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History of Football

Generally speaking, football (or what in some parts of the world is known as soccer) is a sport with a history that is several centuries old. As a matter of fact, the history of the sport dates back to around 1863 in England. At the time, rugby football and what is now know as soccer became two separate sporting fields. It was around the same time that the Football Association in England was formed to govern the sport as a whole.

 

According to FIFA, the earliest forms of this sport go as far back as the 2nd and 3rd Centuries BC in China. However the more modern and currently followed rules have their roots in the mid 19th Century. There was need to standardize the rules of the game and this is why there was a general consensus to come up with some kind of framework and rule book as to how the game should be played; this was around the 8th Century.

 

On 26th October 1863, there was the first ever Football Association Meeting at the Freemasons' Tavern in Great Queen Street, London. At the time, the sport was still gaining popularity and the only represented school was Charterhouse. This location was where more meetings of the kind would be held to pave way for what is known today as association football or soccer.

 

At the time, the laws and rules of the game were decided upon by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) which was formed around 1886. This association was formed after the coming together of associations from various countries. At the time, the meeting was attended among others by the Irish Football Association, The Scottish Football Association, the Football Association of Wales as well as the Football Association from within England.

 

The oldest football competition was the F.A Cup which was put in place by Charles William Alcock who was a very well recognized sportsman and administrator. He was one of the brains behind the development of not only football but also cricket. He was also responsible for what is widely recognized as the first ever official international football match. This was a match between Scotland and England in Glasgow in 1872. England is home to the oldest football league in the whole world and this league was started in 1888 by William McGregor who at the time was the director of Aston Villa. The original league had 12 clubs from the Midlands as well as North England.

 

Later on in 1904, the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) was formed and since then, the sport has seen widespread growth and currently ranks as the most popular sport with over 250 million players in the world. Today, the sport is played at a professional level across the world and many people flock stadiums across the world to cheer their favorite teams on and billions watch the games over the internet and on television. Over the centuries, football has emerged as a uniting factor in the lives of many people and it has evoked great passions in the world. 

 

Written by Jason King

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Hooliganism In Football A Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Football hooliganism is something that for many years has been a tarnishing factor for the beautiful game. Sometimes known as the 'English Disease', hooliganism in football has been an evil that has lurked in the shadows, often coming to the fore during certain football events. Fights and brawls between supporters of different teams have ensued over the years and this had become a major problem for soccer governing bodies as it threatened to ruin the game.

 

Over the years, the football hooligans have emerged in several scenarios including fist fights, disruption of soccer games as well as huge riots where there is often destruction of property and lives. This has made the issue of hooliganism shoot to the top of the agenda of many an association's 'to deal with' list. As a matter of fact, FIFA put in place several initiatives to weed out the act and to ensure that the game is not tarnished with the presence of hooliganism.

 

Throughout the 1970s and 80s, football hooliganism was a common appearance in British football. Even before this, as early as the 14th Century, Edward II banned football which at the time had no violence whatsoever because he had the fear that this event could possibly create some kind of social disorder. The first recorded instances of football hooliganism appeared around the 1880s in England. During this time, there were several gangs of supporters who were famous for their intimidation of neighbours and also attacking referees, opposing players and supporters.

 

In 1885 after Aston Villa lost to Preston North End (5-0), there was a melee which ensued with stones pelted, sticks used, punches and kicks uses as well as spitting. It is reported that a Preston North End player even lost consciousness because he had been beaten so severely. The year that followed, the Preston fans were involved in a fight with Queens Park fans and in 1905, a number of the Preston fans were tried in courts of law for hooliganism after their match against Blackburn Rovers.

 

Today, there is more awareness and over the past few years, concerted efforts have been made to ensure that the demon of football hooliganism does not show up again. Any teams that are involved in hooliganism are often punished in one way or another. Depending on the gravity of the situation, there could be a reduction of points, financial fine, absence of fans from a certain game or any other punishments that the governing bodies deem fit.

 

This has gone a long way in ensuring that the hooligans keep away from the matches and in case they attend, the local authorities quickly spot them and deal with them accordingly. Today, several international football events carry on without a threat of hooliganism or violence because the soccer governing bodies work hand in hand with other authorities to ensure that there is peace at the games. It therefore seems likely that the idea of hooliganism will soon become a thing of the past and will only be talked about as something that used to happen but no longer happens.

