Sunday, October 01, 2006

To Not Play Beautifully

I realised I haven't talked about football for a very long time.(Actually I haven't blogged much at all.)

The World Cup was held this year in June and I'm sure that before and during the World Cup, every one knows or at least has heard the term, "Joga Bonito".

But for those of you who still don't know the term, Joga Bonito simply means "play beautifully" in Portugese. In the Nike commercials for Joga Bonito, it shows various footballers (actually, mostly players from the Brazilian national team) displaying lots of skills and tricks, like fooling opponents with clever flicks and stepovers, etc.

I have to admit though, at first glance, I was impressed. I can't even do a quarter of the tricks that was shown. I'm sure most of you felt that same. But as time passed, I realised that it was just a whole marketing campaign by Nike and that in reality, Joga Bonito was just a bunch of crap.


Simply because I feel that Joga Bonito has taken away one of the essentials of football. Teamwork.

Joga Bonito has taken away teamwork and instead put the focus on trickery and showmanship. Of course, I'm not saying that individual skill is not important, it is. But when it comes to playing in a team, one has to put the team above himself. Showmanship takes away all that and instead focuses on entertaining the crowd for self glorification.

After the commercials came out, I saw more and more people trying to learn Ronaldinho's flip-flap. I couldn't help but wonder, instead of learning a trick that you'd hardly use in a match, why not focus instead on mastering your ball control or passing? I've never even seen Ronaldinho use the flip-flap in his matches.

Secondly, I don't believe in "Playing beautifullly". I believe only in one thing. Playing to win. That's why after my team Manchester United, I support Chelsea. Because Jose Mourinho believes in the same philosophy. Efficiency over entertainment. It's better to win 1-0 than to lose 5-4. Because at the end of the day, only the result matters and people only remember the winners, not the losers.

Well you might say that playing beautifully is important in entertaining the fans. I agree with that statement to a certain extent, because while playing beautiful football does delight the fans, what fans really want is for the team to win trophies. And if you're winning trophies, you won't be playing boring football that's for sure.

Perhaps I don't like the idea of Joga Bonito because I'm not really a flair player. If you ask me to do stepover or a flip-flap, I'll give the ball right back to the opponent. The style of play that I like the most is Wayne Rooney's. He doesn't overdo things. He just keeps things simple and beats the opponent with his timing and pace. And most importantly, he delivers.

And to illustrate my example of someone who overdoes things, here's the one and only, Cristiano Ronaldo.

But then again, that's just my opinion.


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