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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sorry, Raphael, I Don't Think So

I came across a piece on CBC Canada that suggested this world cup will won by an individual or individuals with outstanding skills.

This may have been written in haste, in reaction to the unbelievable performances put in by Lionel Messi in the past few weeks, I don't know.

The thing is: the argument doesn't really stack up. And it appears that the author, Raphael Honigstein (a man who usually talks a lot of sense) knows it.

World Cups are won by teams not individuals. Honigstein points to Maradona's Argentina team in the '86 World Cup as an example of an individual inspiring his team to victory. However, it is instructive that this is the only example he provides. I would suggest that this is because: this is the only example there is and it is very unlikely ever to be repeated.

Italy's victory at the last World Cup is a far better indicator of how big trophies are won - a well organised collective playing effective football.

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posted by mark_s at 2:04 PM


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