 

Written by Jason King

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Memorable Football Moments

The ‘beautiful game’ of football has over the years seen some very interesting things that have stuck in the minds of many soccer lovers. Without a doubt, some of these moments were moments that can never be described even half as well as they ought to simply because they are too breath-taking. Some other moments make you want to replay the event over and over.

 

The 1999 Women's World Cup Finals

 

This event was supposed to announce that women should not to be left behind in the advancement of football. And true to their world, the women displayed some of the most scintillating football skills. The highlight of the tournament however, came in the final where the US was playing China. In front of a sold out crowd at the Rose Dowl in California, both teams failed to win the game in regular time and the game went to penalties. Us keeper Briana Scurry had been one the top performers for the team and she was the reason the US was still vying for the title. However Brandi Chastain, her team mate stole the spotlight when she fired home the winning goal and did something that very few players have been able to do - she tore off her jersey in celebration!

 

 The 1999 UEFA Champions League Final

 

This game was one of the most hugely anticipated games of the decade and it had Germany's Bayern Munich up against England's Manchester United in the final of the UEFA Champions League. For a great part of the match, United trailed after an early six minute foul by Ronny Johnsen on Bayern striker Carsten Jancker just outside the penalty area. Mario Basler stepped up to take the free kick and sent Bayern fans into celebration after he beat united keeper Peter Schmeichel. After 90 minutes, Bayern were comfortably in the lead and were set to win the Champions League when something extra ordinary happened. In the first of three minutes of injury time, Sheringham scored the goal that would momentarily silence Bayern and give United a ray of hope; at least to send them into extra time. However, just 30 seconds after the kick off United forced another corner and Solskjær shot the ball into the roof of the Bayern net. This is probably one of the greatest shock come backs of all time and after United had scored the second goal, Bayern players were almost unable to restart replay and were only assisted by referee Pierluigi Collina to get back to the game albeit for a few more seconds.

 

Diego Maradona’s Double Against England

 

For many England fans, the name Diego Maradona arouses feelings of dislike and anger. For other people, the name simply raises memories that will forever be held dear to soccer fanatics across the world. Argentina was playing England for a place at the 1986 World Cup semi finals and this game was regarded one of the most hugely contested games. Diego Maradonna’s two goals in the game will forever be remembered for two different reasons. The first was controversially allowed after what later came to be known as the ‘Hand of God’ in which Maradonna handed the ball as he sent it into the back of the net. The second goal will forever be remembered as ‘the goal of the century’ after Maradonna used his trickery, speed and vision to waltz his way through five outfield English players before he rounded English goalkeeper Shilton to score his and Argentina’s second goal after a scintillating 10-second-60-meter dash.

 

Written by Jason King

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Top 20 Footballers of all Time

There are many gifted and talented footballers have walked onto football pitches across the world and done wonders with the football. The truth is there are very many footballers who have played the beautiful game and rating each one of them can be quite tricky.  However, these are the 20 most artistic and gifted players that this world has seen over the years.

 

20. Jurgen Klinsmann

 

One of Germany's premier strikers of the 90s Klinsmann curved out a career that had his name ringing off the minds of every football fanatic in the world. A darling to German football lovers and a threat to every football nation, Klinsmann's combative playing style was one of the reasons German became a force to reckon with in the 90s. With a total of 232 league goals stretching 516 games in 9 clubs, the German striker was simply a talent through and through. Between 1987 when he graduated to the Senior German team and 1998 when he retired from International football, Kilnsmann netted 47 goals in 108 appearances.

 

19. Ronaldinho

 

Born Ronaldo de Assis Moreira in 1980, Ronaldinho's name has become synonymous with style, flair and trickery on the field of play. The two-time winner of the FIFA World Player of the Year award, 'Gauchho' was named on the FIFA 100 list which compiled all the greatest footballers; a list that was named by his fellow countryman Pele. Ronaldinho is more popular for his style of play than his goal scoring even though by any standards his goal scoring is quite good (32 goals in 88 appearances for the Brazilian senior team). Winner of several individual awards, the stylish player began his trade at an early age of 8 where he began displaying his skill. No doubt, he deserves the number 19 spot.

 

18. Ian Rush

 

The words ‘Liverpool’ and ‘Ian Rush’ almost mean the same thing – rich history! The Welsh hero became a Liverpool darling after almost single handedly re-writing the name 'Liverpool' in the books of history in the 80s and 90s. With a career that spanned 602 league games with 245 goals, Ian Rush became well known for his goal scoring antics. In the Liverpool shirt alone, he scored 90 league goals in 245 appearances for the Reds. With several accolades to his name including 5 League triumphs, 3 FA Cup Victories, 5 League Cup Wins, 5 Charity Shield Trophies as well as a European Cup, Rush's talent puts him at number 18.

