attaching plastic flags to their battered VWs.

With elections on the horizon Brazil's politicians were also keen for some of the action. President Lula was photographed clutching his vuvuzela while his would-be successor, Dilma Rousseff, who will dispute the presidential election in October, donned a bright yellow jersey and predicted that Brazil would beat Holland 2-0.

But when they didn't the hysteria suddenly morphed into resignation the front page of the sports section of Brazil's Globo newspaper said it all, picturing a filthy orange wheelie bin, packed with crumpled newspapers, a yellow and green vuvuzela and a photograph of the crestfallen Dunga. The message was clear: the beautiful game has to return.
"Certainly we will have a more offensive team [in 2014]," says Peron, who, like most Brazilians, believes things must change. "I think we have learned that playing ugly is not synonymous with victory."

Don't you love that last line. Any teaching philosophies that don't challenge children to push the limit of quality and excellence are reprehensible.

Even at the national level Brazil expects quality and excellence. Dunga ignored those qualities as a player to win the 1994 World Cup. His hubris in thinking he could ignore them as a coach has sent a great message to all coaches. Focus on the brave, creative leadership of each and every player and your team and, in the long run, you will be consistently more successful than when you take the short-term expedient route to winning the next game or tournament.

smile Andy

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#70837 - 07/05/10 09:47 PM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: AndyBarney]
brazilfan Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 1365
Loc: Citizen of the World
Originally Posted By: AndyBarney
Brazilfan

Everything is relative.

Which of the central defenders in the World Cup is the best deceptive dribbler?

Answer: Lucio

smile Andy



Lucio is not a deceptive dribbler, he is a fool.
The guy thinks he is a forward, like the second coming of Ronaldinho!

Watch the Portugal game again. He repeatedly makes these bonehead runs through the middle trying to go past three or four defenders.

Hello??
Make the pass to the midfielders. That's their job.



Maybe if he spent more time learning how to defend properly,...

Don't get me started on Lucio.
mad

The guy is a bonehead.

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#70865 - 07/06/10 11:37 PM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: brazilfan]
AndyBarney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 1686
Excerpt from an article by Michael Sokolove, a contributing writer for ESPN magazine. He is author of “Warrior Girls,” about the injury epidemic among young female athletes.

“There are two ways to become a world-class soccer player. One is to spend hours and hours in pickup games in parks, streets, alleyways, on imperfect surfaces that, if mastered, can give a competitor an advantage when he finally graduates to groomed fields. This is the Brazilian way and also the model in much of the rest of South America, Central America and the soccer hotbeds of Africa. It is like baseball in the Dominican Republic. Children play all the time and on their own. The other way is the Ajax method. Scientific creative technical training. Attention to detail. Time spent touching the ball rather than playing a mindless number of organized games.”

How prophetic!! Here we have had a World Cup dominated by soccer cultures where deceptive dribbling and goal scoring are often the first skills learned by the young player. All but one of the quarter finalists i.e. Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Spain, Ghana & Holland all have incredibly technical soccer cultures. Phenomenal touch and deception on the ball is a common component of soccer in all seven countries. Even the current German team is as creative and technical as any they have ever produced.

For decades the more skillful soccer cultures have dominated those countries playing a more tactically disciplined game. What will it take for the predictable, engineered game of the Northern European soccer cultures to be eliminated in favor of the creative deceptive dribbling, short passing and shooting approach that is so obviously superior? If they are ever to truly succeed at the world level the U.S. and many of Europe’s nations need to find ways to incorporate the best of these elements in their youth training system?

The “Training Soccer Legends” system combines the best elements of youth player development from the most creative soccer cultures with the discipline and engineering of the more traditional ones. Through decades of intense research and analysis the Legends club has identified and implemented hundreds of systematic refinements in soccer training methods that have led to tremendous individual success and intuitive leadership in both soccer and life.

For a free copy of our book/curriculum email me at andy@kclegendsoccer.com

Your free PDF book will be with you inside 24 hours.

smile Andy

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#70917 - 07/07/10 10:15 PM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: AndyBarney]
Relegators Offline
journeyman

Registered: 01/27/09
Posts: 61
I thought this was a great article. Let all the debates begin.

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/world-cup/c...5901&ver=us

Cheers!

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#71008 - 07/10/10 08:56 AM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: Relegators]
AndyBarney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 1686
Should coaches train the weak foot?

Pele is probably the most two footed player ever, with Zidane a close second. However, all the footage I've watched show that both Pele and Zidane still employ at least a 60/40 strong to weak foot ratio in open play.

If you examine degree of technical difficulty the ratios balloon in favor of the strong foot (Pele and Zidane's right). For example, I've never been able to find footage of either Pele or Zidane taking a dead ball kick, "hatting" or "chapeauing" an opponent or performing a "bicycle", with their weak foot. In performing these incredibly difficult technical skills the use of their strong foot is 100% to 0%.

I had the greatest difficulty accepting the evidence so I forced myself to watch thousands of hours of highlights and count every touch taken by all the great players. After doing so I could only come to the conclusion that the coaching world was wrong in teaching two footed play. Most coaches look at the benefit of developing some degree of skill with the weak foot but fail to recognize that all the time spent on the weaker genetic limb can only rob the stronger limb of the “Margin of Greatness” (Anson Dorrance loves to put it!).

