2 November 2008

Quality Football

FIFA logoHaving come from a Southern Hemisphere country where Rugby Union is the main sporting event, soccer has not been a game that I've followed with any sort of zeal. That is, apart from staying up with my mother into the early hours to watch the FA Cup Finals in the UK - a long time ago when they were still interesting and a rare corner kick pretty much guaranteed a goal.

Since being with J who is a football fanatic, by default I've become more interested in the sport - particularly after we were in Berlin during the 2006 World Cup fever, and now following the German Bundesliga since we're currently again ensconced in Deutschland.

We're bemused by the lack of quality play that we see from most of these teams of so-called professionals - especially the testosterone-charged, thoughtless and careless kicks aimed at the goals which miss by 10m or more.

Apart from showing the football, German TV is pretty dismal when it comes to showing other sport. The free Eurosport channel has been hellbent on showing endless re-runs of old snooker games, summer ski jumping or highlights of Valentino Rossi winning his 6th 500cc title and signing his helmet. During the Beijing Olympics, we were tormented with repetitive showings on 30 minute cycles of the same events - usually involving a German or European winner.

This week, we've seen a change and, to our delight, Eurosport has been showing games from the inaugural FIFA Under 17s Women's World Cup held in, of all places, New Zealand.

The quality of the matches has been superb. These young women can play. We've witnessed accurate passing, brilliant goal shooting and awesome set plays that would bring shame to most of the professional men's teams that seem incapable of training their star players to play in a team - instead of going for egoistic personal glory and failing to win matches.

This morning, we watched an extremely polished and highly skilled Japan team annihilate a favoured France 7-1 with some superb plays and exhilarating flair. Japan also downed the USA in pool play.


Germany is very strong with Forward Dzsenifer Marozsan leading the way with 4 goals for the tournament so far. Her first class crosses and corner kicks are incredibly accurate and beautifully struck.

It's been fun reading the German team blog. They love New Zealand, however they think that it's like the USA. The shopping is wonderful, the beach is great, but the food is weird and there's not enough sauce served with the food - only tomato sauce! Germans cover everything they eat with gravies, cheese and white sauces, so the unsauced kiwi cuisine comes as a shock to them!

If you're in NZ, I would strongly recommend getting to a stadium to watch some highly entertaining sport and cheer on these young sportswomen.

If you're not in NZ, FIFA is showing highlight packages on their tournament website, minutes after the completion of each game, as well as showing live coverage in some countries.

The final 8 has been decided and the business end of the tournament commences this week with the final to be played on November 16th.

At last - some sport about which we're excited!

3 comments:

Seabee said...

I religiously watch the English Premier League every weekend and it amazes me that so much is sub-standard. Highly paid professionals who do nothing but train for and play the game who too often can't get the ball to end up where they aim it!

nzm said...

Dismal isn't it? To think that the star players are being paid millions for poor play.

Last night, we saw the highlights from the Spanish League and they were great goals. Maybe Spain is the only country with quality top league football at the moment, or perhaps we saw the very best clips edited from a pool of mediocrity!

"Δημήτριος ο Ταξιδευτής" said...

Have a nice weekend with an old song from Demi Roussos

It's five o'clock
and I walk through the empty streets
thoughts fill my head
but then still
No one speaks to me
My mind takes me back
to the years that have passed me by
(interlude)
It is so hard to believe
That it's me
that I see
in the window pane
it is so hard to believe
that all this is the way
that is has to be
It's five o'click
and I walk through the empty streets
The night is my friend
And in him
I find sympathy
And so I go back to the years that have to past me by
(interlude)
It is so hard to believe
That it's me
that I see
in the window pane
it is so hard to believe
that all this is the way
that is has to be

It's five o'click
and I walk through the empty streets
The night is my friend
And in him I find sympathy
He gives, gives me day
gives me hope
and a little dream too