 

17. Franco Baresi

 

When strikers attempt to get close to a goal, they often get shaken in case they encounter mean defenses. Franco Baresi was one such defender who created fear and uncertainty amongst strikers. With his ruthless and mean defensive qualities, the Italian created a powerful and impenetrable defense for the Azzurri. According to Gianni Brera, Baresi would attack the ball as a wolf would attack a lamb. He had a great command of the defense and often stopped strikers in their tracks. Despite having played for only Italy and AC Milan, Baresi became a household name in Italy.

 

16. Garrincha

 

In Brazillian football history, there are several talented names that feature and each of these tend to have an impact on the people. While Pele was known as “O Roi” (the king), Garrincha was “O alegria de povo” (the Joy of the People). The extremely talented winger had been declared a cripple at the time of his birth but went on to ply his trade against all odds and become a darling of many football fans. It was often said that Garrincha would run rings around defenders, wait for them and then beat them all over again; just for fun.

 

15. George Best

 

In Northern Ireland, there is a saying: "Maradona good; Pele better; George Best". Best was one of the most talented footballers in the late 60s and into the 70s. He had ability to beat defenders so easily while having a keen eye for goal. He is also remembered for his exceptional talent with both feet as well as acceleration and extremely accurate passing and balance. In 1968 he was named the European Footballer of the Year during his "annus mirabilis" where he won the European Cup.

 

14. Telmo Zarra

 

Telmo Zarra is the leading goal scorer in Spain's Primera Division with 252 goals in 278 appearances, a feat which remains to be broken. Telmo Zarra also holds the record for the most Pichichi trophies (six). Despite his prolific goal scoring on Club level, he only made 20 appearances for the Spanish national side. And even then, he was able to score a record 20 goals in the 20 appearances including 4 goals in the historic 6-3 Spanish defeat of Switzerland on 18 February 1951.

 

13. Bobby Charlton

 

It is safe to say that without Bobby Charlton, Manchester United would probably not be one of the greatest football clubs of English and world history. After surviving the Munich Air disaster of 6 February 1958, Bobby Charlton went on to write his name and Manchester United’s name in the books of history. Having scored 199 goals between 1956 and 1973 for Manchester United, Bobby Charlton cemented his name as one of the greats at Manchester United with his very sharp shooting skills and spectacular long range efforts on goal.

 

12. Gerd Muller

 

Known simply as one the greatest goal machines of all time, Gerd Muller comes in at number 12. With a national record of 68 goals in just 62 appearances for Germany as well as 365 goals in 427 games in the German Bundesliga, Gerd Muller is widely seen as one of the most successful goal scorers to ever walk on to a pitch. Nicknamed “Bomber der Nation” (the nation's Bomber), Gerd Muller is 8th on the list of all time international goals scorers despite having played fewer matches than all the top 15 players. He leads the ranks in Germany as the greatest goal scorer with his follower a massive 97 goals behind him.

 

11. Marco Van Basten

 

Marco Van Basten is one of the several players whose colourful careers were sadly cut short due to injury woes. Despite this, the Dutch footballer was still able to imprint his name in the minds of several football lovers across the world. Known greatly for his tactical awareness, great strength on the ball as well as very spectacular strikes and volleys, van Basten was the European Footballer of the Year three times and FIFA World Player of the Year once.

 

10. Zinedine Zidane

 

The crop of French players that won the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship were led by Zinedine Zidane whose talent on the ball was simply amazing. With almost every honour there is to win added to his name, Zidane is recognized as one of the major reasons for the resurgence of the French National team which since his retirement has never gotten back to its feet. With a club history that saw him play for Real Madrid, Juventus, Bordeaux and Cannes, Zidane is known for his famous match winning goal, a volley which he hit with his weaker foot as Real Madrid went on to beat Bayer Leverkusen in the 2002 UEFA Champions League Final. He, together with Brazilian Ronaldo, are the only two players to win the FIFA World Player of the Year award three times.

