The Real Football Thread

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Re:

Libertine Seguros said:
This is the nadir of the cosy cartel at the top. Back when Ajax last won the Champions' League, you had to actually be the Champions to get into it. Liverpool and Spurs haven't won a Premier League between them. There's just too much of the money and the prestige concentrated into a couple of leagues. The Ajax team is going to be stripped bare in the coming months as the top 6 Premier League teams, the top 3 La Liga teams (maybe 4 if you include Sevilla, prestige and money wise they belong there) and maybe a couple of big spenders from elsewhere (Juventus? PSG? Bayern?) gut their squad of all of its young talents, because they know Ajax can't afford to keep them. It's been headed that way ever since the implementation of the mini-league system killed off the idea of an underdog upset, but now we've reached the point where teams with glorious European history like Ajax, Anderlecht and Benfica are underdogs against teams that finish 4th in Serie A or the Premier League and haven't won anything, but by finishing 4th get to qualify for the Champions' League. It's pretty unsustainable when you reach a point where four teams from the same league populate both European competition finals. And that doesn't include the team that's actually going to win that league. The standards of so many of the leagues have fallen through the floor because they simply can't keep any talented players, and you have this subset of clubs like PSG, Shakhtar Donetsk, and to an extent maybe Ajax are headed this way too if they can hold on to some of these players, who exist solely for the Champions' League because winning their domestic league is just childs' play, but because they're not playing up to a high enough standard week in week out, can't raise the funds to compete with the juggernauts.

I mean, to an extent this is also the result of the fact that in England the TV money is distributed equitably, rather than team by team on an independent basis, so there's more depth of competition, which has always been an issue in e.g. Spain, where Barcelona and Real Madrid attract more audience, so get on TV in more markets, so charge more for their matches, so make more money, so have more to spend, so perpetuate their domination, and if other leagues want to have a slice of the pie and not just be cannon fodder for the EPL teams, they need to look at doing something similar so that they aren't left with a weakening league thanks to all the talent being concentrated at the very top like in Ligue 1. Not that we aren't seeing a similar runaway situation in the EPL, but doesn't it speak volumes that teams 25 points off the pace in the EPL are filling European finals while the cream of the crop elsewhere can't beat them?

Looks like next season's Champions' League maybe I'll have to cheer on Getafe or Eintracht Frankfurt. At least they're from a big enough league that they'll get seeded for the group stages then inevitably get dumped out by a 'name' club. What the Ajax story has told us is not to dream. There is still room for the occasional miracle, like Chapecoense or Leicester City, but the system is designed to try to make them as rare as possible, because they don't want outsiders ruining the cartel's money spiral. And as Manchester City have shown, the only way to break into that cartel is to have so much money that they are reluctantly forced to accept you. Spurs are in the process of finding their way into it - they're from the right league but they haven't spent that big (well, in comparison to the likes of Ajax and co they have spent plenty over the last few years, but in comparison to the kind of superteams in the CL cartel they haven't) aren't part of the inner circle of the superclubs, I'd say. I think they'd have to win this final to stand a chance of being initiated into that.
Ajax had their chance though.

They blew it.

They didn't get drawn against Barcelona and get blown away.

All they had to do was beat a Tottenham side that themselves have always been an average club at best, historically had to sell their best players anytime a blade of grass managed to rise above the rest, and through home grown talent have managed to muscle themselves into the CL a few times.

I know you wanted Ajax to win because they were the "underdogs" but in Football these days, "underdogs" refers still to multi millionaire household name international players who play in a massive stadium for a world famous club worth several hundred million, themselves have the power to take players from lower leagues the way you decry a bigger fish may take from them etc.

Cry me a river.
Its not like it local semi pro team of players who wash their own boots
 
Re: Re:

The Hitch said:
Libertine Seguros said:
This is the nadir of the cosy cartel at the top. Back when Ajax last won the Champions' League, you had to actually be the Champions to get into it. Liverpool and Spurs haven't won a Premier League between them. There's just too much of the money and the prestige concentrated into a couple of leagues. The Ajax team is going to be stripped bare in the coming months as the top 6 Premier League teams, the top 3 La Liga teams (maybe 4 if you include Sevilla, prestige and money wise they belong there) and maybe a couple of big spenders from elsewhere (Juventus? PSG? Bayern?) gut their squad of all of its young talents, because they know Ajax can't afford to keep them. It's been headed that way ever since the implementation of the mini-league system killed off the idea of an underdog upset, but now we've reached the point where teams with glorious European history like Ajax, Anderlecht and Benfica are underdogs against teams that finish 4th in Serie A or the Premier League and haven't won anything, but by finishing 4th get to qualify for the Champions' League. It's pretty unsustainable when you reach a point where four teams from the same league populate both European competition finals. And that doesn't include the team that's actually going to win that league. The standards of so many of the leagues have fallen through the floor because they simply can't keep any talented players, and you have this subset of clubs like PSG, Shakhtar Donetsk, and to an extent maybe Ajax are headed this way too if they can hold on to some of these players, who exist solely for the Champions' League because winning their domestic league is just childs' play, but because they're not playing up to a high enough standard week in week out, can't raise the funds to compete with the juggernauts.

