Friday, July 9, 2010

Football again

Well, for better or worse, Paul did it again. Nothing fishy about it. The Spain vs Germany match was one of the better matches I saw (I saw only a few). It was very nice to see a cohesive team in action and they appeared more skilled than the Argentinians when it came to playing the Germans. The relatively diminutive Xavi and Iniesta (though I really don't know their heights) moved the ball so fluidly- a reminder as to how skill and concerted understanding between players is far more effective than size or speed (certainly something Indians ought to think about).

A well written article in New York Times clearly brought out the fact that many of the Spanish players had been playing hundreds of matches together for Barcelona and their style of play remains similar in both teams.

Certainly the Spaniards this year are a formidable lot; it happens once in a while that a certain combination of players can come together and make things seem so easy on the field. Apart from skill, those thousands of practice (and real) sessions have something to do with it.

Though not directly related, this reminds me of a doha (couplet) by the spiritual poet Kabir that was drilled into us as children-
करत करत अभ्यास के, जड़मति होत सुजान
रसरी आवत जात ते, सिल पर परत निसान
With constant practice, even an unintelligent person becomes wise. The rope goes over the stone well so many times that it leaves a mark on the stone.

Many of the teams have high levels of talent but they seem to lack the implicit understanding between players that can come only with playing together. One can almost see how Messi for instance might fit effortlessly into the network of the Spanish style of play though he sometimes struggles in the Argentine side.

Having said that, Germany is a good team and I hope they win today's match against Uruguay for third position. When it comes down to it, I prefer any of Paul's tentacles to the highly dubious Hand of God.

No comments:

#Header1_headerimg { margin: 0px auto }