 

9. Giuseppe Meazza

 

Arguably one of the greatest football talents to ever come out of Italy, Giuseppe "Peppino" Meazza led Italy to two world cup victories in 1934 and 1938 and in 1934 he won the Golden Ball Award. He is considered one of the greatest Italian players of all time and in the history of the world cup, he is the Fourth best player. He started his career as a striker but later on emerged to be a skillfully gifted midfielder as well. His dribbling skills, eye for goal and extremely accurate shooting set him aside as one of the best of his generation.

 

8. Eusebio

 

Eusébio da Silva Ferreira was a Mozambican-born Portuguese footballer who according to many pundits is one of the reasons why football is known as the 'beautiful game'. Nicknamed 'the Black Panther' Eusebio was extremely fast on the ball and very technically gifted. He had an accurate right foot strike and this made him one of the most prolific goal scorers at the time. In 2003 he was selected as Portugal's most outstanding player in the past 50 years having helped them to third place finish at the 1966 World Cup and emerging top scorer at the tournament. In 1965 he won the Ballon d'Or and in 62 and 66 he was runner up.

 

7. Michel Platini

 

In the 1984 European Championship, one player emerged as one of the most talented players of the tournament. This player went on to score the most goals and win the admiration of all who were watching the tournament. Michel Platini is one of the greatest French footballers of all time, if not the greatest ever. He, together with Jean Tigana, Luis Fernández and Alain Giresse made up the carré magique" (French for "magic square"), midfielders who were the heartbeat of the French team all through the 1980s. He is also widely regarded as one of the best passers of the ball and one of the best free kick specialists of all time. His style of play combined vision, accuracy, skill and dead ball specialty.

 

6. Franz Beckenbauer

 

Nicknamed "Der Kaiser" (The Emperor) because of his unique leadership skills and very elegant style of play, Franz was a dominant force on the field of play. Regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time and as one of the most decorated footballers in the history of German football, Beckenbauer's career started out as a midfielder even though he was greatly remembered as an astute defender. The role of a ‘libero’ (modern sweeper) is attributed to Beckenbauer. Some of his accolades included Ballon d'Or, FIFA World Cup Young Player of the Tournament, FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, FIFA World Cup Team of the Tournament and European Footballer of the Year among others.

 

 

 

 

5. Ferenc Puskas

 

It is because of Ferenc Puskas that the award for ‘most beautiful goal’ was created. With a massively impressive 84 goals in 85 appearances for Hungary, 157 goals in 182 appearances for Real Madrid and winning the Pichichi four times in five seasons, Puskas is one of the greatest players to ever play the game of football. He, along with Alfredo di Stefano are responsible for creating the giant that Real Madrid became and still is. A total of 514 goals in 529 matches in both the Hungarian and Spanish leagues is no simple accomplishment and for this reason, he was voted the top scorer of the 20th Century.

 

4. Alfredo Di Stefeno

 

Born into a family of Italian immigrants from Capri, di Stefano played a style of football that was extremely attractive and he is one of the reasons why Real Madrid became the force that they are today. With him, Real Madrid won the European Champions' Cup a record 5 times in a row from 1956. He was a powerful and strong striker who was nicknamed "Saeta rubia" ("blond arrow") because of his stamina, vision, eye for goal and technical talent. One of the most versatile players of all time, di Stefano was able to play almost anywhere on the pitch. He played his international football mostly for Spain though he had spells with Argentina as well as Colombia.

 

3. Johan Cruyff

 

Three time winner of the Ballon d'Or (only managed by two others, Michel Platini and Marco Van Basten), Cruyff is regarded as one of the reasons why football became a popular sport. The football concept of 'Total football' is attributed partly to Cruyff even though it was created by Rinus Michels, a famous Dutch football coach. The idea of passing the ball around so that no particular player is the central player is one that Johan Cruyff perfected. In this system, the only player who has a permanent position is the goalkeeper and the rest of the players keep shifting positions as they pass the ball around. Cruyff was voted European Player of the Century in 1999. Cruyff often drifted back and forth in the attack and he was extremely versatile so much that he was known as the ‘Total Footballer’ and at times he was called the ‘Pythagoras in Boots’ because of his vision. His technical ability, dribbling skill, acceleration and speed made him one of the most feared players at the time.