I mean, to an extent this is also the result of the fact that in England the TV money is distributed equitably, rather than team by team on an independent basis, so there's more depth of competition, which has always been an issue in e.g. Spain, where Barcelona and Real Madrid attract more audience, so get on TV in more markets, so charge more for their matches, so make more money, so have more to spend, so perpetuate their domination, and if other leagues want to have a slice of the pie and not just be cannon fodder for the EPL teams, they need to look at doing something similar so that they aren't left with a weakening league thanks to all the talent being concentrated at the very top like in Ligue 1. Not that we aren't seeing a similar runaway situation in the EPL, but doesn't it speak volumes that teams 25 points off the pace in the EPL are filling European finals while the cream of the crop elsewhere can't beat them?

Looks like next season's Champions' League maybe I'll have to cheer on Getafe or Eintracht Frankfurt. At least they're from a big enough league that they'll get seeded for the group stages then inevitably get dumped out by a 'name' club. What the Ajax story has told us is not to dream. There is still room for the occasional miracle, like Chapecoense or Leicester City, but the system is designed to try to make them as rare as possible, because they don't want outsiders ruining the cartel's money spiral. And as Manchester City have shown, the only way to break into that cartel is to have so much money that they are reluctantly forced to accept you. Spurs are in the process of finding their way into it - they're from the right league but they haven't spent that big (well, in comparison to the likes of Ajax and co they have spent plenty over the last few years, but in comparison to the kind of superteams in the CL cartel they haven't) aren't part of the inner circle of the superclubs, I'd say. I think they'd have to win this final to stand a chance of being initiated into that.
Ajax had their chance though.

They blew it.

They didn't get drawn against Barcelona and get blown away.

All they had to do was beat a Tottenham side that themselves have always been an average club at best, historically had to sell their best players anytime a blade of grass managed to rise above the rest, and through home grown talent have managed to muscle themselves into the CL a few times.

I know you wanted Ajax to win because they were the "underdogs" but in Football these days, "underdogs" refers still to multi millionaire household name international players who play in a massive stadium for a world famous club worth several hundred million, themselves have the power to take players from lower leagues the way you decry a bigger fish may take from them etc.

Cry me a river.
Its not like it local semi pro team of players who wash their own boots
They had their chance and blew it.

Doesn't mean they're at a tremendous financial disadvantage compared to like the 5th club in England? Ajax are easily the richest Eredivisie club, they can do to the Eredivisie what the top Euro clubs do to them and still they made one CL semi in the last 20 years.

This was a once in a generation run for Ajax, now they'll make more than 100M of profit in a single season but they can't sustain a prem like budget simply because they play in the Eredivisie.

Wouldn't mind if they fused the Dutch and Belgian competitions
 
...and if you actually read through the post, you'll see that it's precisely the fact that a team with the glorious history and the riches of Ajax are relegated to underdog status as soon as they're out of the group stages that makes it a farce.

...and that I pointed out that Spurs don't really belong to the cartel, not from a clubs point of view anyway. They are part of the cartel of leagues that pushed for the changes to the Champions' League that made it a cosy circle of rich leagues getting richer, but at the time that happened, Spurs were definitely not one of the big guns within that league.

The last time anybody made the final from outside the top 4 leagues (though we may talk about the top 5, Ligue 1 is most definitely 5th) was 2004, when Porto won. Before that it was Ajax in 1996. We've had a couple of near-lockouts from Spanish teams recently, and of course we had an all-German CL final in 2013, but since then no German team has made it.

In 17-18, the big five leagues accounted for 12 of the last 16. Of those four remaining, none proceeded, and only Shakhtar lost by less than 3 clear goals.The year before that, it was 14 of 16, with the two left over being Portuguese giants who lost by 3 clear goals at the round of 16. In 15-16, at least 5 non-big 5 teams qualified for the round of 16, but only one progressed - Benfica, by virtue of being drawn against one of the other outsider teams. They lost in the quarter final. The same accounts for Porto's quarter-final a year earlier; they beat Basel in the R16. Shakhtar were the only other outsiders. 13-14, 3 teams, none past the R16.

