I’m depressed. In a weird sort of way. I’m depressed because football isn’t black and white; it’s blue, purple, yellow, grey and a mixture of many other colours. Football is not about how good you are with your feet but how smart you are in managing the ability of your feet.
It’s about nurturing the talent and also coaching the mind. We have seen a lot of that at this World Cup in Brazil. In plain terms we often say “The best team lost,” but the question is whether they were the smartest team. I think the smartest team always wins; always.
They are not necessarily the best team. Brazil’s exit from the World Cup at the hands of Germany was no surprise. They simply failed to live up to expectation and with a few questionable but key refereeing decisions going in their favour, they found themselves way over their heads in the semi finals; against one of the most technically apt teams at the World Cup.
The situation was made worse when Neymar was ruled out through injury and captain Thiago Silva sat out on suspension. But the surprise for everyone was the score-line. In this game, Germany was both the best and the smartest team.
Jump to the second semi final which was the most frustrating game ever to watch. Naturally I was supporting my husband’s team, Team Netherlands; and for some spells in the game, it appeared as if the Dutch would clinch it. However, they were too cautious in regular time, as if fearing the thought of penalties.
They actually turned on the charm in the dying minutes of regular time and in the 30 minutes added time. When the final whistle blew, I knew Team Oranje would not win a penalty battle. After their heroics last Saturday in their quarter final tie against Costa Rica, I knew their luck on penalties had run out.
It was frustrating because for 120 minutes or so, I think Netherlands was the better team; but Argentina were the smarter team. They knew what they needed to do to stop the Dutch; and I gather they had practiced penalties and had the ability to remain calm.
All those traits resulted in the smarter team winning. Sometimes you put so much effort into something but you’re doing it the wrong way.
Someone else will come and put minimal effort but be smart about it. So the smarter team is on it’s way to meet Germany in the final and what a final it’s going to be considering Germany are both smart and able. Even though all my teams are out of the race for the World Cup title, I am so looking forward to the grand finale.
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