 

2. Diego Maradona

 

Diego Maradona is probably the most talented individual players of all time. His skill on the ball was simply unmatched and for many, watching him was just enough without having to watch anyone else. In Argentina, Diego Maradona is almost worshiped and oftentimes, one can be crucified for even daring to compare him to any other footballer, dead or alive. His style of football was extremely eye-catchy and he was able to cut through defenses with so much ease. He had extremely strong legs and was technically gifted on the ball. He also had a very keen eye for goal with several spectacular free kicks to his name. He had some trademark moves that would often leave opponents wondering where he passed, only to realize that he had already scored or set up a team mate. He was mostly left footed though often times he switched with his right foot. Maradonna is very famous for two very historically unique goals that he scored in Argentina's 2-1 win over England in the 1986 World Cup. The first goal was known as the 'Hand of God' and the second was voted the Goal of the Century after he scored what is now known as the greatest individual goal of all time. He made his way through six England players in 10 seconds after dashing across a distance of 60 meters.

 

1. Pele

 

Edison "Edson" Arantes do Nascimento known simply as Pele is the reason we all love football. He is the reason football is a beautiful game and he is the reason we love to go back to football history every now and again. 1,281 goals in 1,363 games puts Pele heads and shoulders above anyone who has ever played the game of football. His impact on the game was so widespread that in 1999 the International Olympic Committee named him the "Athlete of the Century". In Brazil, he is nothing short of a national hero who made Brazil the footballing force that it is today. During his playing days, he was referred to as "O Rei do Futebol" (The King Of Football) and "O Rei Pelé" (King Pele). He began his career at the age of 15 when he played for Santos and by 16 he was already wearing national team colors. The number 10 Jersey is popular today because of Pele. He was extremely talented, visionary, speedy, accurate and above all, he was a team player who if he played in a team, chances are he would have a hand in almost every goal scored. He is the only player to have appeared in three different World Cup Winning squads and he is one of two who have scored at four different World Cup tournaments.

 

Written by Jason King

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The 5 Greatest Football Teams Of All Time

When eleven football players are assembled to play a game of football, there are so many things that can go wrong. However, with the right blend of football, the correct tactics and a crop of visionary players, a lot can be achieved. These players can go on to write their names in the books of history as one of the greatest teams ever. These are the 5 teams that have over the past decades emerged as the most feared teams of their time.

 

5. Arsenal 2004

 

This team was known for banging in goals with simplicity and for winning games with so much ease that others wondered what magic they used. They are however more famously known for their unbeaten run in which they went an entire season without losing a single game, earning the name 'The Invincibles'. The team played 38 league games without tasting defeat, a feat which was only ended with a 2-0 loss to Manchester United the next season. In the season that ‘The Invincibles’ went unbeaten, Thierry Henry scored 30 goals and the team was awarded a special Premier League Trophy to commemorate the unbeaten season.

 

4. Liverpool 1984

 

A team that took home the European Cup, English League and the League Cup, the Liverpool team of 1984 is one of the most fluid team that ever did play the game of football. The team almost had no faults with goal scorer Ian Rush netting goals for fun. The team went on to win a memorable European Cup final penalty shoot out in Rome and triumphed over As Roma. The star of that night was Bruce Grobbelaar who was only able to manage his heroism after the entire team played as a unit from defense to attack.

 

3. Real Madrid 1960

 

This team that had Ferenc Puskas who is one of the greatest talents to ever play in a Real Madrid shirt was one of the best teams ever assembled. Together with Aldredo di Stefano, the two made a mark as the finest players of not only their time but for a very long time to come. The 1960 team went on to win Real Madrid's 5th successive European Cup. Their style of play often sent sides into confusion with quick and intricate passing that tore defenses several times and created an avenue for the men in white to bang in goals whenever they pleased.

 


2. Manchester United 1999

 

This team is famous for so many reasons but one of them being its style of play which often meant that the team had to score more goals than just one. The team enjoyed great success and the peak of this came with the Champions League final where the Red Devils upset Bayern in a tightly contested affair. The game saw the men from Manchester come from a goal down to win the final in just two minutes. Alex Fergusson assembled an army of goal hungry young men who until this day are considered one of the best club teams every assembled.

 

1. Brazil 1970

 

When one player in a team is extremely skilled and everyone else is average, one can have a fairly good team. When two or three players are skilled, that is a total bonus. But when the entire team is overly skilled, that is nothing short of phenomenon. This team became popular for they style of play that was very attractive, extremely fast and very nice to the eye. This would be Pele's final appearance in a World Cup and they produced what is seen as the best team goal of all time when they scored against Italy in the final.