If you can pick this theory apart I'm very willing to go back to coaching the way my much loved father and uncle taught me. Because of my life long family conditioning it was incredibly difficult to abandon the weak foot entirely in favor of building greatness in the strong one. Having now studied this topic extensively I now controversially but firmly believe that all the time I spent on developing my weak foot during my playing career is the main reason my strong foot shooting has always been "luck of the draw". Had I spent all my time on training my strong foot genetic gift (left foot) I’m convinced I would have scored many more goals in my career. Despite all the time I put in on it I never shot with my weak foot. That's many hours wasted! A great analogy is studying math in school and college. All that math study and all most people ever do in later life is use a calculator!

smile Andy

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#71011 - 07/10/10 10:58 AM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: AndyBarney]
AndyBarney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 1686
In youth soccer coaching culture we are seeing an ever greater divide between potential optimizing methods of teaching and its antithesis where coaches use their players to achieve short-term statistical success. Two very different coaching worlds growing alienated and hateful toward each other with many people wondering if it will always be this way, a house divided against itself.

Although surface ugliness is found in the traditional low risk tactical modes of play it is not inherent in it. There is a simple possession esthetic that those who love the creative game often miss because of its subtlety. This way of playing is straightforward, unadorned, unemotional, economical and carefully proportioned. Its purpose is not to inspire emotionally, but to bring order out of chaos and make the unknown known. It is not an esthetically free and natural style. It is restrained. Everything is meant to be under control. To the creative player or coach this way of playing often appears dull, awkward mechanical and ugly. It’s about pieces and parts, components and relationships. Everything is measured and proven. To the free spirit this approach is oppressive, heavy, endlessly brown, the death of meaningful play.

To players and coaches who value a precise, mistake free, efficient style of play the creative and chaotic ball wizard represents frivolity, irresponsibility and irrationality. He is untrustworthy, mercurial, erratic, shallow pleasure seeking. They view players who play this style as having little substance, as parasites who cannot or will not carry their own weight; who are a drag on the team.

These opposing forces should sound all too familiar. This is the root of the problem. Coaches, players, fans all tend to rationalize and/or emote mostly from one perspective or the other and in so doing miss opportunities to learn and value the importance and strengths of the mode they oppose. Few have the ability or inclination to sacrifice reality as they see it. Only a tiny proportion of the soccer knowledgeable have reconciled the two modes and recognized where order and solid tactics are preferable or vital, but also where improvisation, unpredictability and intuitive creativity are essential. A tinier fraction have figured out how to teach the game so that both ordered precision and creative intuition are integrated and maximized in a visionary soccer and life optimizing curriculum.


smile Andy

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#71015 - 07/10/10 03:09 PM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: AndyBarney]
AndyBarney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 1686
Why soccer’s biggest stars failed to shine

By Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports
Jul 5, 12:33 pm EDT

CAPE TOWN, South Africa – Soccer’s superstar players never materialized here at the World Cup. The game’s best – Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Wayne Rooney, etc. – often failed to lift their play and, in turn, their teams, to a level this grand stage demands.

The conventional wisdom on why: They were too selfish, unable to adapt to the team concept of a national squad.
Then there’s Diego Maradona’s take: Unlike the past, the stars weren’t selfish enough.

“Today the players are more collective, more team players,” the Argentina coach said after his own star-studded team was bounced from the World Cup. “They want to do everything with their teammates. It is a different type of game right now.”

This goes against so much of what we’ve come to believe, and expect, in sports. The reason that Uruguay and the Netherlands square off here Tuesday in a semifinal is because they embraced selfless, team-oriented play. Such a mentality is celebrated.

What Maradona is suggesting is that this line of thinking has become so widespread it’s actually killed the star player, who no longer acts like a star player. Rather than demanding his place in the natural pecking order of pure talent and past performance, they sink back into the pack.

Such thinking would carry little weight except it is Maradona who said it. Who could know more about what’s needed for a talented player to morph into a larger-than-life superstar and dominate the World Cup? No one owned this event the way Maradona did in 1986 when he led Argentina to the title.
His implication is that the star needs to act like the star. That he is better than his teammates is a given. Rather than apologize for it, he must remind them of it, make them respect it. He must lead not by being one of the guys but by being above the guys. It’s the cult of personality, if you will.
“I think we were more selfish,” Maradona said, which has to be the first time an old player said that about a bygone era. “Maybe before it was about being selfish players who [made the] rest of the team work for us.”

Today’s players receive remarkable hype – television commercials, video games and media attention. They are single-name personalities around the globe. Yet you’d never hear one say that the rest of the team works for them. They’d be vilified. Instead today’s stars go out of their way to support their teammates and talk publicly about how no one player is more important than the other.

Only some players are more important, Maradona notes.
Consider the most competitive environments on earth – the military battlefield, the flight deck of a commercial airliner or a hospital operating table.

This is where failure is not an option. In those cultures, the delineation between the star (the general, the lead pilot) and the others (private, flight attendant) is clear. Often socialization between classes is prohibited – enlisted men do not dine with officers – and the word of the higher-ranked person must be respected.

When having open-heart surgery, no patient would care if the lead surgeon is friends with or helps empower the nurse. In fact, the idea that the nurse would fear disappointing the lead surgeon and would clearly defer to him at all times might be considered a positive. You’d want the most brilliant talent to be the leader.

In Maradona’s day, he says, that carried over to a soccer team. He was Diego Maradona and they were not. “Time changes in life,” Maradona said. In this time, the star player must be humble and supportive. And not just on the field, but in all parts of team life. Obviously all players know they need others to make them better in the game. Someone has to pass them the ball. Or receive a pass. But off the field, is one for all, all for one really the best concept?

It’s difficult to say. Maradona only knows the mentality that made him lead a country to World Cup glory. It certainly isn’t the only way. Perhaps it is one of them, though. And with most of the world’s top individual players home watching the semifinals, with criticism of their selfish play ringing through their heads, maybe the opposite is true. Maybe they weren’t selfish enough.

Maybe Maradona’s correct. Maybe the soccer world has gone soft.

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