Saturday, July 24, 2010

Recapitulation: football always escapes logic and common sense. The countries failing to qualify for the World Cup were a mixed bag surely, yet some were obviously in decline when others were in transition, and a few had strong club football, which did not produce strong national teams. Both logic and common sense suggest that weaknesses should be affecting the whole football structure – a weak national team should be only a showcase of fundamental flows. Yet, Liverpool, Dynamo Kiev, and Anderlecht will win European Cups soon. Leeds United, Saint Etienne, and Ferencvaros will be finalists in the international tournaments. Ujpesti Dozsa, Slovan, Derby County will perform strongly too. Real Madrid and Barcelona need no mentioning: everybody feared them even during lean years. And after all, at least domestically, Sporting Lisbon and Universitatea Craiova played well – in the Romanian case, the 70s were the best years for Craiova’s club. Now let’s take a look at the mighty World Cup finalists – if the losers were strong, the winners must be fantastic. Ah, common sense creeps in again… perish the thought.