 

Written by Jason King

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The Growth Of Soccer In The US

Football which is better known as soccer in the United States has not been as popular in the areas of United States as it has been in other parts of the world. There are several other sports that have over shadowed the sport and it is no surprise that it is still undergoing development. However, lately, there has been an increase in the interest that the sport has generated. There are now more people involved in soccer and through Major League Soccer (MLS), there is more interest begin generated across the country. As a matter of fact, recent statistics reveal that after American Football, Basketball and Baseball, soccer is enjoying some considerable crowd attendances, more than basketball and ice hockey.

 

The growth of soccer in the United States can be seen from the fact that the MLS is one of the youngest leagues in the world but is currently rated as the 12th most attended premier division in the whole world. In 2011, the MLS broke its all time record for regular season attendance when 92,650 spectators filled the Los Angeles Coliseum for a game of soccer. On August 1 2009 a game between the LA Galaxy and Barcelona attracted a record crowd of 93,137 fans.

 

With several international stars like David Beckham, Thierry Henry and the Mexican Cuauhtémoc Blanco making their way to ply their trade in the US, more people have been attracted to the sport. In addition, television viewer ship has been steadily increasing and several major sports networks are covering several live soccer games across the US. There are now several networks that are dedicated to the game for instance Fox Soccer Channel.

 

Generally, ever since the 1990s, US has seen an increase in soccer interest and this is partly because of the 1994 FIFA World Cup which was held in USA. One of the prerequisites to the US hosting the tournament was ensuring that an outdoor league would be created for the first time since the NASL collapsed about a decade before. As a result, in 1996, the MLS was formed and this quickly became an avenue for football lovers to channel their passion for the game.

 

In the past, soccer was more popular in places like Saint Louis, New Jersey, Southern California as well a areas of the Pacific West and in places where there were more immigrant populations that had people who came from places where the game was played more. It is however now becoming more of a national sport and it is starting to grow roots in several other places. This is partly because of the various Youth programs and the success of both the men's and women's soccer teams on International levels.

 

Unlike in other countries, the concept of Women soccer is partly the reason why US began to garner more interest in the game of soccer as a whole. This was due to the fact that both the 1999 and 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cups were held in the US and the women’s team has been one of the best performers in the tournament over the years.

 

Written by Jason King

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England Back To Football Basics

One might wonder why even with the rich football history that England has, there is still not much to write home about in terms of International success. The basic fact is that at the moment, England can only dream of comparison to the likes of Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Netherlands, France and Italy among others. The recent wave of elimination from various tournaments including the World Cup and the European Cup simply cement the fact that England needs to take a walk down the path of ‘football lessons’.

 

Without a doubt, the English Premier League is one of the greatest if not the greatest football league in the entire world. However, this league is littered with a lot of foreign talent and without belittling the role played by the local talent, it must be noted that the foreign talent is very dominant. Over the years, names like Carlos Tevez, Antonio Valencia, Luka Modric , Dimitar Berbatov, Petr Cech, Christiano Ronaldo, Alexandre Song, Eric Cantona, Tima Cahill, Heurelho Gomes, Nicklas Bendtner , Nicolas Anelka, Thierry Henry and several others are just some of the few foreign names that have graced the Premiership and made it one of the most attractive leagues in the world. True, there are several local players who have lit up the league as well, however one wonders whether England would perform better if its local stars shone a little more within the boundaries of their countries.

 

It might come down to the fact that after all, the English style of play is somewhat an old fashioned style which is being phased out by other countries. A keen look at the English style of play will depict a style that is more suited to counter attacking sides and also suited for teams that have a lot of physical prowess. Teams that use the style of ‘total football’ as advocated for by legends like Johan Cruyff seem more likely to prosper in today’s football setting. This probably explains why teams like Spain and Brazil that pass the ball a lot more than others tend to have more success as compared to their less adventurous opponents.

 

The concept of ‘total football’ is one that calls for every player to keep shifting positions as and when they receive the ball. The idea is to ensure that no single player draws too much attention to themselves and this in turn gives the opposing team a lot more work because every player is a threat at any time. It also means that the team defends as a unit and also hunts for goals as a unit.

 

The England national team has been blessed with several talented players over the decades and one can not be blamed for expecting a lot more from them. However, what seems to be happening year in, year out is that England has continuously underperformed and it is probably high time the ‘three lions’ started to rethink their football basics. At this point, it might be necessary to overhaul the team, and create a new crop of players who understand the concept of total football, maybe then will England will move ahead.

 

Written by Jason King

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