Does Football reflect our Societies?
Year on year football takes more and more importance. With money and TV rights being steadily on the rise it is safe to say that more and more people have interest in the game.
So does football reflect our societies?
A simple answer is no. A more refined would be no, because football, in my humble fan opinion, is far ahead of societies whichch tend to move one step backwards one step forwards.
I think one of the most striking point, is that there is a sense of community in the world of football. All actors, footballer, trainers even journalists understand that they belong to a community with common interests.
Jeff Bezoos , founder of Amazon has this saying that an efficient team is a team that can be fed on 2 pizzas.
The idea being that having a small team promotes accountability for each member.
Obviously feeding the entire football community would take more than 2 pizzas ,however each actor tacitly understand that his actions can impact the whole football world and that the football world is bigger and more important than himself.
Football is an amazing musical chair game. A classic example if trainers being former players but there are far more complex stiuation with club shareholder being also player, Trainers being also players, Players playing against their dear former clubs as Players or Trainer, Trainer being dismissed and rehired, Players becoming Journalists, you name it..
Anyway, the point is that anything can happen, if it can be said it can be done, as such because you can end up in any position it forces the actors to have empathy for any sort of position and envetually care for the entire community. It’s like i might be in your shoes tomorrow so i better have respect for your position.
One of the latest development in the world of footbal is the addition of video referring.
It is interesting to see that video appearing in football comes in parallel with the election of Trump in the USA.
One could have thought that, having the unlimited sources of information that offers internet, truth would be inevitable. Yet, the US has seen someone elected on and governing on blatant lies.
Truth has become something like one opinion among other “alternatives”.
While football is rife with corruption and deceptoin, it has recognised its own mistake and decided to move forward with the introduction of video refering.
Football gives more space to dream. Football is a team game. Successfull teams like Real , Bayern are not just a bunch of football wizkids.
Their success is much more than a team, as Alex Fergusson mentionned, even the cleaner contributes to the making of a Champions League. Similarly, Josep Guardiola recently decided to forbid his training staff from eating candies.
To put it in comparison to other elite domains such as music or cinema, there, perception of success is often only tied to having a primary role.
In football success and rewards go beyond the starting XI. This means that every aspiring footbalista can sincerely believe he will make it one way or another.
As we are in a very crucial election phase for the future of Europe with election having taken place in Netherlands, Referundum taking place as we speak in Turkey and forthcoming ballot in France and Germany. Looking at the political rhetoric it is clear that the debate revolves a lot around migration and freedom of movement. Looking at it from a very macro perspective, it is worth noting that in the world of football there is no debate about migration. Players are praised and encouraged to move wherever their talent is needed. It is a necessary in the world of football. Talents from a single country or region would never suffice for a club that wants to win.
Football , despire being a faitly close community, boasts and promotes a very wide opinion diversity. The transfer of Pogba last summer is prime example of that. In the corporate world, somebody making a $100 millions mistake would probably not keep his job nor reputation for a very long time. Yet, Manchester United fans and the football community in general seems to see no problem with their clubs first offloading Paul Pogba and buying him back for over $ 100 millions. Somilarly, It is also worth noting the verya large number of start footballers who had a rough career start and who were basically told that they were never going to make it. (e.g. Drogba, Griezman, Giroud, to name a few).
Top trainers like José Mourihno would have no issue taking a striker and making him play in defense all that to change the following week end. Once again this diversity of opinion makes every aspiring footballer seriously believing in his chances.
In the real world and specically finance , domain that i know most, there is a lot of emphasis put on Maths. And basically, I cannot name a big bank who does not have a Maths test as a prerequisite for a job interview.
Comparing it to football, it would be like the condition to be a professional footballer would be to be only good at shooting free kicks. While it makes no sense in Football it is stragnly accepted in the real world.
All that is because, in the real world , teams are never build with the idea of winning. They are built mainly guided by principles of statu-quo. The less I challenge the statu quo the better it is.
While in football clubs are obcessed with not only winning but put their names in the record books.
Our generation always live under the illusion that we are stronger, better, faster than our forefathers.
My view is the opposite, we are on average weaker and paradoxally, with more access to information, more likely to stick to the statu-quo. The facts is that most people have no clue about how we compare to the past us and just live by that as Pangloss states in Voltaire’s Candide book “All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds”.
Our brain prime us to never see ourselves negatively which keep us sane as we age, collectively the same mechanism happen. We are always blinded that, everything will anyway be better at the end of the day.