I’ve had a talk with quite a few people that don’t get what Spain is all about. Or, they don’t get what Brazil is all about. If you read my book, thoroughly, as thoroughly as Zuckerberg removed the practical project of Facebook from the Winklevoss brothers, then you’d know that I promote the style of soccer being played by Spain (ipso facto Barcelona), from approximately 2006-2013, and the perennial play of Brazil. Despite both teams having performances that weren’t to be expected from their fan base, these teams, these countries, and their style of soccer, are still to be used as a model when it comes to the highest standard of offensive play. People have said, “In this World Cup they were terrible.” If you think they were great then (with all due respect) you have problems. They weren’t great. Neither was Italy, England or Russia. It happens. They had a drought. Great teams like Spain will have to pass. It’s the nature of things. That particular grouping of players will have to fold in the towel eventually. It will be hard, in fact next to impossible, for a nation or a club team to match what they (Spain and Barcelona) did for that time period. Two European Cups and a World Cup are, for all intents and purposes, unheard of. You can’t sit there and say, “Welp, I guess it’s all over for Spain. Why didn’t they do better?” Their time’s up? Maybe it’s over for them? Brazil went from 1970 to 1994 – 24 years, the lifespan of a galaxy to Brazilians – without winning a World Cup, with a bunch of unlucky, and hard to swallow defeats in between, particularly the 1986 shootout with France and the moment of brilliance from Maradona in 1990. Spain for all these years, harking back to the 1950s, has been the best team to never win the big one (alongside Holland). So what do Spain and Brazil have in common? They have persevered with their consistent quality of play, their attention to quality, their recognition of quality, and a style that they confidently embrace as their own, for all these years, leading to long-term success, because of the belief in their system. They’ve seen that what they’re doing – overall – works and they haven’t wavered. America, on the other hand, has seen what it’s doing – which doesn’t get us into the Quarterfinals – yet we haven’t wavered. We keep doin’ what we’re doin’. If there’s a lesson, it’s that great teams will have slumps. But to be a great team you need to 1) recognize what you’re doing well (Spain and Brazil have done this), and 2) recognize what you’re not doing well (the United States has a hard time with this). But you can’t dismantle Spain, and their accomplishments from 2006-2013 based on 2014 Brazil. You can’t ridicule Brazil, and their legacy from 1958, based on one tournament that fielded the wrong players – a coaching error – and one game that was an anomaly. The flow they’ve had in the past (Spain and Brazil) is now in the possession of Germany. It’s essentially the same thing Spain had been doing: great possession, smart creative passing, precision, consistence and so on. Spain and Brazil should be back with a vengeance, but the teams out there on the edge, including America, Japan, Iraq, Algeria, Cameroon, and Ghana, to name a few, should take note, implementing what Spain and Brazil have done well, and what Germany is doing well at the moment.
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