Today’s footie

July 3, 2014 • 8:59 am

Sadly, there’s none, but there are two big games tomorrow and another two on Saturday:

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In the meantime, reader Daniel sent me this video of “Neymar vs. Messi.”  Neymar dives whenever he gets a chance; Messi, when tackled, may stumble a bit but keeps on going. He’s not a drama llama.

I hate diving.

14 thoughts on “Today’s footie

  1. You could make this video for Messi and just about any other player in the world. For other players, a penalty is a bigger advantage for his team than keeping control of the ball in open play. For Messi, the advantage is to keep the ball and keep attacking rather than going to a set play. I don’t know of another player for whom that is true.

  2. The semis certainly should be Germany v Brazil and Argentina v Holland in the sense that this is the most likely single combination, but my guess is that exactly one of those will be wrong.

    Let’s hope that Brazil-Colombia is as good as it could be. Colombia have a good claim to being the best team so far, and have certainly looked far more like Brazil than Brazil have.

    Also let’s hope that the last few games don’t deflate the tournament as they did at USA ’94. This was an excellent tournament up to and including the QFs, but the semis and the final were so dire that we’ve all tended to forget how good it was up to then.

  3. Tomorrow is the fourth of July. Got to cheer for the team with the red, white and blue flag.

    1. You mean the country that won the American War of Independence?

      It would be pretty ungrateful of USers not to cheer for France on July 4th…..

  4. Messi has the advantage of a lower ce nter of mass, but he is not and never have been a diver.
    Another player that had the same attitude regarding diving (not) was Ronaldo Nazario, specially in his first years, including his magical year in Barcelona.

  5. Messi’s refusal to dive and his determination to ride foul tackles and carry on are the foundations (imo) of the claim that he is the greatest soccer player yet.Pele (I think) was equally sporting,but it seems to me that Messi is more talented by a whisker 😉 .

    1. Messi’s focus is rare — it reminds me of the kind that you see with highly functional autistics. It is not just a matter of compartmentalizing but more of a supreme attention to the task at hand. It is flow personified and nothing can stop it, though it may be slowed down a bit, but then it just resumes its purity (I can’t think of a better word!). All a bunch defenders do is to fuel his attention.

      I suspect a relentless internal dopamine reward system supports many players, like Zidane, but not Messi — that’s why he seems so innocent and natural. He isn’t doing it for any gratification other than for just doing it.

  6. Just like the Suarez biting incident, FIFA should punish the notorious divers. I don’t understand why these ridiculous theatrics go unpunished.

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