Qatar in sight.
This FIFA day was the last curve before the World Cup.
Qatar can already be seen from the five continents, with some fear and some hope, which are two of the materials with which uncertainty is made.
Beyond the controversial venue chosen and the strange scheduled date, a World Cup is the maximum event that soccer reserves.
With the exception of Italy, the classic teams will be present, all the world champions plus the Netherlands, a school to which this game owes a lot.
But on this occasion we must take into consideration European countries that have undergone a great evolution in recent years and that, following the example of Croatia, feel entitled to shoot their expectations at anything that the stars align in their favor.
Street versus academy.
Something is clear, Europe is the dominant continent and not only because its national championships attract international talent, but also because social transformation has been changing the training scenario for players.
Football, which was a game that grew in the street in a spontaneous, humble and passionate way, had the virtue of taking care of the player differently in a very simple way: endowing him with a prestige that underpinned confidence.
It is still possible to see players grow like wild grass in suburban neighborhoods, but the evolution of football has required more academic learning that, as we will see, formats the player in a different way.
There is not a single club in Europe among all the professional categories that does not adhere to an increasingly sophisticated and demanding method that builds tailor-made players.
For that, first-class facilities and teachers are needed.
In short, money that in South America is not enough.
From Maradona to Haaland.
If we look at the evolution from the proper names we will see that football was, for decades, a fixed game.
Pelé and Maradona were representatives of the virtuous and cunning kingdom of the street.
Twenty years later, Messi presented himself to the world as a beneficiary (diversity enriches) of an amphibious formation: half street in his native Rosario, half academy in his adopted Barça.
And since in this last generation football pressed the accelerator of change, players like Mbappé or Haaland have been asking for world prominence who, like Mbappé or Haaland, unbalance with an indisputable talent that they put on top of an enormous power.
A new crack profile, children of the method that take advantage of science applied to sport to perfect the associative technique (playing more and more with one or two touches),
Waiting for the verdict.
Big football was always an America against Europe.
But if Brazil, Uruguay or Argentina do not win the next World Cup, it will be twenty years since South America has lifted a World Cup.
That would mark a worrying trend if we pay attention to the division that Pier Paolo Passolini made in his day between European prose football and South American poetic football.
Abandoning poetry, which was born in the neighborhoods and was a dazzling individual exercise, would be a shame.
Argentina and Brazil have very good teams and it is as certain that they can beat any European country as it will cost them to beat any European country.
Because the competitiveness of Europe is no longer a privilege of Germany, France or Spain.
There are teams like Belgium,
Denmark or Switzerland that are fearsome with the new weapons with which the academy has endowed football.
Qatar will pass an exam and will tell us where we are going.
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