Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Where's the Best Soccer Being Played?

Most would say in England or perhaps Italy or Spain. But let's take a closer look.

The pace of the English game makes it the most exciting. Every player that comes to England from South America or another European country takes at least few games, if not more, to adapt to the pace of the game. There's a certain style of play in Spain and Italy, a sharpness, where every positional player is skilled, and that puts those leagues towards the top of the list.

Then there's Argentina, as far as the most skilled players, I think my hats off to them. The way players turn, cut, control, and strike the ball, it's a joy to watch, and maybe their league plays the best football. Boca versus River, I wish I could watch a game there someday. I think I’ll have to.

I've also wondered when a player should start to play structured football (soccer), you don't want to lose or cut out the freedom of a player, his innate instincts. The greatest players it seems have always spent a lot of time playing on their own and on the streets, developed a style you can't really teach. Can you teach a player how to play like Messi? Barcelona sure had him at a young age, but he already had the gift it seems, a cross between George Best and Maradona, minus the booze and chalk that Fowler tried to celebrate with.

Back to the theme of the post. Africa, how's their football--Ghana was fun to watch in the Cup? I don't or haven't seen club level play in Africa. I would like to see it, maybe after the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, they will have a league. Brazil, strangely, you'd think it would be a great league to watch, is all dribbling. Mexico, a class league but the play is at a snails pace compared to Europe, although I've enjoyed watching a few games on the Mexican channel of late. They keep flashing for a few moments to las chicas in the stands, who's needs cheerleaders. But the camera men are skillful like the players, always getting back to the game at the right moments.

What about the Women's Wold Cup? I had to mention it, because one of the best goals I've seen in a while was put in by a women. Will a women's soccer player ever join a men's team? Marta could nearly play in the MLS, and she's just 21, who needs a posh Beckham.

Then there's the World Cup--is that the best soccer and most exciting? I almost think the Champions League is the most exciting soccer being played today. But the World Cup brings you the passion of an entire country, their cultures and histories clashing underneath, while a soccer game is being played. Not much beats that.

What's the best game you've seen live. I think mine has to be Barcelona versus Valencia. I don't know how I was so lucky to witness that game.

1 comment:

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