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Recently Manchester City and PSG were eliminated again in the Champions League without even reaching the final. What else is needed to win?
Sport is becoming more business-like as time goes by. We've all realized that already, right? The epics of weak teams against the strong ones no longer occur so frequently; each time the athlete is less linked to a shirt, because what moves him most is money. There are increasingly more exclusivity rights for sports broadcasts and all this, in some way, makes the names of the winners more predictable.
However, when we talk specifically about winning, there is no magic formula, because there are many cases of multimillion-dollar investments that still do not get the most important and coveted titles. In the end, something is left of the sport's essence, an activity in which predominantly teamwork, perseverance, mysticism, and the hunger to win before the profitability of the trade are important.
In soccer, the most well-known sport in the world, there are the clearest examples. Manchester City was severely criticized after being eliminated from the UEFA Champions League again in the quarterfinals and again by an English team, in this case, Tottenham; while the PSG of France, of whom few expected much, disappointed again being eliminated in the last 16 against the worst Manchester United of recent times.
Something similar happened in our continent with the Palmeiras of Brazil: 'El Verdao' and current monarch of the 'Brasileirao' was reinforced like no other team in its country —and generally in Conmebol— to try to win the Copa Libertadores. Even so, it's been two years without winning it, even under the management of the great Luis Felipe Scolari. These cases show not so much that money can not be titled in sport, but that, in general, with time and work it is more logical to aspire to great achievements. In the short term? Very difficult.
Chance and sports do not get along
The magic of sport is often that logic does not work and that, from time to time, we find surprises that add that unpredictable touch that makes it unmatched. However, usually, when there is a project that establishes deadlines, which is constantly reinforced, the title arrives sooner or later.
Germany in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil is the best example, because reaching that goal was the result of the Teutons losing a final (against Spain in 2008) and two semifinals (against Spain in 2010 and Italy in 2012) after seven years of work of the coaching staff headed by Joachim Low. They had many of the best players, one of the systems and logistics with the highest investment in the world and, even so, they had not been able to be world champions again. Was it a failure? Of course not.
Another case, if we take other sports, happened in basketball. The Golden State Warriors only had a title in their showcase until 2015. Not even the investment of years ago with Chris Mullin and Tim Hardaway gave results. Years later, the franchise understood that it should work on a project with young players, but with talent, in addition to consolidating a team, an idea and then, yes, bring figures.
Stephen Curry was formed in the club, Draymond Green also and something similar happened with Klay Thompson. Around them three and with the good managing work of Steve Kerr, the team was titled in 2015, played the final of 2016 and had the luxury of strengthening with a big star like Kevin Durant to win in 2017 and 2018. Today they are the favorites to be champions again in this 2019.
We can also say the same about the Chicago Cubs who, despite everything, are not the best example of big investments in the big leagues as the New York Yankees or the Boston Red Sox, for example. Chicago had been years threatening to make a leap in quality, but it never happened. It took them 108 years for them to relish the pleasure of a title. Javier Báez, Kris Bryant and the Venezuelan Wilson Contreras were three experienced youngsters who underpinned the achievement with a top-level pitcher, as was Jake Arrieta, in that season of 2016. It is clear for us, to reach the most precious title, a process is needed, even more than money. Maybe Manchester City and PSG need a little more time for that.
A totally opposite example is the one of the Selection of Denmark in the Eurocopa Sweden 1992, because champions of the old continent were consecrated after assembling an emergency team and whose players were already on vacation. This after replacing the former Yugoslavia, which had earned its right to participate after the qualifying phase, but for political problems could not finally attend. It must be said that this fact is a very isolated case, which is not usually the common denominator in soccer or in world-wide sport.
LatinAmerican Post | Onofre Zambrano
Translated from "La inversión no garantiza títulos en el deporte, es más importante la paciencia"