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The dominance of the old continent in the most recent tournaments organized by FIFA are a warning for the football of our Latin American region
With regard to the start of the Copa América 2019, an event that in other years brought together the best teams in the world, today we think it is prudent to talk about the involution that our football seems to be suffering in relation to the European, which has remained with the majority of the most important FIFA tournaments in recent times.
Leer en español: Europa y su mayor crecimiento frente al fútbol latinoamericano
In fact, for the next World Cup of Older Soccer in Qatar 2022, for the first time will be 20 years of the last conquest of a South American country in this tournament . The last one was Brazil in the edition of Korea and Japan 2002.
If the Conmebol obtains the title in the recondite Asian country, the bad streak will stop in 20 years. Otherwise, it will be extended by 24 and waiting for what happens in United 2026 in which American countries are the hosts: the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Let's review Italy was champion in Germany 2006 winning in the final to France in a semifinals in which there were only Europeans, it was also played by the host country and Portugal. In South Africa 2010, the champion was Spain by defeating Holland in the final and the podium was closed by Germany, who won the third place in Uruguay. Of eight semifinalists in two World Cups, only one South American.
Brazil 2014 seemed like the best opportunity for the Conmebol teams to make up and take over. They did better, yes, but they did not win. On the podium, were Germany (Champion), Argentina (runner-up) and Holland (third). Brazil was the big disappointment and had to settle for the fourth place, after being beaten in the semifinals by a historic 7-1 in charge of the'teutons'.
Russia 2018 did nothing but confirm the trend. Again, the four semifinalists were European. France, ultimately champion, Croatia runner-up, Belgium third place and England fourth. In total, four consecutive titles for Europe and 13 of the last 16 semifinalists. It is an overwhelming superiority that, in addition, allows them to pass to dominate in titles: 12-9. This superiority, although not historical, has also been reflected in the closest U-20 World Cups.
In the U-20 category, also called juvenile, the historical leadership is for South America with 11 titles (6 Argentina and 5 Brazil) in opposition to 9 of the Europeans (Portugal and Serbia with 2, plus England, France, Spain, Germany and Russia with 1) and 1 with Africa (Ghana in 2009)
However, in the three most recent editions held in Turkey (2013), New Zealand (2015) and South Korea (2017), the champions were always European: France, Serbia and England , which more closely matches the historical table and, Above all, it demonstrates once again the growing dominance of those of the old continent. A situation that is already worrying and we should remove the blindfold that in this part of the world 'we play the best football'.
Of course, at the time you read this, we may have as Latin Americans the possibility of playing the final match of this edition of Poland 2019. Of course, against a European, as one of the two semi-finals was played between Italy and Ukraine, which He left Ecuador against South Korea for the other key. Either Europe extends its dominion or South America shakes off the yoke or, why not? Asia is titled for the first time in this category.
If we evaluate the Confederations Cup, whose last edition was held in 2017 in Russia, there the balance was better for the South Americans, although the most recent version was won by Germany. In summary, between these two tournaments, of the last five editions since 2013, 4 have been won by Europeans. Only in Olympic Games, which we know is a category not accepted by FIFA for its competitions (the U-23), America has been clear dominator in recent years.
Something is happening, that is clear. At the club level, the difference is increasingly wide, but in this area it is justifiable, because European clubs are the ones with the greatest economic muscle to hire the best players from each continent. In many cases, these are sponsored by Asian investment groups and in order to face them against the teams of their region of origin in the club worlds.
Here, before that commercial reality, there is little that can be done, but in selections that does not apply and, even so, the Europeans have extended their domain with a lot of work from the bases. The old continent understands better what prevails in football today: order, physical and mental strength rather than tactics and technique , which are easier to pin down and fight for the opponent.
The results are not always all in the sport, but it is the main thing, the most accurate measuring stick. Now football is not playing nice and the South Americans have adopted that style, wanting to be more European, but maybe playing something they do not feel. This continent was always characterized by audacity, gambeta, game at floor level and a lot of technical wealth.
That is no longer enough nor will it be enough to want to copy a model with players with a different biotype and mentality. America must work orderly and forget the glories of the past to recover the place of honor we have lost in world football at the hands of Europeans, those we call 'trunks', but who are winning us in everything. We will see.
LatinAmerican Post | Onofre Zambrano
Translated from "Europa y su mayor crecimiento frente al fútbol latinoamericano últimamente"