In fact, the last time ANY team outside the big 5 leagues won a knockout game in the Champions League, until this Ajax team, was Galatasaray beating Schalke six years ago. Around a decade ago APOEL and Shakhtar managed it, but still, the last time a non-big 5 team made it as far as Ajax in 2019 was PSV Eindhoven in 2005.

Of course, it's functioning exactly as planned, the exercise is to make money and God knows they're doing that. But for anybody who doesn't support one of the cartel teams, it's money being made in the Supply Side Jesus way - average income is going up, but the disparity is growing ever larger. Spurs are themselves outsiders to the cartel who are overachieving, but we've reached a stage where a team that can potentially be a marketplace killer in their home market, with such prestige and history - and money! - as Ajax, is at the point where they are an underdog fairytale, which is a preposterous sign of the times. The big leagues pressured UEFA for these changes to the CL 20 years ago, and the key point of resistance would be the negative impact it would have on other leagues. This was palmed off as not being an issue as the teams qualifying from those leagues would have more opportunities to play the biggest teams and generate money. But we all knew what the real endgame was, and it looks like we're headed directly for it.
 
Yeah its unfair. Yes Football is unfair. Its a business.

Corrupt to the core at every level.
World cup matches - these days the most important Global event to humanity, are arranged at time that will best suit the West European markets.

Even the CL itself is based on entertainment not merit. A knockout competition where some teams get easy draws, some hard ones, based on luck.

Mercenaries from around the world representing, not the African mega cities where people still walk around with Arsenal Dreamcast 2000 shirts, or the South American favellas that produce so much of the world talent, but whatever rich European team offered them the most.

I just found it funny that so many people saw Ajax as some sort of moral good.

The very same system probably still benefits them. If football and the Champions league was more "fair" (depends on how fair you want to go), a 1 million pop rich city in Holland probably would not be able to compete with so many others in Eastern Europe or even the rest of the world.

Ultimately, the people that would have got the medals and the credit for winning the Cl, had Ajax won it, are the same guys who already played or will soon play for the very same even bigger teams against whom they are supposed to be some sort of everymen.
 
I agree wholeheartedly with Libertine. Ajax has always had a very good youth system and basically their last CL title (1995) was kind of the point when their top youngsters would leave the club for financial purposes. Players that were 'raised' in that system would not stay there past the age of 25, and that's pushing it. It's a nice mix of Dutch young and old and foreigners, but there's no real 'superstar.' That's another thing that I appreciate it. It's kind of like the Detroit Pistons of 2001-2008, when they were contenders in the NBA. When they won the title in 2004, they were made up of solid, talented players but none of them were flashy superstars and their budget wasn't nearly as big as a number of the other top teams, not just the Lakers who they crushed in that year's championship.

I also agree with Hitch. The times are such where money rules above all. The teams that spend the most don't always win, but they are more stable these days, because they can rely on money and transfer windows to add to the roster or move those they feel aren't performing well. In the past, top players stuck to their original team longer than they do now. We as fans have to get used to this, it's going to be like this for the foreseeable future. To me it's annoying and disheartening to see, but it's reality. Being a fan of Liverpool, I am obviously happy to see them going for the title in three weeks time, but on the other hand it's a bit weird to see the English getting all patriotic when the majority of the team are foreigners. The only local lads are Trent Arnold and Curtis Jones. Jones is a recent addition to the senior squad. Clubs like Liverpool are worldwide brands. There is more fandom outside the UK then there ever was, and that's understandable and logical, but it would be nice to see more local talent in LFC, and elsewhere. Top leagues tend to have the nations top players in them, but still, there's more movement than there's ever been. It's not so Scouse anymore. In the past, fans in would mainly support their local clubs, because strength of the top top clubs wasn't as great as it is now. The Eastern and Central European teams had far more success in the past. Some reasons are obvious, others are not so black and white. The top clubs in lesser leagues lose fans and lose money. A lot more people follow the top leagues nowadays. To me it's sad for the leagues not named EPL, Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A. Ligue 1 in France has PSG and occasionally Marseille and Lyon that can make some noise in in either the CL or EL, but that's it these days. The Dutch have Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord, all three have won the CL, but Ajax hasn't won in 24 years and the other two are not that strong now. The Germans have a problem where Bayern buy all the top players of other Bundesliga rivals (Dortmund, Schalke, Stuttgart, Bremen...) and they've dominated the league recently with the occasional title from Dortmund. The Italians are not as strong. They've had corruption problems, economic issues and it's had an effect on their national team's performances since 2006. The last time an Italian team won the CL was 2010 when Mourinho led Inter to a treble. Juventus has been flying the flag for Serie A since then.

I am not going to dissect every sentence that Libertine wrote, but in respect to the qualifying for the CL, it makes sense to go back to the old system, where the champion of each league goes to the CL automatically. That would be more than fair. That said, for the same reason that we criticize the fact that a 4th placed EPL or La Liga or Bundesliga team makes it in automatically, we would also be critical of them not being there with the old system and we would complain that there is less quality in the field because not all the top teams are there. But again, that 4th placed team could be a Chelsea or Arsenal and they alone have as much money as teams 7/8-20 have combined (I exaggerate, but who knows...).
 
Might be because I watch italian football and not german football, but i think that italian football is in a better place currently. It's starting to realise the necessity of modernisation in keeping up and is now at a key crossroads in keeping its historic value or declining slowly, while bundesliga seems to have gone down the road of a 'shopping window' league. Take, for example, napoli last year compared to dortmund this year: both have challenged, unsuccesfully, for domestic honours against the dominant team of this decade. Napoli, though, were probably stronger (see their performances against one of the best teams in the history of the prem, in contrast to dortmund's aneamic performances against spurs) and by the end of the season did not lose many of their players, while there is constant talk of big teams gutting dortmund for the likes of sancho etc. The fact that bundesliga is now seen in england as a league to send unproven young talents on loan is pretty worrying. This is in no small part caused by the relative lack of money involved in the german game.
 
Re:

Brullnux said:
Might be because I watch italian football and not german football, but i think that italian football is in a better place currently. It's starting to realise the necessity of modernisation in keeping up and is now at a key crossroads in keeping its historic value or declining slowly, while bundesliga seems to have gone down the road of a 'shopping window' league. Take, for example, napoli last year compared to dortmund this year: both have challenged, unsuccesfully, for domestic honours against the dominant team of this decade. Napoli, though, were probably stronger (see their performances against one of the best teams in the history of the prem, in contrast to dortmund's aneamic performances against spurs) and by the end of the season did not lose many of their players, while there is constant talk of big teams gutting dortmund for the likes of sancho etc. The fact that bundesliga is now seen in england as a league to send unproven young talents on loan is pretty worrying. This is in no small part caused by the relative lack of money involved in the german game.
Doesn't Munchen also hoard a lot of the best players from their direct competitors?

I think the best thing to hope for is to get a slightly more competitive league in general and for the sub top teams to do better in EL. PSG and Juve are not challenged at all domestically and when they get under pressure in the UCL it shows.

Meanwhile, the Eredivisie is in the process of slowly getting rid of artificial grass, and I think the top teams are willing to aid in making that happen. One very worrying sign for me though is Barcelona buying Ludovit Reis from FC Groginingen. Reis is the biggest talent in Groningen and has seemingly made the decision to run around in Barcelona B rather than get experience at the highest domestic level in the Netherlands. Would be hugely worrying if it becomes a trend that young talents skip domestic top teams in favor of B teams of the biggest teams.
 
The whole competition narrative is false imo. The best years for Juventus in the champions league were 2017 and 2015. In 2015, they had absolutely no competition. In 2017, it was probably one of the best years for serie a recently, but juventus were still comfortable winners (more comfortable than the final league table suggests). Last year, when they were under intense pressure, they went out at the quarters, the same spot that they did this year under none at all. The problem lies elsewhere in that club. Bayern is a good example as well: they were run away league winners in 2013 (although dortmund were strong that year), 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018, with the league slightly closer in 2016 and close in 2019. They've gone winners in 2013, semis in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018; quarters in 2017 and ro16 this year. There is no clear correlation between stronger competition for the win and better european performances imo. I agree that overall league quality helps every team in that league, but the issue isn't not being challenged, but just being low on quality. The prem was competitive between 2013 and 2017, but low on quality which showed in europe.
 
Atalanta is flying to a Champions League spot considering that they should be able to take easily three points next week from vacation Juve in which only Ronaldo seems still willing to go deep.
I would like very much to see them against top teams, I think they could do damage, especially if some teams come away thinking of an easy match or pulling a Barça.
This year in their days they literally looked unbeatable for everyone (ask Juventus for reference) and they even found continuity of performances this year (they lost only two matches in 2019).
 
Citizens are officially under investigation for the FFP violation.
According to Marca also Barça risk a lot (they have to sell players for 265M this summer to be ok for next year).

Meanwhile Inter have been cleared (along with FC Astana and Beşiktaş) after two years of limitations.
 
Re:

Dazed and Confused said:
Well, hopefully the football will be better than the shite show currently on......
Nope, just a bland regulation premier league game... Even if the teams' last match at Anfield was far better.
(not that I know what you were referring to as the 'currently on shite show'...
 
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/sportsnews/article-7153059/Former-UEFA-President-Michel-Platini-arrested-awarding-2022-Qatar-World-Cup.html
Former UEFA president Michel Platini has been arrested over the awarding of the 2022 World Cup.

French legend Platini was elected in 2007 and served as president until 2015 when he was then banned by the FIFA Ethics Committee.

Platini, 63, was taken into custody on Tuesday morning as part of the investigation into the awarding of the World Cup to Qatar, and held at premises of the Anti-Corruption Office of the Judicial Police (OCLCIFF).

At the core of concerns is understood to be a meeting which took place nine days before the ballot of FIFA for the World Cup decision in 2010, where former France president Nicolas Sarkozy invited Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Crown Prince of Qatar and Platini, then UEFA President and Vice President of FIFA, to a meeting at the Elysee hotel.

Football France reported that the meeting centred around the acquisition of Ligue 1 side Paris Saint Germain by the Qataris - which became effective in June 2011 - a rise in Qatari shareholding in the Lagardere group and the creation of 'a sports channel (BeIN Sports) to compete with Canal +' in France.

It was then alleged that all would have been agreed 'in exchange for a promise: that Platini does not give his voice to the United States (for the 2022 World Cup bid), as he had envisioned, but in Qatar.'
 
Nothing at all about the women's World Cup? Many think the U.S. team may be the best ever, and they went through their first three games outscoring opponents I think it was 18-0. Then yesterday, in the first KO game, they barely survived Spain, needing a questionable foul late in the second period. In fact, both of their two scores came on penalty kicks, though they did appear to outplay Spain most of the way.

Next up is France, the host team, and the pre-tournament favorite to be America's toughest challenge.
 
Re:

Merckx index said:
Nothing at all about the women's World Cup? Many think the U.S. team may be the best ever, and they went through their first three games outscoring opponents I think it was 18-0. Then yesterday, in the first KO game, they barely survived Spain, needing a questionable foul late in the second period. In fact, both of their two scores came on penalty kicks, though they did appear to outplay Spain most of the way.

Next up is France, the host team, and the pre-tournament favorite to be America's toughest challenge.
Just cannot get into it, fair play for the way the women’s game has grown, and will continue to grow over the coming years, but I just find it too slow and boring.

Cant quite put my finger on it, but I’d say it lacks the ‘egde’ that you often find in the men’s game.
 
I maybe watched 60 minutes in total so far and already saw 3 disgraceful, game-deciding calls from the ref. The second penalty for the USA vs Spain being the icing on the cake. That was just fishy as ****. Bye bye excitement.

I'll probably tune in a bit more now that the 'weak' teams are out.
 
Atlético signed Joao Felix, IMHO he's the signing of the year despite the headlines being all for De Ligt and his quest for the bigger salary possible. I watched him in some Europa League games of Benfica and is unbelievable, he plays for two, a midfielder and a striker, and he's good in every position you put him between midfield and attack, i really agree with the ones that compare him to Kaka but i think he could be even better.
And Atlético will likely fund him entirely selling Griezmann that is 10 years older, has a monster salary of over 20M and this year has been a lot under his par, considering also Lucas Hernandez sold for 80M at Bayern after an year plagued by knee problems i think they are the geniuses of market.
 
Re:

del1962 said:
I think the game is better off without VAR after watching Women's world cup

VAR was supposed to e for clear and obvious errors but it is used for very marginal decisions
VAR-s problems in Women's World cup are largely down to a poor level of referees - both on the pitch and in the VAR room - rather than the fault of the VAR system itself.
 
Re: Re:

Logic-is-your-friend said:
dungan123 said:
Real football? Dont they hold the ball with their hands for most of the game?
No, you are talking about the sport better known as "handeggwrestle". Where guys wrestle while holding a large egg with their hands. Football is the sport where you kick a ball with your foot.
Uuh, you do realise you're replying to a post of 8 years ago?
 
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